How to be More Productive During your Working Days

There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s essential to make the most of your time. There are two ways to increase your efficiency; you can either put in more hours or work more intelligently. 

It’s not rocket science to be more efficient at work, but it does require you to be more thoughtful about handling your time. 

We all know someone who always seems to get things done. It’s the person whose work is often finished early, whether they are a friend or a colleague. The one who manages to complete hour-long tasks in 20 minutes, somehow. Well, the tips below can help you become that person as well.

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Photo credit: rd.com

 

How Important is it to be Productive? 

Imagine closing each working day with a happy sigh, realizing you were so successful that you’ve completed everything on your list. Also, realizing you were at the top of your innovative game — getting your work completed effectively. How nice does that sound?

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In this story, you will be the star of success, rather than the alternative story where you end the day exhausted and slumped behind a desk filled with unfinished tasks. If you don’t like how your typical working day goes, there’s a way you can change it.

For two reasons, most of us are not as productive as we would like to be. Those reasons are that we have poor habits that interfere with our workplace success and we are reactive rather than constructive. That means we spend out time putting out fires instead of making progress towards our goals.

The solution is simple, but not always straightforward. We can replace our bad habits and reactive patterns with good habits, which will make us proactive and help us take responsibility for our own workdays. Follow these tips about how productivity can be improved and become your most productive self at work.

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How to be Productive at Work 

Assess How Much Time You are Spending on tasks Using RescueTime

You may think that you are pretty good at determining how much time you spend on various tasks. Nevertheless, some study shows that only around 17 percent of people can estimate the passing of time accurately

RescueTime does what calorie-counting does for weight loss with your productivity: it gives your real patterns, focus, and perspective. And until you know what these are, you can’t change your habits. 

RescueTime is a time tracking tool that records the apps you’re using, the websites you’re visiting, and the breaks you’re taking while working. And you can see exactly how you’ve spent your time on your machine. RescueTime also classifies each app and website you use into five ratings of efficiency, which you may change: 1) very productive, 2) productive, 3) neutral, 4) distracting, and 5) very distractive.

Make Sure to Take Breaks

It sounds counterintuitive, but you can actually help boost your focus by taking scheduled breaks. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks enables you to maintain a constant performance level, whereas working at a job without breaks leads to a gradual decline in performance.

Set Your Own Deadlines

Although we generally think of stress as a negative thing, a manageable amount of self-imposed pressure will actually help us concentrate and help us achieve our goals. 

Start setting yourself a time limit for open-ended tasks or projects, and then stick to it. You may be shocked to learn how focused and efficient you can be while you watch the clock.

Develop the Two-minute Rule

Entrepreneur Steve Olenski recommends that the “two-minute rule” be applied to make the most of the small windows of time you have at work. 

The idea is this: If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less do it right away. It actually takes less time to complete the job right away than to have to get back to it later, according to Olenski. 

Multitasking isn’t Always the Answer: Manage Projects Better with Trello

Although we prefer to think of multitasking as a valuable skill in growing productivity, the opposite can actually be true. Psychologists have found that attempting to perform multiple tasks at once can lead to lost time and productivity. Therefore, you should get used to committing to a single mission before continuing on to the next project.

Trello is one of most popular Online Project Management Systems. It enables you to organize your work effectively.

Prepare a To-Do List Each Night

To-do lists are essential contributions to productivity. They get you focused, give you attention, and reward you with feelings of satisfaction when you’re in a position to review stuff you’ve done.

Making (or updating) a to-do list every night means you’re not going to waste time looking for your tasks at the start of the workday. A to-do list lets you get right to work.

Eliminate Distractions Using Stayfocusd

Stayfocusd is an extension to the Google Chrome browser that keeps you productive by blocking distracting websites while you’re working. You can prevent distractions for set times and dates (such as 9-5 Monday through Friday) or after reaching a limit (such as no more than 30 minutes of Twitter per day). It’s easy, free, and it can help sustain your productivity. 

Sure, merely using a different browser could get around it, but the point is not to defeat your worst impulses. It is to give you an instrument that can help you build your self-discipline for a more productive life.

Use G Suite for Everything

G Suite for Business is an office suite run by Google. It’s the business-grade edition of Google Docs, Cards, Slides, and other features to keep a company’s employees working productively. 

For example, the Google Hangouts Chat is a team messaging application (aka, an alternative to Slack). Video and voice conferencing, shared schedules, Gmail, and cloud storage also come with the package.

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Photo credit: workflexibility.org

Conclusion

Now, you no longer have to worry about how to stay focused during work. With these tips, you will not only become the most effective worker, but you will feel more satisfied with your work as well.

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