Planning wisely, and then focusing on conducting the plan can be a challenge, but the resulting increased productivity in worth the effort. Get started by following these 9 tips.
• Create a plan.
Create the big picture plan, and then break it down into daily plans. Overview your next day plan each night and prioritize.
Set estimated time needed for completion by each task – this will help you avoid overloading your daily schedule, thus defeating you rather than empowering you. Most people are engaged in several projects at the same time – by prioritizing and setting time limits, you avoid getting caught up in one project while another deadline passes you by, causing havoc in the office. Making specific lists and setting time limits also frees up your mind to focus only on the present task.
Stay on track by utilizing Google Tasks, which syncs with gmail, google calendar, and the google mobile app.
Learn to delegate. Nobody, not even you, can do it all. Make a list of what needs to be accomplished. Choose what you do best and delegate the rest to qualified people. Give them the necessary information, deadlines, and tools/authority to accomplish the task. This not only enables your colleagues and/or staff to do the work, it assures them that you trust them to do the task correctly and on time.
• Deal with Distractions.
According to data compiled by LearnStuff.com, over 12.2 billion collective hours are being spent browsing on a social network every day, costing the US economy around $650 billion per year. Control your time on social media or it will control you.
In addition, set specific times to deal with email. Three twenty minute slots over the course of the day should be sufficient – if a specific issue requires more lengthy time, it should be written into the project plan.
Screen calls and make the ones you take more efficient.
Make your meetings effective and scratch the unnecessary ones.
• Take Breaks.
Taking a break–even for 15 to 20 minutes–is a proven way to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day. On the other hand, “Never taking a break from very careful thought work actually reduces your ability to be creative,” says Kimberly Elspach, a management professor at UC-Davis who studies the psychology of the workplace.
Fifteen-second micro breaks from staring at your screen, generally once every ten minutes, reduces eye fatigue and five-minute stand, stretch, and walk breaks throughout the day increases your cognitive connections and productivity.
Finally, and this is essential – take at least 20 minutes to eat a healthy, nutritional lunch away from your desk.
• Designate specific times for daily tasks and schedule similar tasks at similar times.
When you get into a routine, daily tasks become easier and easier to accomplish efficiently. If you group like tasks together – for example, always reviewing your schedule for the day, then gathering necessary supplies and/or information for meetings, etc. followed by taking fifteen to connect with team members are all tasks pertaining to preparation. Because the brain tends to function by grouping similar things together, it makes sense why it would inspire brain efficiency and benefit your productivity to do tasks that require similar skills, thought processes and actions at similar times.
• Skip Multi-tasking.
Jumping from distraction to distraction does not make us productive — it does the opposite. Research reveals that when we think we’re multitasking, our brains are actually shifting focus from one task to another. Unfortunately, the transition isn’t faster, smoother, or more efficient. The brain has to pivot and briefly orient itself between tasks, which takes about 40 percent more time than it would take to complete each task, one at a time. Chronic “multitaskers” ultimately diminish their powers of mental organization, demonstrate increased difficulty switching between tasks, and report more social problems than low-multitasking peers, according to Clifford Nass, a professor of communications at Stamford University. On top of that, the rapid swapping between tasks also generates pulses of stress hormones, which contribute to heath issues like memory dysfunction.
• Keep social hours and leisure in balance.
Our grandparents quoted the saying “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” They understood the wisdom of true R&R. We need time with family, friends, pets, and/or our own company. Keeping a proper balance between work and leisure is essential to our ultimate productivity.
• Take care of yourself – eat right, sleep right, exercise.
Healthy eating habits and exercise not only benefits your waistline, research shows that it also affects how productive you are at work. New studies reveal that poor eating choices may cause up to a 66 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, while lack of exercise is linked with a 50 percent increased risk of low productivity.
Getting eight hours of sleep is also essential. Our brains and bodies restore during our eyes of sleep.
Make the most of your work time and increase productivity by taking the time for the rest of your world. Plan, prioritize, and take one step at a time, including contacting Springborn Staffing and delegating to us your search for a new position in which to be productive.