What does a typical work day look like for you? Are you running from meeting to meeting with little time for breaks, or are you constantly getting distracted by emails? The average work day is filled with a million little distractions that pull you away from your to-do list. 89% of workers have admitted to wasting time doing menial tasks during the work day, from taking personal phone calls to answering emails, which decreases time for work-related projects. To avoid wasting time and boost productivity, here are a few ways to increase productivity and get the most out of your work day:
Do Your Least Favorite Tasks First
Instead of waiting until the end of the day to do your least favorite task, start your day off by doing it. You will have a sense of accomplishment early on in the work day, which will lead to more productivity throughout the day. The other tasks you do will seem small in comparison, and you will reduce your stress level by completing unpleasant tasks first.
Studies show that taking a 10-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes allows the brain to rejuvenate and increase concentration. An effective use of this break time is to get up from your desk and move around. Take a small walk around your building on your scheduled breaks or exercise in the morning before work. Moving around isn’t just good for your body, but it also increases work performance.
While multitasking is viewed as a positive quality, psychologists have found that in the workplace it actually takes a toll on productivity. By switching in between tasks you decrease efficiency and increase the time it takes to refocus and complete a task. When you start a project, remove all distractions and avoid concurrently starting another project. Focus on finishing your current task and not getting overwhelmed by other demands.
While stress is often viewed as a negative thing, in the workplace self-imposed stress through deadlines can push you to accomplish your tasks in a timely manner. Set realistic deadlines so you don’t overdo the pressure. Setting a time expectation for yourself is a positive way to increase productivity.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Everyone knows that sleep is essential for overall health and wellness, but it also plays a major role in overall productivity. In a study conducted on the relationship between sleep and productivity, researchers found that employees who slept less than six hours a night accomplished less at work than those who did not. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night to or take a nap during your lunch break to counteract fatigue and increase work performance.
Silence Your Cell Phone
You can accomplish the most when your cell phone is out of reach or on silent. The little notifications that come from text messages or social media are just big enough to distract you and cause you to lose focus. According to Forbes, at least 50% of your day is wasted on your phone either texting or calling. If you know you’re not going to be needed outside of work, leave your phone in your car or put it on the opposite side of the room to resist checking it every 15 minutes.
Invest in Training
Training is an excellent way to streamline work and drive productivity. Although when taken too far, training can also be a time waster. It’s important to provide your employees the right amount of training, so they can have the tools to excel in their positions and decrease time asking questions or trying to figure it out on their own.
If you feel your productivity is lacking at work, the answer is not to put in more time or to work harder; it’s to work smarter. By following the tips here and many more, you will find you can accomplish more in the day than if you were to just push through the fatigue.
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