Whether you work at a corporate office or in the comfort of your own home, using your time productively is ideal. After all, no one enjoys feeling like their daily efforts are going to waste. Especially if you work a standard 9-5 work week, all of those hours laboring away at your desk can really add up.
As discussed in an earlier post, setting priorities, being self-aware, and reducing distractions are just a few helpful methods for improving productivity. Even if boosting your work efficiency wasn’t on your list of resolutions for 2015, here are three additional ways to be more productive in the office.
Take Scheduled Breaks
This may seem counterintuitive; however, taking breaks on a regular basis can actually help your work productivity. While many people envision a productive worker as someone who powers through the entire day without stopping, this is just unrealistic.
Instead, most employees find that they are more productive if they take a breather or two outside of the mandatory lunch hour. After all, taking a 20 minute break instead of struggling fruitlessly through that mid-afternoon slump not only allows you to clear your mind and reenergize, but most people find that their focus is better afterwards.
Thus, whether you get a change of pace by surfing the web, going for a walk, doing stretches, or taking a nap, don’t forget to schedule in a break.
Address Bad Habits
In general, most office workers tend to indulge in some bad habits when it comes to sitting down and working. From stress-induced procrastination to getting distracted by something on Buzzfeed, there are a ton of unproductive habits out there.
To improve your workday efficiency, it is important to eliminate these time-wasting habits as much as possible. For example, if you know you often get distracted by the alerts beeping on your phone, turn the notifications off or set it on mute during your worktime.
Furthermore, work behaviors can also become bad habits. For example, one common routine that hinders productivity is incessant email checking. Whether it’s every hour or every 10 minutes, constantly checking and responding to emails as soon as they come in is a problem.
After all, while using email is part of your work, it really only needs to happen two or three times while you’re in the office. If done too often, it becomes a major distraction and hurts your work productivity.
Thus, whatever your personal workday vices, make sure to get them under control.
Focus on Important Tasks
Lastly, as productivity is often measured by what is accomplished, prioritizing your most important tasks first (instead of multitasking everything) is extremely valuable.
After all, it is better if you make headway on your most critical assignment rather than fritter your energy away doing too many things at once. In addition, unexpected things just tend to happen. If you leave critical things for later, chances are something will crop up or you’ll find yourself too tired to tackle it at the end of the day.
While it takes willpower and organization, aim to always start each day by working on your most important task.