For any desk worker that spends most of their 9 to 5 in an office, being productive is a big deal. After all, not only is it discouraging to still have piles of work left to do at the end of the day, but many managers prioritize employees that show high productivity.
Especially on a day to day level, there are many time wasting habits that most office workers get caught up into. Whether you want to get more out of the hours you put in or are just looking to boost your daily routine, here are three key ways to be more productive at the office.
Set Priorities Everyday
When most people are faced with a long list of to-dos, it often leads to procrastination, stress, and a tendency to go for the small easy tasks first. Unfortunately, any of these conditions deals a major blow to the work that can be done over the course of a day.
To improve productivity, make sure to set priorities. In general, it is advised to choose the top 3 most important things you want to get done that day. Not only does this naturally create a daily plan of action, but polishing your prioritization skills also allows you to better address long term goals. Lastly, when prioritizing, it is best to tackle the most challenging tasks at the start of your workday since that is when you are fresh and have the highest energy levels and drive.
While most of us like to believe we can multitask, the fact is that the majority of office workers are more productive if they focus and methodically tackle a single assignment at a time. Likewise, understanding your personal work rhythms is important. For example, if you know that your energy and motivation tanks at 2pm every day, then you can schedule your work around that time rather than trying to trudge through fruitlessly.
Once you’re more aware of your personal limitations, get into an optimized routine for your workday. Not only will this help keep you on track, but most people find they are more efficient at taking care of daily tasks when it follows a usual schedule.
Unless you’re working in a customized private office setting, personal shortcomings are not the only problem to deal with. From co-worker drama to dealing with a squeaky office chair, there are many interruptions that crop up over the course of your typical workday.
As much as possible, minimize the number of things that take your attention away from your work. For example, if you know a short chat with a co-worker often turns into a lengthy negotiation session, be kind yet firm about when you are working and reschedule for a better time. Similarly, if long stretches at your desk is causing discomfort and becoming a distraction, optimizing your office setup can be quite valuable.
Finally, even work tasks can become productivity sapping interruptions if you let them. The biggest culprits include lengthy, unorganized meetings and constant email checking.