Do you find yourself struggling to get tasks completed only to be constantly distracted? It doesn’t make you very productive if you keep starting and changing projects without completing any. If you notice that you aren’t getting your work done then your co-workers and supervisor probably see it too. You don’t want to make a habit out of taking eight hours to finish something that only should’ve taken you one hour to complete.
Here are 10 tips on increasing your productivity.
- Clean Slate – Start with a clear work space. A cluttered desk just sets you up for multiple projects competing for your attention.
- Make a List – Write down the tasks that you need to accomplish for the immediate and distant future.
- Rank Chores – Number your projects in order of deadlines. Put the assignments that need to be completed first at the top of the list.
- Plan Ahead - Schedule time for large tasks that aren’t due until later. For example, if you’re preparing a PowerPoint presentation, set aside time to do research each week. Don’t wait until just before the presentation is due to start working on it.
- Organize – After clearing your desk, only return the items to your work area that help you complete your current task.
- Delete – Any duty that doesn’t need to be done that day shouldn’t be worked on before more immediate deadlines.
- Peak Performance – Work on your most crucial chores at the time of the day when you are most alert, energetic and have the least distractions. That may mean coming in to work before your co-workers arrive and start competing for your attention.
- Set Mini Goals – Decide at the beginning of your day what you plan to accomplish throughout the day. For example: From 9 a.m. to noon I will make a minimum of 10 sales calls and schedule at least three sales appointments. From noon to 3 p.m. I will have written 10 business emails. Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. I’ll read the business emails and letters sent to me. By 5 p.m. I’ll write a rough draft of my blog for the company website.
- Limit Responsibilities – It might seem impressive to volunteer for extra tasks, but you let everybody down, including yourself, when you don’t finish what you said you would do on time. It’s better to agree to do a realistic amount of work that you actually can finish by deadline than promising to do more and failing.
- Beat the Clock – Get into the habit of finishing projects before they are due so you’re not rushing to turn in your work. If an assignment is due by 4 p.m. Friday then aim to have it done no later than 3 p.m. Friday or earlier if possible. Setting an earlier deadline will help you avoid last minute unexpected problems that can hold you up when you’ve done everything in your control to be on time.
What other tips do you have for increasing productivity?