Regardless of the business you work for, employees need to be productive in order to meet deadlines, improve efficiency, and produce good quality work.
Often, time management is a major issue that prevents workers from meeting these goals. It’s important to know what signs to look for.
1. Prioritize your tasks.
If you’re looking to improve your workplace productivity and time management, prioritizing your tasks is one of the best ways to start. It can reduce stress, increase focus, and even give you better work-life balance as you create clearer boundaries for your days.
The first step to prioritizing is creating a master list of all your tasks. This can include everything from your personal priorities to work obligations.
Next, break your tasks into monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists. This will allow you to make sure you’re hitting your monthly, weekly and daily goals.
Once you have your to-do lists, you can use the four Ds of time management (Do, Defer, Delegate, Delete) to trim your task list down. Some of these tasks can be completed quickly and take less than a minute or two, but others need more time to complete.
2. Set a schedule.
Setting a schedule helps you keep your daily tasks under control, so you don’t end up buried in piles of deadlines. You’ll also be able to see what tasks you have coming up and plan ahead for them.
It’s also important to consider your natural rhythm. For example, if you’re a morning person and find it easy to get up and start working early, then schedule that time for your peak productivity.
You should also make sure to schedule regular breaks throughout the day. Taking small breaks every few hours can help you stay focused and boost your team’s productivity.
3. Take breaks.
Breaks can help you refocus your energy and get refreshed so that you can perform better on your work. Depending on your schedule, you may need to take breaks at specific times throughout the day.
Ideally, you should take a break before your body and mind are completely exhausted. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few short breaks between major tasks or during a project if you’re struggling with your productivity and focus.
When taking breaks, try to avoid distractions like checking social media or playing games with high dopamine. It’s best to choose activities that give you a sense of accomplishment or relaxation, and help you get into a healthy emotional state.
4. Don’t multitask.
Multitasking is not only inefficient and counterproductive, it can also have negative long-term effects on your mental health. According to research, multitasking lowers your IQ and affects your short-term memory, which is necessary for working efficiently on tasks.
It also affects your creativity by lowering your brain’s space for new ideas. Moreover, you’ll feel stressed and nervous because of constant task-switching.
To avoid this, focus on one task at a time. By giving each task its full attention, you will increase your efficiency and productivity.
5. Be organized.
An organized workspace will not only reduce stress levels, but it will also allow you to focus on work more efficiently. Keep your desk clear of excess supplies and misplaced items that distract you from getting your work done.
If you have a large workload, consider creating processes and checklists for tasks you frequently perform. These will help you avoid mistakes and save time in the long run.
Organize your work space and files by category or year to keep them easy to find. Likewise, file your e-mails by topic or priority. This will ensure that you never miss an important email or task.