- Being productive at work is a science. It’s not as easy as sitting at your desk, busting through emails and shutting your office door in hopes you can get everything done. There are always a million and one things going on and trying to focus on what’s in front of you isn’t always easy. These 5 small changes can significantly increase your productivity and blow your boss away by how much you’re able to do in a short period of time!
Have everything ready to go.
Take a look at your calendar for the day to get a gauge of what you need and where you have to go. When we have everything ready, we’re able to be more productive and aren’t frazzled at the last minute. This is anything from pen/paper for an upcoming meeting, notes for a conference call, data to provide your supervisor about a client. Take the first few minutes of work to prepare yourself for the rest of the day as you never know if a meeting will run later than expected.
Get to work early.
Starting your day earlier than other coworkers makes it much easier to get things done. It feels great when you already had your cup of coffee and tackled half of your inbox before your colleagues walk in the door. Give yourself the time to get started early and shut your door if you need. The morning can be more productive than any other point in the day since it’s less likely for crisis to pop up.
If you’re not able to get to the office earlier and have a long commute. You can:
- Check your email
- Dictate your goals into the voice memo function on your phone
- Check your calendar
- Send out meeting invites
The first hour of the day is usually the most productive as you’ll most likely get sucked into meetings, calls, or other work. Take a few moments to get the lay of the land and set your goals and intentions for the day.
- Identify 3 tasks that you need to get done today
- Who do you need to touch base with or need support from? (check their schedules to find a time that lines up)
- What outstanding work from the previous work day/week needs to get done?
- What can you hold off on and would not be considered a priority?
Make your plan of attack to increase productivity.
Make sure you’re creating a plan to get the work done that you’ve identified as important by the end of the day. To do this, you can:
- Block off time on your calendar with an indication of what you’re doing so your colleagues/supervisor knows what you’re working on
- Practice the Pomodoro method by setting a timer and working for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break
- Close your office door (if you have one) or find a quiet space to get your work done without interruption
- Complete like tasks at the same time. When we focus on similar tasks, we’re able to complete more versus task shifting from task to task (answering emails, editing documenting, updating spreadsheets)
- Identify your most productive time of day and focus on tasks that need the most “brain power” then. For your less productive times, focus on “easier” tasks like answering emails
Plan your lunch break.
Some days might be trickier than others to get a full 30-60 minute break for lunch. No matter how much time, it’s still important to know when you can take a break from your busy day. Breaks add to productivity and don’t take away from it. Without taking a real break, your brain will wonder later in the day and what would normally take you 5 minutes could take an hour to process.
What do you do as soon as you get to the office?