No matter which stage you are in of your career, there will always be times when you ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and we have other commitments such as family and fun. Here are 5 quick, bite-sized productivity tips to help you boost your work efficiency and optimize work performance!
Clock Enough Hours of Quality Sleep
Starting our day right starts the night before! Getting a good night’s rest helps to recalibrate your body, and thus improves focus and concentration. Many of us love to scroll through social media or watch another drama episode before bed. Before we know it, an hour or two has passed and we end up sleeping later. Digital devices also emit blue-light, which prevents us from having quality sleep.
If you must, try keeping your phone usage to just 15 mins before you sleep, and make sure to switch it to night-mode. Better yet, eliminate blue light-emitting devices for hours from your nighttime routine, read a book or take a warm shower instead!
Make, And Use A To-Do List
Making a to-do list gives us a checklist and documents our achievements. It helps us keep track of what needs to be done and being able to see all our tasks at a glance helps us prioritize, thus achieving more effective task management. But making a list is not enough, we must check off the things we have accomplished throughout the day. Some assignments, or projects may seem daunting and our mind resists starting on them. The trick is to break them down into simpler tasks. Being able to put a tick on tasks gives us a sense of accomplishment and motivates us to complete the next task, the next, and the next till our list is fully checked off.
Create Your Conducive Workspace
Our physical environment has a strong impact on our psychological state. According to research, seeing messes and disorganization depletes our cognitive resources and disrupts our focus. Keeping a clean, neat desk is a very effective work habit. Imagine the amount of time you would save by reducing the time you need to find a single document from a stack of files!
At the same time, personalization of our workspace helps to maintain a positive mood at work. Introducing quotes, pictures of loved ones or plants to our spaces keeps us motivated to go further and attain more in our careers, but be sure to keep your space clean and tidy!
Create Your Conducive Digital Workspace
Reducing clutter extends into our digital space, especially when most workplaces are increasing their digitalization efforts. Having an organized filing system, a clean desktop, and keeping only useful versions of documents reduces loading time on your computer and increases focus. Many of us are guilty of opening many applications or tab hoarding (i.e., keeping many useless tabs open on your browser) under the illusion that we are multitasking. However, having many applications and tabs open creates distraction and drains our ability to concentrate on any single task at a time. Hence, we should all look at our work habits and rethink how we can work smarter, not harder.
Practice Good Energy Management
Cultivating good time management skills is crucial. However, managing the hours dedicated to work is not the only way to attain work-life balance. We can also manage another finite resource, energy. If mornings are your peak energy period, tackle challenging tasks before lunch. If you are more productive in the afternoon and evening, save tougher assignments for later in the day.
You can also consider other proven strategies that increase output and efficiency such as the Pomodoro Technique. Break up your day into 25 min intervals where you fully focus on a specific task, followed by a 5 min break to recharge by grabbing a coffee, stretching, or using the washroom, etc.
Amidst the grind of attaining your professional goals, it is easy to become too engrossed in work and neglect self-care, which is why we opened this article with getting enough sleep and closed with it with managing energy. While it seems counter-intuitive that rest will increase productivity, it is important to remember an exhausted mind will do no favors to your productivity and quality of work. So be sure to get enough rest, and share these quick tips with your friends, family, and colleagues so that they too can maximize productivity at work and spend time with you after!