Do you struggle with keeping up with all that you have to do at work? I’ve written a lot about different techniques that can help, but I want to share some quick tips before you try implementing anything new.
(1) Keep your paperwork organized.
If you have important papers, bills, notes, and books all over your desk, office, and maybe your office floor, you have a problem. Go through everything. Make lists of things to do and set up a file system. Don’t use your email inbox to catch all for messages you’ve read and still need to process.
(2) Prioritize Your Tasks
Multitasking does not work. Researcher Dr. Larry Rosen, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, said, “We may think we are multitasking, but we are task-switching. These interruptions take us away from the task at hand.” Once you’ve got a handle on what you need to do, make decisions on priorities, and get to work.
(3) A lot of time to complete your tasks.
Block off time on your calendar to get your work done. If your schedule fills quickly with meetings, you are giving up control over the time you have.
(4) Get rid of distractions.
Even though you have blocked out time for working on your important tasks and you are interrupted by other employees, phone calls, or the influx of email messages, you will not be able to maintain your focus. Communications company Plantronics, Inc. looked at the impact of workplace distractions. They found that 99% of employees say they are distracted from their tasks sometime during their workday. Nearly half said those distractions made it difficult for them to focus.
(5) Take breaks.
Working non-stop will also hurt your productivity. Periodically take breaks. You might want to try the Pomodoro Technique to build in some structure.
Researchers are also finding that something as simple as working at a standing desk can keep you stay more alert. Mark Benden, a professor in environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M School of Public Health, studied two groups of call center employees over six months. One group sat at traditional desks, and the other group at desks they could raise and lower. Benden found that those with standing capable desks stood about 1.5 hours longer per day and were 42 percent more productive than those who worked at seated desks. Productivity was measured by how many successful calls the workers completed per hour
Productivity has always been important to me. When my techniques work, I have found that I not only get more done, but I have less anxiety. Keep reading my blog for other ideas. I’d also like to hear from you about what works for you.
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