Do you go to bed at night feeling like you’re wiped out, but you didn’t accomplish everything you needed to? That might be because work days are long and life is stressful, but sometimes a few changes can make all the difference. Try these 5 small changes that make a big difference.
Work in Chunks
It feels like you need to multi-task to get everything done, but that’s like slicing your focus into ineffective slivers. The American Psychological Association found shifting frequently between tasks cuts productivity by as much as 40 percent.
Think about how many times during the day you click over to email or pick up your cell phone because you hear it vibrate. It seems like only a few seconds, but in the course of the day it adds up.
What tasks are you behind on? Where could you stand to be as much as 40 percent more productive? Set aside chunks of time during which you give them your undivided focus.
Don’t just silence your cell and throw it in a drawer, turn it completely off or the vibration will pique your curiosity until you can’t resist checking. Sign out of your email and close the tab so you don’t receive notifications of every incoming message. Whether your chunks are 15 minutes or an hour, you’ll complete more work in that time frame than you would if you were multi-tasking.
Set a Two Minute Timer
Use this strategy to knock out tasks you find yourself dreading or putting off. When you arrive at work, before you leave for lunch or at the end of the day, set a timer. Do it at the same time every day.
Then for two minutes, sprint through your filing, pay those invoices or respond to one or two of the emails you’ve been putting off. When the timer sounds, you’re through with the unpleasant task until the next day.
Use Technology for Good
Turn your morning commute into a productivity booster by using voice-to-text technology to compile your to-do list for the day. Get a jump on meetings by turning them into teleconferences if others are available.
The online tool Rescue Time monitors how you work and lets you know how much time you spend on email, in meetings and browsing online. Rescue Time Lite is available for free and can provide insight into how you currently work.
Beat the Afternoon Slump
In countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, many employees go home for an afternoon rest. If your employer doesn’t offer a siesta after lunch, that can be a tough time of day. Instead of reaching for a coffee or energy drink, get your blood pumping to invigorate your brain with fresh oxygen.
It’s the last thing you’ll want to do when you start to feel sleepy, but leave your desk. Jog up and down the stairs a few times. If you need to communicate regularly with a co-worker, agree to have that meeting on your feet as you walk around the building or circle the parking lot. Health and fitness blog Greatist provides an extensive article on ways to get moving at work if you need more ideas.
Find a Job You Love
The best way to stay productive and focused every day is to work at a job you enjoy. Let’s sit down and talk about your career objectives when you get in touch today.