Edition: December 22nd, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
- Excerpts from article by Stuart Gentle, published on onrec.com
Productivity, or a lack of it, can be a challenge for all of us at times. While many of us adapted quickly to remote work, others found themselves overwhelmed by the distractions of working from home. Even those who have returned to their regular workplace may be struggling to rediscover their optimum productivity levels.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some effective tips to help you stay not only productive at work, but also feel calm and relaxed.
Implement these 4 strategies in your work-life and watch your productivity soar:
1. Plan a Day in Advance
- We all have too much on our to-do lists. Still, we keep adding to it. And then, when we fail to tick off every item on reaching the deadline, we feel bad.
- Ask yourself what a winning day looks like and how you would feel at the end of that day. Asking that question helps you to focus on the tasks that will make you feel the most satisfied as a professional.
- Create your to-do list with no more than three essential tasks and everything else is just icing on the cake.
- You should also prep your day the evening before so that you are ready to hit the ground running.
- If you have to leave the house for work, set out the clothes that you want to wear the following day. Unless you buy lunch, have food ready to go as well.
- Having a seamless morning instead of a last-minute rush sets you up for a positive and productive workday.
2. Stop Trying to Multitask
- This is easier said than done when you work from home, as there can be plenty of distractions.
- Even if you don’t have family members or pets taking your attention, the temptation to focus on more than one thing at a time can be hard to resist.
- You may feel that trying to complete two work tasks simultaneously is efficient, but it will end up taking longer if you are not fully focused.
- Even worse is the impulse to mix a leisure activity with a work task. Browsing social media, watching videos or playing are all things that will drastically reduce your productivity.
- Set aside dedicated break times and stick to them. Work time is for work only.
3. Streamline Meetings
- This is for managers, as employees rarely have much say in the matter.
- The fact is that most workers spend too much time in meetings and it has a detrimental effect on their output.
- One way to streamline meetings is to always make sure that there is a proper agenda for each and every one of them.
- An agenda covers the content of the meeting and the desired outcome.
- Writing up an agenda helps to clarify if a meeting really needs to be scheduled, or if it can be done via a quick phone call or email.
- Meetings with an agenda are also more efficient and effective.
4. Tackle Big Tasks First
- It can be tempting to get smaller busywork tasks done and put off larger jobs for later.
- As a result, we may already be fatigued by the time we reluctantly get round to a large project, and invariably it ends up bleeding into the next day.
- As with anything, the hardest part is starting – so face that daunting task first thing and it will feel much less formidable by lunch time.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)