Improving productivity is essential to maintaining an efficient and fulfilling life. Learning how to be more productive in your work life will not only ensure that you are more successful on the job, but also leave more time for you to spend with your family, friends, or spend time enjoying a favorite hobby.
If you are looking for ways to improve your productivity, you cannot go wrong with these five tips.
1. Eliminate distractions
Taking the noise and distractions out of your environment is one of the best ways to see immediate improvement in your productivity. Turning off the television, or moving to a quiet, calm location are great ways to rid yourself of distractions. However, this does not mean that you have to sit in silence.
Many people find it difficult to work in complete quiet. Instead of switching on the television or blasting a wall-shaking stereo, turn on some soothing, classical music to stimulate your mind and improve your productivity.
As painful as it may be, eliminating distractions also means logging off of social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. It also means putting down the Blackberry. How can you possibly accomplish all that you need to if you are interrupting your work flow every five minutes to tell your friends or “followers” that you are eating a sandwich, or that you are having a bad hair day.
2. Get organized
A chaotic, cluttered, work environment is the Achilles’ heel of productivity. If you are swimming in a sea of paper, or drowning in an ocean of toys, then it is time to clean and organize your space.
Try some of these ideas for ways to organize your workspace:
- Divide your work area into zones, and keep unrelated items out of each zone.
- If you work from home and you have young children, create a designated play area for your kids. Do not allow toys to trickle into your area.
- Clean off your desk or workspace at least once a week.
- At the end of each day, take five minutes to throw away unneeded notes, scrap paper, or anything else that will clutter your space.
- Find a place for everything. Keep frequently used items on top of your desk, and move less frequently used items to a shelf or drawer for storage.
3. Break tasks down
Instead of working or doing household chores for hours at a time, try breaking tasks down into smaller sections, with breaks in between. Working in short bursts makes daunting tasks much more manageable. If you break tasks down, you will not only be more productive, but also be less stressed. That is a two-for deal that you cannot afford to miss.
4. Make a prioritized to-do list
Beginning your day by making a to-do list will set the tone for your entire day. A to-do list will help your mind focus on the day ahead. You can refer to your list throughout the day to refresh your memory on what task is next.
Make sure that your to-do list is prioritized. When you make your list, write down the most important tasks first. This will help you prevent the common productivity snafu of putting off more difficult, time-consuming tasks, in favor of easier, quicker ones.
5. Reward yourself
You cannot always leave it up to your boss to praise and reward you for your achievements. Sometimes, you need to take matters into your own hands. Giving yourself small rewards will improve your productivity by keeping you motivated. If you complete a particularly big project at work, or finish something way under a deadline, splurge a little on your favorite sweet treat, or bring home your favorite takeout.
Home workers should not forget to reward themselves either. If you work from home, try rewarding yourself with a twenty minute power nap, a few minutes of TV time, or a trip to the candy drawer for a chocolate fix.
If you eliminate distractions, get organized, break tasks down, make a prioritized to-do list, and reward yourself, you will be on your way to increased productivity. Being more efficient in your work life gives you more time for play, and who doesn’t want that?