The working day is an endless stream of distractions that destroy your focus and can lead to you doing any number of things that aren’t what you’re actually supposed to be doing. Whether you’re distracted by your colleagues questions, your email account, the extra work that keeps getting piled up on your desk, or whether you’re playing solitaire, catching up with your friends on Facebook or catching up on the latest news, we have compiled a list of five ways to increase to increase your productivity when you’re working.
1. Stop Multitasking
While it can feel as though you’re being more productive by multi-tasking, this isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes it might seem a nice idea to skip from one task to another as this feels like you’re giving yourself a break from the initial task. However, psychologists have discovered that multitasking can result in lost time and productivity. Make the commitment to complete what you’re doing and focus whole-heartedly on that task until it is complete.
2. Take Regular Breaks
While taking breaks sounds as though it might defeat the object of being productive, it can actually increase your concentration. We’ve all, at one point or another, been so determined to complete the task in hand that we’ve sat and stared at the computer doing practically nothing while our brain slowly dies of boredom. You can carry on doing that for as long as it takes to get the work done, or you can give yourself a quick break, allow your brain to re-focus and get back on it. We guarantee you will end up getting the work done a lot faster.
3. Set Deadlines
Set your own deadlines for any tasks that you need to complete. Parkinson’s Law dictates that any given amount of work will fill the time that is set to deal with it. So, if your daily tasks are only that you have five emails to send and a thousand word document to type up, then they will take the entire day to complete unless you set yourself some tighter deadlines. This is because you will inevitably feel more relaxed about the work and will end up distracted or doing irrelevant things, just because you know that you have the time.
4. Make Use of the Two Minute Rule
The rule is, that if you see a piece of work that needs completing and you know that it will take less than two minutes to complete, then do it straight away. This is based on the fact that it will take longer to think about the fact the work is there, decide when you will do it, put it to the side and then go back to it later than it will take to just do the work.
5. Use Your Commute
In the spare time you have when you’re travelling to work, why not make use of this time by checking you’re emails, doing some brain-storming or creating your to-do list for the day. You can apply this to any unexpected spare moments that you might find you have gained throughout the day.
If you apply these rules to your day you can’t fail to be more productive at work. Let’s face it, no one likes having a massive workload, so it makes sense to get through it as quickly and efficiently as you can.