5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity at Work

Many people find their work productivity is directly tied to their time management and organizational skills. Consequently, developing strategies necessary to improve your time management and organizational skills will have a big payoff in your productivity.  The following five tips offer ways to help you increase your workplace productivity.

1. Do Not Multitask

Some people applaud themselves for being a great multitaskers. However, multitasking has not been shown to make a person more productive. It’s more likely that the opposite is true. When you spend time toggling between tasks, you’re less likely to produce the quality outcomes one would expect, especially since the brain uses analytical energy just to transition from one task to another.

When you focus on one task at a time, you are giving each task the attention it deserves reducing the likelihood of errors and poor quality. Additionally, concentrating on one task at a time increases the chances of completion. Completing just one task can make you feel successful and more motivated to tackle other assignments. Conversely, numerous half-finished tasks can make you feel overwhelmed and de-motivated to take action. The verdict is out on the prioritization of activities, but since people feel more accomplished as they finish tasks, it’s a good rule of thumb to start the day with the simplest tasks that are quick to complete and move on to gradually more complex duties. 

If you are determined to multitask, try pairing simple activities with duties that require more attention. This reduces the prospect of omissions and errors.

2. Set Intermittent Small Objectives

If you choose to prioritize work starting with the easiest tasks first, you will find yourself spending ever-increasing amounts of mental energy as the day progresses. That’s why it’s important to keep that sense of satisfaction and progress going throughout the day. Try to break up difficult projects with small no-brainer activities that lead you closer to your daily goals without requiring too much mental effort.  For example, consider filing paperwork between challenging phone calls. This will help you stay organized, while also giving you a mental break between tasks. 

3. Time Block Your Schedule 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have too many tasks and not enough time to complete them.  Time blocking is the process of creating a master list of tasks, and then assigning them to specific time blocks that you’ve carved out throughout the day. For example, if you have 4 phone calls you need to return, rather than making them sporadically throughout the day, use a 90-minute time block to make the calls and prepare follow-up notes and action items. This pairs like activities together, which requires less mental energy.   Your time block may also include opportunities for you to take a break and refresh yourself before moving on to the next set of activities.


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 4. Delegate Tasks

Many executive women struggle with the need to do-it-all.   Unfortunately, most find that this controlling approach to work is not sustainable in the long term. If you have a pile of tasks that need to be completed, consider assigning some of those tasks to team members, especially those activities that can be completed without your assistance. 

Delegation frees up your time from the urgent but unimportant tasks of your day so that you can concentrate on complex needs that require your attention.  Consider forwarding emails that someone else can answer or allowing coworkers to schedule team calls.


5. Use the Pomodoro Strategy

The Pomodoro method is another strategy that many executives use to help effectively manage their time.  Similar to time-blocking, users set a timer and dedicate just 20 minutes to the execution of a task. During that 20-minute block they focus only on the immediate task without distraction for a short block of time and then take a five-minute break. This is an excellent strategy for quick bursts of focused work and has been applauded as a healthier plan for approaching time management because it helps users control their energy and their stress levels, while reducing distractions throughout the day. After completing four Pomodoro sessions, take a longer 15-20 minute break to reset your focus. This technique has been shown to be particularly effective for those with ADHD or procrastination tendencies.

Looking at your to-do list for the entire day may be overwhelming, but using the Pomodoro technique can help you get started if you know that you only have a short amount of time to work on a task. It may even help you to work with more determination if you have a little fun challenging yourself to beat the clock. 

For more help boosting your productivity or gaining more focus throughout the day, contact me to learn how private or group coaching can help: oward@perfectingmybusiness.com

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