We all have the same hours in a day but are we all making the most of the time we have? Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.” We may not be able to change our workload but if we can get work done quicker and avoid needlessly wasting precious hours of our day, it’s a win! Let’s discuss a few changes we can make.
Be Proactive to Eliminate Distractions
We get info faster than ever before, but this can be overwhelming these days with the notifications, updates and reminders flooding our devices. Rather than constantly checking, turn on your “do not disturb” settings and designate time to check your updates at once. There’s also some great apps and plugins that deter the urge to check all the time.
Distractions can come from all angles especially if your work area isn’t private. Offices with open floor plans can be great for collaborating, but if others are interrupting your workflow by chatting by your desk, it can be hard to carry a thought. Let coworkers know your schedule and the best times of day to chat or ask them to set up a time to talk. If the office is just too noisy, headphones can be a great quick fix or find a quiet space like booking the conference room just to work. The change in surroundings might be a nice change of pace as well.
Sometimes, distractions can come from within when our brains won’t be quiet. It’s hard to be productive while thinking of a list of things I have to do and trying to remember them. I like to keep a notepad close by and jot down what I’m thinking about to get it off my mind and plan for it later.
Have you ever thought about how your overall health can affect your work performance? Many of us take pride in doing the best we can, neglecting our health at times, in order to get a job done well. However, cutting corners on health can catch up to us and not much is going to get done if you need a sick day or two. Getting sick is inevitable but do your best to eliminate the frequency by investing a little more time in yourself throughout the day.
Getting a good night’s rest can have a huge impact on our productivity. Research shows that lack of sleep can have an impact on a lot of the abilities we need to be productive like memory, thinking, and the speed in which we get things done. Rather than burn the midnight oil, feel good about going to bed early and if you’re thinking about the next day already, write it all down and rest easy.
If you think you can run full steam all day without taking any breaks, you are being unrealistic. Rather than planning on getting work done in large chunks at a time, space out your day a little with 5 minute breaks to let yourself reset and get back to work with a fresh energy and motivation. Don’t just use breaks to stare at your phone, get up, move around, and breath. Studies showed that taking a 30 min walk during lunch breaks at least three times a week improved enthusiasm, relaxation, and nervousness at work and resulted in less sick days.
These changes might not be easy to make all at once so start small and incorporate a few changes at a time. Stay mindful of what is cutting into your productivity, be proactive about improving yourself and turn it into a habit that you’ll be more likely to keep.