Are you struggling to feel productive at work? Do you often feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it? If this is the case, then you might want to take a step back and assess just why this is. Being productive not only helps you get things done, but studies show that being more productive at work can also reduce stress.
So, how do you become more productive at work? Well, there are a number of simple steps you can take to help boost your productivity. See our five simple strategies below…
We’ll start with something incredibly simple - planning. By creating to-do lists and prioritising certain tasks above others, you’re able to plot out what you want to achieve each day. You can either plan the day’s tasks first thing in the morning before you begin, or at the end of the previous day.
Either way, having a clear and concise to-do list can really help you to stay focused on specific tasks, and by completing these tasks you can benefit from a real sense of achievement.
One way to ensure you feel productive and stress-free is to ensure that your to-do list only includes two or three items each day. This keeps your goals realistic. If you cram a huge number of tasks into your list you’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed.
Top tip: Work on your biggest goal first - completing the most important task in the morning means you start the day with a big success, which can spur you on into the afternoon.
It’s not outlandish to suggest that distractions are the key antagonist to productivity. If things keep popping up that take your attention away from the task at hand, your productivity will fall off a cliff.
Try turning your phone off, or at least muting notifications. This way you’re not tempted to glance at it every few minutes.
Emails can also be a hugely distracting part of the day, particularly when responding to emails makes up an important part of your role. This is where something called ‘asynchronous communication’ comes into play. If you get an email, take a step back and think “I will reply to this email at a time that suits me”. Not only will this give you more time to focus on your work, but it will also help you make better decisions, through giving you more time to respond to the request.
If you work in a busy office and find yourself easily distracted by the goings on around you, try taking yourself away to a quiet space to help you get through tasks that need your full, undivided attention.
The more steps you take to remove distractions from your day, the more productive you’ll become.
Top tip: If you work in a busy open-plan office and find yourself getting interrupted throughout the day, try placing a signalling mechanism on your desk to let your team know that you’re in the zone! A ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign or a pair of headphones can help signal to others that they shouldn’t interrupt you unless it’s urgent.
From lunch hours to afternoon tea stops, regular breaks are vital for helping you clear your head and boost productivity.
If you’re super-busy then stopping for a break may feel like it’s slowing you down, but in the long run, regular breaks, where you can properly switch off, are vital for avoiding burnout and fatigue.
Even if you just stop for five minutes to stare out of the window with your morning cup of coffee, you’re allowing your brain the rest it needs.
If you’re in the office breaks naturally occur throughout the day. Someone might chat to you in the kitchen, or you might stop and catch up with a friend when you bump into them in the hall. However, if you’re working from home, your day can often feel like one long slog.
This means remote workers need to do all they can to add breaks to their day. Try giving yourself a break once you’ve finished a big task or take five minutes away from your screen after an online meeting.
Top tip: Try the Pomodoro Method and set a timer for 25 minutes of focused work. Then, when the 25 minutes are up, take a short five minute break. Longer breaks, typically 15 to 30 minutes, should be taken after four consecutive work intervals!
Don’t be afraid to embrace technology. Productivity tools can be really useful in helping you plot your day and manage your time.
Some of these tools can help you manage your time by allowing you to work to specific deadlines, whilst others can help you manage projects more efficiently, saving you time in the long run.
Productivity tools can also help you automate tasks or create templates to help you become more efficient. They can even help you collaborate with others more easily, thus boosting your communication and saving you time and energy going back and forward with your colleagues.
Top tip: Check out Techradar.com’s great article on the Best Productivity Tools of 2023 to get a good idea of what tools are out there!
The world seems to be in the grip of a stress epidemic. More and more people are feeling the pressure, and work-related stress can cause a person to experience a number of problems, such as insomnia, restlessness, fatigue, muscle tension, irritability, and social withdrawal. All of these factors can not only affect a person’s productivity at work, but they can also have a real, lasting impact on their quality of life.
This is why it is absolutely vital that a person takes time out of their day to focus on themself. This can mean stepping away from your screen for regular breaks and using that time to unwind.
Top tip: Why not take 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, write in your journal, go for a short walk, catch up with a close friend, or enjoy a good book or podcast?
If you’re the sort of person who gets flustered at work, or you feel that your lack of productivity is starting to affect your mood, then be sure to try these simple and easy to action steps.
By devoting time and energy to these five steps you can really take control of your working day, putting you in the driving seat. Not only will you boost productivity, but you’ll also improve your mood, feel more energised, and finish each day with a sense of achievement.
If you want to go one step further, then why not reach out and speak to our team here at AIG?
Our expert coaches can offer coaching and support to your team, covering a wide array of topics that can help boost productivity, including time management, work-life balance, and understanding yourself. Contact our team today via email here or give us a call on 020 3744 2444 and we’ll be happy to help.
Written by Adam Rowden, creative copywriter at alterniq inspired growth