Busyness, as you may know, does not in any way connote to productivity. I mean it is possible to spend 12 hours on your desk and yet do only 3 hours of meaningful work.
Staying focused at work while at the same time maximizing efficiency is no mean feat. If it isn’t your cell phone, it will be that talkative and attention seeking colleague, both always competing for your precious little time. Even if you somehow manage to override distraction, you may have to fight tooth and nail to stay motivated.
So, how can you achieve productivity at work in the face of distractions and demotivation? Let me show you.
Here are productivity tips that will help you achieve more at work.
#1. Set weekly goals
Consider goals as beacons that provide us with guidance in a world filled with detours.
At the start of every week, make out time to outline the goals you would like to achieve. Mind you, these goals should extend beyond work to your private life, family and everything else that matters to you.
You can either write your goals on a notepad/stick-it note or use any of the following goal setting apps:
They are available on both iOS and Android platform
#2. Set deadlines
Goals without any concrete deadlines are nothing but mere wishes.
So, when writing down your goals for the week, state in bold and clear terms when they will be knocked off your to-do list. But since we are humans and so frail, don’t beat yourself when you miss a deadline, neither should you make excuses.
#3. Turn off email notification
If you work in the corporate world, chances are hundreds of emails pop into your mailbox every single day. While it is important you respond to as many of these emails as possible, it is equally important you avoid getting distracted.
The trick is to respond to them when you are about wrapping for the day rather than responding as soon as they come in.
#4. Get enough light
Light, especially natural sunlight, helps the brain stay alert, and mental alertness is the one thing you really need to achieve maximum efficiency at work.
The easiest way to go about this is by positioning your workstation close to the window. If this isn’t an option, consider taking intermittent breaks outside to get some refreshment.
#5. Eat something in the morning
Your body, just like a car, needs fuel to run, and failing to provide it fuel (in this case food) can make it break down. And by food, I don’t mean junk food and doses of coffee – quality food is what I am talking about here.
Eating quality meals before leaving for work not only provides you with energy but also helps take your mind off food.
#6. Avoid multitasking
In a research conducted by the American Psychological Association, it was found that multitasking severely hampers our productivity and scatterbrains us. Added to that, multitasking affects other areas of our lives negatively, and can even lead to mental breakdown.
To that end, focusing on one task at a time is the way to go.
#7. Give yourself occasional breaks
Forcing the brain to focus for so long on a task will eventually lead to brain fatigue. To avoid this from happening, give yourself a break every now and then. Ideally, the break should come up every 75 minutes.
Simple acts like standing and flexing your body in different directions is okay.
#8. Cut down on meetings
More often than not, meetings accomplish exactly the opposite of what they are meant for; help a team stay efficient. Instead of accepting every meeting invitation that pops into your email, carefully handpick the necessary ones and leave out the rest.
As much as you can, schedule meetings with clients and customers on Skype instead of in-person.
#9. Wear an earplug
Noise disturbance can be a hell of a nuisance. Since you have little control over that distracting noise, the one good thing to do is to inoculate yourself from them.
If you have got an office of your own, ensure door and windows are closed at all times. Otherwise, block your ears with an earplug and playing your favorite beats with it.
#10. Make judicious use of your commute time
What do with your time on your way to work every morning? If it is Facebooking, Youtubing or reading the dailies, it is about time for a change. There is a lot of meaningful things that can be done within that small period of time. Respond to emails, finish off the report you started the previous day etc.
#11. Break big tasks into smaller ones
A big task can be overwhelming and intimidating. In fact, taking on large projects that require tons of input can easily discourage one even before starting. To circumvent this mental hurdle, break the tasks in small manageable bits.
Smaller tasks are a lot easier to handle than large ones
#12. Leverage productivity software and apps
It is hard to stay focused in a distraction-laden environment.
#13. Keep your cell phone off, if possible
Settling back to a routine after answering a call can be a lot of work, depending on your kind of person, though. As such, it may make sense for you to turn off your phone, or better still, put it on silent mode.
#14. Learn to motivate yourself
Doing a routine job can be decapitating and discouraging.
It’s your job for heaven’s sake, and you have no choice but to bring your best foot forward. When things seem to be caving inside you, encourage yourself. Reminding yourself of all the good things which you are grateful for is a good way to stay motivated.
#15. Reward yourself
The last, but definitely not the least step for improving productivity at workplace. Give yourself a small treat after crossing certain milestone. You will be grateful to yourself for doing so.