In today’s fast-paced lifestyle it’s easy to get overloaded and burn the candle at both ends, becoming easily distracted and feeling as if no amount of time in the world is enough to close off your pending tasks. In this article, we share some tips to help enhance your productivity.
Track time spent on tasks
Track the time spent in the planning, communication and execution of a simple task or a project. Time management software such as Rescue Time can help by letting you know how much time you spend on your daily activities
Take a break
Treating yourself to some breaks in between periods of long tasks can do a world of good to your concentration levels. It would be counterproductive to assume that we can spend entire days without taking breaks. An example of such would be a walk away from the office. Detaching a bit from your usual surroundings serves well as a boost for the second half of the day.
Set personal deadlines
Although it would be ideal to avoid any triggers of additional stress, it would be more productive to set deadlines for open-ended tasks. Discipline yourself into allocating a timeframe for a specific task and stick to it even when no one is chasing you.
Close off minor tasks immediately
When it comes to minor tasks which take less than two minutes, close them off immediately. Whether it may be a one-liner email or a two-second reply which only requires a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, get these minor issues out of the way quickly. You can then focus on more high priority tasks as required.
Organise/Attend priority meetings only
Before organising a meeting, ensure that the points/theme of discussion merit as such, and cannot be resolved via an email or telephone call. It would be beneficial for your own time management to set meetings only when required. If an important decision needs to be taken, then a meeting may be ideal, however, if you would simply need to provide updates to your team members, an email should suffice.
Learn to move on
It is easy to fall into the trap of seeking perfection. Although ensuring a high level of quality assurance is key, one should avoid prolonging a task than necessary as it becomes counterproductive. Establish which tasks require the highest level of quality assurance and use your time wisely. Do not invest additional hours to tasks which are not worth the extra reviews.
Experienced employees use the company’s resources effectively and delegate tasks accordingly. Assigning task to the right employees and providing your input just for final checking can help you by allowing you the time to allocate your attention to higher priority matters.
Turn off app/social media notifications
It is very true that notifications are a big part of making a smartphone experience more fulfilling and entertaining. However many times especially when at work, work mobile phone notifications are a distraction. The best preference is to turn these off for optimal concentration! Remove completely the sound beeps generating from Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail and other notifications when you are in the middle of tasks which require your attention.
Work in ninety-minute intervals
Research strongly suggests that high performers do not work in intervals of more than ninety minutes. It also implies that they are more productive than those who exceed the ninety-minute interval.
Avoid circumstances which may lead to increased distractions such as talking with other colleagues regarding matters which are not work-related. It may also be beneficial to work in a meeting room to avoid telephone calls when handling a tight deadline project. In this regard, it may also be worth considering working from home for certain days in which such distractions may prove detrimental for upcoming deadlines.