Productivity at work can surely be hard to maintain. With the constant distractions of emails, phone calls, meetings, and more, it's easy to lose focus on your daily tasks. Not to mention, these days, it's hard enough to get your job done as it is without having to worry about being productive. But there’s hope!
There are many different ways you can increase your productivity at work without changing jobs or quitting your job altogether. Here are 20 things that you can start doing right now to help you become more efficient at work with little effort on your part.
1. Eliminate Small Distractions
Eliminating small distractions is one of the best, quickest ways to boost your productivity at work. These distractions may not seem like a big deal, but they can become very bothersome over time.
What do we mean by "small distractions?" It could be something as simple as checking emails every 5 minutes (or even less) or perhaps finding ways to multitask when you need to buckle down and get some work done.
What are some distractions you can cut out right now? Is it answering email alerts immediately on your computer, constantly checking social media websites and news feeds, or having music playing in the background? If you think about it, all of these are distractions that can be easily eliminated within seconds.
2. Turn Off All Notifications
Along the same lines, turning off all notifications can also help boost your productivity at work. Everyone has notifications turned on for some reason or another. Whether it’s email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine... you name it! They can all wait until later.
You'll be surprised by how much time you spend on things like email alerts or Facebook notifications that really don't matter (and some may even consider these distractions). Turn them all off for a while and see what happens.
3. Use Your "No" Voice More Often
How often do you say yes to things you don't want to do? We’re not just talking about work here; this goes for anything that comes up. Are you saying yes because of peer pressure or fear of missing out? We all have to say yes sometimes, but that doesn't mean you should say yes more often.
There's really no reason you need to be doing things you don't want to do—trying to do things you don't want to only leads to stress and low productivity levels overall. If something doesn't interest or excite you, simply say no and move on.
When it comes to saying no, many people find it very difficult, but doing this helps keep them on-task and prevents their minds from wandering.
4. Take a 20-Minute Power Nap
Power napping at work can be highly effective in helping you boost your productivity at work. Did you know that power napping is scientifically proven to refresh your mind and restore your energy levels? So, if you wake up feeling tired or groggy during the day, try taking a 20-minute power nap to help recharge your batteries.
5. Make a "To-Do" List
Making a good to-do list can be one of the best ways to boost your productivity. Writing everything down on paper allows you to visualize exactly what needs to be done and by when. You'll start prioritizing tasks based on urgency, which will keep you from forgetting things that need to be done.
6. Use a Pomodoro Timer
Using a Pomodoro timer is one of the most effective ways to boost work efficiency! Not only does it help you focus on what needs to get done, but this simple technique also helps keep distractions at bay and prevents you from going down the unproductive rabbit hole.
7. Stop Multitasking
While multitasking may seem like a good idea at times, it can actually have the opposite effect of what you're trying to achieve. Studies have shown that people who do a lot of multitasking suffer from decreased productivity and tend to work more slowly than those who don't.
If you want to boost your productivity at work, try focusing on one task at a time instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks.
8. Keep Your Desk Clutter-Free
A cluttered desk is just as bad as having too many distractions around you. In fact, it can prevent you from focusing on what needs to get done and cause you to lose track of time. Plus, it can cause stress and lower your mood as well.
In contrast, removing clutter from your desk allows your mind to focus on work-related tasks rather than being distracted by what's going on around you.
9. Declutter Your Mind as Well
Closely related to the previous point, decluttering your mind is just as important as decluttering your workspace! According to Louise Hay, author of several books on wellness and positive thinking, clutter in our homes and offices is a reflection of the clutter inside our heads. So, remove negative thoughts and make room for positive ones instead!
How do you do that? Well, in this case, decluttering means doing your best to get rid of thoughts and ideas that are weighing you down mentally. Once you do that, you'll automatically feel relieved and notice improved concentration levels at work.
10. Drink More Water
Yes, drinking more water can help you boost your productivity at work! This one might sound silly to some, but staying hydrated is essential to having high energy levels. Plus, it's recommended that you drink eight glasses of water per day for optimum health and wellness.
After drinking more water throughout the day, you should notice improved concentration levels, and you'll have the energy to stay on-task at work. You can also drink water as a way to take your mind off distractions.
11. Work When You’re Most Productive
Everybody has their own unique schedule, so it’s up to you to make the most of your hours at work by working when you're doing your best, thinking, and being productive.
For some, that may be early in the morning before most people arrive at work. For others, it might be late at night after everybody else has gone home.
You’ll have to experiment with different times of day to find out when you do your best work and then adjust your schedule accordingly. For example, if 9 AM to 12 PM is the time of day when you work most productively, schedule important meetings and tasks accordingly so they don't interfere with your workflow.
By setting your own schedule and working in line with your daily patterns, you can easily boost your productivity and improve how focused and productive you are during any given hour of the day.
12. Take Frequent Breaks
Taking frequent breaks is another smart way to boost productivity at work. Your mind will become fatigued easily if you don't allow it enough time to rest, so make sure you take short 5-minute breaks every hour (and not just when required by your employer).
A 10-minute break between tasks allows you to refresh your mind and prepare yourself for what's next!
13. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is known to be an effective way to boost your productivity. The amount you need to sleep every day varies from person to person, but it's recommended that most adults get 8 hours of sleep each day for better health and energy levels during the day.
When you're well-rested, you’ll have the energy to go about your tasks at work more efficiently, so getting plenty of sleep is of utmost importance!
14. Employ the Two-Minute Rule
Based on Entrepreneur Steve Olenski's idea, another intelligent way to boost productivity at work is by using the two-minute rule. This simply suggests that if there's a task you need to do that'll take less than two minutes, you should just go ahead and do it right away.
That way, instead of putting off little tasks here and there until they pile up enough for you to feel overwhelmed, you can quickly complete the tasks as they come up. You'll eventually complete something rather than spending your time procrastinating on various tasks for days or even weeks without finishing them.
15. Minimize Meetings
This one’s pretty simple: cut down on useless meetings. Every meeting you attend is an hour you've lost and can never get back. If you're attending unnecessary meetings that aren't productive, cut them down or eliminate them altogether so that you can gain those hours back and use them more productively for yourself.
16. Track Your Time
This one might sound tedious and like something more suited for students, but it really is an effective way of making sure you're using your time at work productively.
Use a timer to make sure you stay on task and complete tasks before the time is up. If you can't get something done in the allotted time frame, write it down for later on when you'll have more time!
17. Work on Your Personal Life
Most of us spend over half of our waking hours at work, so your personal life needs to be in check so that it doesn’t affect your time at work. Spend some time on yourself by exercising, learning something new, spending time with friends and family, or doing anything that rejuvenates you and gives you more energy for your job.
The more time and energy you put into your personal life, the better you'll feel overall!
18. Enlist the Help of Others
Depending on the job you have, enlisting the help of others can be a sure-fire way to boost productivity at work. You might just need some extra sets of hands to get certain tasks done, which means delegating is key!
If your workload is too much for one person to handle alone, then let others lend a helping hand so that you can accomplish your tasks in a shorter amount of time.
19. Use the 4 D's
When you're overwhelmed with work, use the 4 D's to get yourself back on track. This simple acronym stands for delegate, delete, defer, and do.
If you have a task that's been weighing on your shoulders for days, then it's time to delegate it or delete it! You can also defer a task to a later date if you know the due date is too soon and that you won't finish it in time. Lastly, if a task only takes a few minutes to complete, go ahead and do it right away rather than putting off something that'll take less time!
20. Break Your Work Into Manageable Chunks
Finally, to increase productivity at work, break your work into manageable, bit-sized chunks. Sometimes when you have a pile of work in front of you, it just seems like too much, and you won't know where to start.
Rather than focusing on one large project, break it down into smaller tasks so that you can cross things off your to-do list one at a time. This will ensure that you accomplish everything in due time and won't be overwhelmed by the whole process!
Remember that it's all about taking little steps toward big goals. That way, you'll always be moving forward and never stop throughout the day.
Start Increasing Your Productivity Today!
Once you start implementing these tips for increasing productivity at work, you'll notice a difference in how much you can get done during the day. Before long, your to-do list will be shorter, and you'll have more time on your hands!
Put these simple strategies into motion today and watch as they help increase productivity at work! You might even start looking forward to your job instead of dreading it because you have so much work to get done. Stay productive!