At calendar, we like to teach others how to be more productive at work. Productivity is hard to measure. Just because you work a ton of hours, doesn’t mean you’re working efficiently. You see, it’s not about working hard – it’s about working smart. Below we’ve put together a list of items, along with an infographic, to teach you some tricks of the trade.
Here are 10 ways business professionals can be more productive at work.
Exercise every single day.
You’ve probably heard this one a million times, but I’m going to say it again to make sure it sticks. Physical exercise releases endorphins which keep you focused and alert throughout the day. The earlier you workout the better. In fact, the endorphins you get from a good workout may just outweigh the need for that cup of coffee in the morning.
Create routines, and follow them.
In your work life, it’s important to create routines for yourself. For example, I have the same routine every morning. Wake up, exercise, read the news, check emails, eat breakfast, then off to work. Sure it changes if something comes up, but I try to stay disciplined.
Have to-do-lists (and not-do-lists).
Writing things down is good for many reasons. Besides being able to reference it for later, writing makes us remember things better. Whether you create a list of tasks you need to finish, or ones that you need to drop, it’s always helpful to create lists.
It’s okay to say “No.”
As business professionals we like to take on responsibility. That said, you shouldn’t take on every job or task that comes your way. What if you think someone else is more qualified for that project? Instead of always saying “Yes”, try to delegate the work to another colleague. You are part of a larger organization, and your goal is to help that organization operate more efficiently.
Take your breaks.
Nobody is expected to work through the entire day. In fact, overworking yourself can hurt your productivity. You should schedule a few 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day. Take the time to disconnect from work, take a walk, or simply rest your eyes for a few minutes.
Be strict about personal deadlines.
At the end of the day, you are your own boss. If you want to stay on top of it, you need to set deadlines for yourself. If you use a calendar application, create events that serve as personal deadlines. Remind yourself when they approach, and make sure you hold yourself accountable if they are missed.
Multitasking. Just don’t do it. You may think you’re getting two tasks done at the same time. But in reality, you’re taking longer overall since our minds simply cannot focus on two things at once.
Stop being a perfectionist.
Whether it’s a team power point presentation or just an email to your boss, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t waste time trying to make everything perfect.
Remove distractions from your workspace.
How often do you take the time to evaluate your workspace? If I were to guess, it’s probably not very often. Which is funny considering it’s where you spend the vast majority of your time.
If you haven’t done so in a while, take the time to evaluate your desk. If you can, try to remove all distractions from your line of sight. Put random papers and folders away in filing cabinets and keep your desk free of clutter.
Snack healthy throughout the day.
One of the best ways to stay focused is to snack healthy. The reason why I’m even bringing this up is because the majority of office snacks are just plain bad. The quick bites we’re so used to eating are typically loaded with sugars and processed ingredients.
Instead of succumbing to that bag of chips, try snacking on some healthier alternatives. Things like fruits and vegetables, trail mix (minus the candy), string cheese, jerky, or any other natural foods. A healthy body leads to a healthy and focused mind.
At the end of the day, there’s no single solution to being more productive at work. However, the ten strategies above will surely help you get more done throughout the day!