In a recent survey, workers claim that nearly 40% of their day is completely unproductive. If you’re worried about your finances, where your career is heading, or how you’re doing at your job, this can’t be a good feeling. If you want to know how to be more productive at work, you need to start breaking down what your day really looks like.
There are plenty of people who feel both unproductive and overwhelmed. This is the mark of people who haven’t properly mapped their work days out. Unless you know that you’re making the most of your time at work, you could end up both burnt out and under-productive.
If you want to ensure that you’re making the most of every working hour, follow these 5 tips for productivity.
1. Take More Scheduled Breaks
While it might sound counterintuitive to increasing productivity, scheduling your breaks is much better than just taking one when you feel like it. You might have hit a hurdle and so you’ll decide to take a break. By the time you get back to your desk, it might take another 15 minutes to ramp up the energy to take on that hurdle again.
Scheduling your breaks sets a standard for you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You might be apt to take breaks as soon as you hit a bump but if you know you’ve got a scheduled break in just 10 minutes, you could keep pushing. Just like counting when you work out, being able to know how much longer you have before you can stop can help you get the energy to push through.
Taking scheduled breaks also allows you to better coordinate with other team members. If you synchronize your breaks, you can get a coffee and brainstorm your coworker. Kill two birds with one break.
Check out the tools that this company offers to see if they can help you set better limits to your schedule.
2. Let People Know You’re Busy
One of the best ways to break your concentration and screw up your productivity is to have people knocking on your door every few minutes. If people have a way of knowing that you’re busy, they can hold their questions until a more convenient time. They’ll assess the urgency of their question before they reach out.
You can set your chat or company email status as “busy” when you need the time. Put your phone on “do not disturb” if you get a lot of notifications on your phone.
If people hover over your desk a lot, have a sign that they might see before they call out your name or knock on your door. Implementing a new system might take some time for adjustment so be patient with your coworkers while they get acquainted with your boundaries.
3. Know When to Stop For The Day
One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to cut down your low-productivity hours. When you’re working long hours into the night, you might think that you’re being productive, but likely you’re running on fumes.
You might be working on a big project and think you can stop, but you have to be realistic about your own productivity. If you defer sleep in order to work until midnight, only to have to get up again at 6 AM, you’re creating obstacles. You should stop at a reasonable hour and go back to work in the morning.
When you hit a wall, continuing to push against it won’t allow you the necessary distance to be critical. Stepping away allows you to think about your approach in a broader sense and come up with new and creative solutions.
4. Get At Least Seven Hours of Sleep
If you don’t get enough rest, you won’t be thinking straight. Spend three days in a row without enough sleep trying to tackle a problem and you’re sure to keep banging your head on the wall about it.
If you don’t get enough rest, you won’t be eating on a regular schedule, your brain won’t be at its top performing level, and you’ll be wasting energy.
You could start waking up in the morning, spending twice as long as usual just picking out the perfect outfit for work.
In order to be truly productive, you to make sure all of your hours are as productive as they can be. Being well rested allows you to tackle every issue with the most energy you can.
If you’re making time to sleep, you’re on the right path for structuring your approach for maximum efficiency.
5. Don’t Bring Work Home
You shouldn’t be bringing your work home if you truly want to be productive. Your family and your friends won’t appreciate having to talk about your job or having to work around your work schedule.
When you don’t bring work home, you also relegate it all to the office. That means, if a task needs to get done, you need to get it done in the office. Since some people work really well under pressure, this can be a great way to ensure you are always making the most of your time at work.
If it’s 3 o’clock and you’ve got 3 hours of work left to do, you’ll have to work at maximum efficiency for the next 2 hours. If you allow yourself to take the work home, you’ll likely waste the next 2 hours and then bring your work home to work for another 3 to 5 hours. You’ll not only be unproductive, but you’ll spoil the rest of your night with work.
How To Be More Productive At Work Depends On You
You’re the only thing in your way when you’re figuring out how to be more productive at work. Your productivity really relies on your behavior and your priorities. So long as you structure your work life out, you’ll be able to make the most of every hour.
If you’re wasting time thinking about marketing your business or products, follow our guide to streamline your efforts.