Can you believe it’s already the end of August? Wow! Where has the time gone this year? As we approach the Fourth Quarter, many of us are already looking towards the new year. And for some, that can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to get done between now and 2020, and our to-do list can be daunting. If you are feeling the pressure at work with that mountain of projects piling up, here are a few tips to be more productive at work.
Plan and execute
One of the quickest (and easiest!) ways to stay on track at work is to make a plan. Every day before you go home, create a plan or to-do list of what you need to accomplish the next day. The key is to prioritize what tasks or projects are the most important and tackle those first. You will feel much more accomplished if you take on the most critical or challenging tasks right off the bat. If you save the most essential or complicated tasks for the end of the day, they will loom over you all day long and distract you from actually getting your work done.
Many people claim they are great multitaskers and are perfectly capable of juggling multiple tasks at once. However, many studies, including one from Stanford University, debunks this. Simply summarized, our productivity is proven to diminish when trying to focus on too many tasks at once. Multitasking actually increases the number of mistakes you make, decreases your memory of essential details, and hurts creativity. In other words, we are far more productive when we focus on one activity or project at a time.
If you want to accomplish more at work, establish goals for yourself (and your team). Include both big goals and milestones and write them down on a calendar or piece of paper. As you accomplish these goals, cross them off. It may sound silly to some, but it feels great being able to check off accomplishments as you complete them! This will not only keep you on track in the short-term but will also help you prioritize your work goals in the long-term. Mainly, this will help keep your day-to-day activities on track for you to effectively accomplish those big, “scary” goals staring at you eye-to-eye.
Take care of yourself
This is arguably the most important thing you can do to remain productive day in and day out. Eat well, get enough sleep, and taking breaks from work are all essential to your physical and mental health. Use that time off as needed. After all, you’ve earned it, and that’s what it’s there for! Take small breaks throughout the day to regroup your thoughts. It will help you stay focused and productive, as well as reduce your work-induced stress. The bottom line is, if you’re not taking care of yourself, your work (and productivity) will suffer.