Whether you work in an office, are studying for a degree or have a desk based job – being as productive as possible can be extremely difficult. People tend to get stuck into a rut, form bad habits and end up working twice as long to achieve what they need to due to a lack of thought behind their environment, equipment, setup and work behaviours.
Here are 5 simple ways that you can work more efficiently by developing effective ways of managing your tasks to become more productive and free up valuable time.
1. Use to do lists to set achievable goals
By setting small, measurable goals each day or week you will be able to prioritise your workload which allows you to positively reinforce your behaviour as you complete a task and are able to tick it off your list.
For large projects break them down into smaller, more manageable jobs to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or missing vital steps and keep you motivated.
2. Create a routine that works for you
There’s no point in working the same way every day if you don’t get some enjoyment from it as that alone will lead to inefficiencies. Try to develop a routine that sets you up to be as productive as possible at work. This will look different for everyone so try to mix it up and find which works best for you.
It might be that you are your most clear minded in the morning and therefore choose to prioritise the more difficult work for the beginning of the day. If you feel the brain fog tends to set in after lunch, then maybe try adding a gym session or walk to your lunchbreak to clear your mind and set you up the afternoon.
3. Use time saving tools
If you are in a job that requires you to takes notes or write up and document information from recordings, people speaking or videos, then transcription services can be an extremely valuable tool.
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4. Improve your work environment
You might not be able to stop Dave in accounting from talking too loudly but depending on your office or work place rules you can take some steps to improve your environment which will have a positive effect on your efficiency.
Having a clean, tidy desk free from masses of files, rubbish and clutter helps to clear your mind and makes working easier. Personalise your desk to make it a happy place, whether that’s a small plant, some colourful pens or photos of loved ones. If you are allowed to play music, then choose music that helps your work and puts you in a positive and focused mood. Maybe you are lucky enough to have your own office but haven’t been able to make the most of it yet? The time and effort spent decorating or putting in place some changes to improve your environment will pay off when you have a happier space to work in.
5. Healthy workplace habits
You might be swamped and stressed but maintaining a positive work life balance and ensuring that you look after your health and wellbeing at work will not only benefit you personally but also show in your performance.
- Take regular breaks where possible and try not to spend them staring at yet another screen – your phone! Take a walk, meditate, stretch, do some yoga or even step outside for a breath of fresh air.
- Connect with team members, have a brief chat or ask for informal feedback or advice on what you are working on, it may help generate some ideas or give a new perspective you hadn’t thought of as well as strengthen team bonds.
- Try to give yourself an allotted amount of time to complete certain tasks, you don’t need to be hard on yourself or feel pressure to achieve it every time but it will help you stay on task, avoid getting side tracked and get a better grasp of how long certain jobs take to complete which will help you better manage and plan your time in future.
Changing your habits might not be easy, but if you can identify ways to improve these key areas then you will be able to save time and work more efficiently.