Be More Productive at Work

Have you ever noticed that two people can be at the office for the same amount of time, but have drastically different levels of productivity?  Would you like to achieve more at your job without putting in a lot of extra hours?  Here are some tips that will help you do more work in less time:

Plan out your tasks for the day.  When you start the day knowing exactly what you are going to do, you can hit the ground running.  The best approach is to make your to-do list for tomorrow at the end of the day while everything is still fresh in your mind.

Have scheduled times to check your email.  What do you do when you hear that little ding that tells you that you have an email?  Do you immediately check it and respond?  Keep in mind that most people are not expecting you to get back to them instantly.  By being at the beck and call of your email inbox, you diminish your productivity and allow others to set your agenda.

Do your most challenging tasks first.  You know those annoying tasks that you put off until the end of the day?  If you are genuinely trying to improve your productivity, you should be finishing them before you do anything else.  Getting your difficult tasks over with gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to focus on everything else that you need to get done.

Organize your work space.  How many times a day do you find yourself looking for things?  Scrambling around searching for a particular email or file can eat up a lot of valuable time.  Invest an afternoon and completely organize your desk.  When everything is in order, you will find it a lot easier to work efficiently.

Focus on one task at a time.  Are you a chronic multi-tasker?  While it may feel like you’re getting a lot done, the reality is that you are actually accomplishing less than you would be if you would just focus on one task at a time.  When you’re trying to do a few things at the same time, you constantly have to change your focus and remember where you are at with each task.  If you just focus on one job until it’s done, you eliminate the need to reset your mind.

Once you increase your productivity level, it won’t be long before you start to exceed your employer’s expectations of you.  Remember, when your manager is making decisions about who to promote and who to lay off, they will carefully consider your workplace performance.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Stuart Miles/

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