Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Tips to increase productivity at work

Written by Amanda Barrell

Productivity combines time management, focus and hard work all together in order to create a healthier, happier worker and a more efficient work environment.  While we’re not saying you have to be a work-driven robot, there are things every employee can do at any stage to improve their daily productivity.  Below are just five tips that may help you be more productive at work.   

Plan ahead for your next day
This could include picking out your outfit the night before, preparing the coffee machine so all you have to do is press “Start”, or packing part of your lunch. However you choose to plan ahead, any time you can shave off in the morning to get you out of the house and in to work on time is good. 

Eat breakfast (seriously!)
We know you’ve all heard it so many times before that it sounds like a broken record, but breakfast REALLY is the most important meal of the day.  Eating breakfast within an hour of the time you wake up jumpstarts your metabolism and provides fuel for your brain function, which consequently and conveniently increases your productivity when you get to work.  For the biggest punch, opt for something with protein like an egg white omelet or yogurt with fresh fruit.  And don’t forget the coffee! 

Get off your butt
If you work full time, you should have at least a 30 minute lunch break (with two 15 minute breaks in addition) or a full hour for lunch.   Use this time to get up and away from your desk and out of the office.   Go for a walk and give your eyes a rest, stretch your legs.  More and more studies are showing that sitting at a desk for long periods of time is detrimental to your health; some even say that sitting is the new smoking. Yikes!

The power of “To-Do” lists
To-do lists have come a long way from the days of writing “notes to self”.  With the advent of the Internet, smartphones and Google, now you can find an app for practically anything, including to-do lists.

Utilizing Google Tasks, you can enter and track your to-do items from practically anywhere.  And because it syncs with other Google products, it makes it that much easier to keep track of things on the go.  For larger tasks, break down the project into smaller sections and complete them as you go.  You’ll feel more productive and more accomplished, checking off tasks from your list. 

Learn to say “no”
Almost every job in today’s world is bound to have ebbs and flows of busy times and slow(er) times.  On those occasions that you don’t have enough work to do, you might fall into the tendency to say yes to every project that your coworkers come to you with.  While you’re trying to be helpful, you’ll find that the problem comes later when your inbox increases to your normal quota and now you have too much on your plate. 

Saying no can be just as important a skill to learn as saying yes.  Make sure to manage your time well and really think about what your priorities are before committing to any extra projects.  That way, you can concentrate your focus on the things that really need doing first, without having to juggle important tasks with not-so-important tasks. 

What are your strategies for increasing productivity at work?