Many people make the assumption that office work is less taxing than manual labour, but this is a theory that should be discouraged. The differences between manual labour and office work are vast, yes, but both are equally as taxing in very different ways. Staring at a computer screen all day will not only decrease your focus, it can lead to health concerns that will also detract from work productivity. We are not imperfect if we leave our desk for more than five seconds, in fact it has been proved that taking regular breaks can develop your focus. Take a look at this ten simple ways of increasing your daily work productivity.
1) Plan Ahead
Get to work 15 minutes before your shift is about to start and plan ahead for the rest of the day. Sometimes we are blissfully unaware of all of the work we have achieved and it is often helpful to take note of your achievements. Making a list for the rest of the day is a great way to take stock of your accomplishments.
2) Set aside an hour
There are always minor tasks that often go unnoticed, yet are extremely important to the upkeep of any business. Set aside an hour of your day to get as many small tasks completed as possible.
3) Managing correspondence
Do not let your emails, phone calls and voicemails dictate your day. These modest tasks have a tendency of taking up an entire day if not kept under control, and will ruin your daily plan. Try to set aside two daily time slots to arrange your correspondences accordingly, make sure it’s included within your daily plan.
Some of us are morning people and others cannot function without a coffee before they can even consider starting work, either way, make the decision to find out when you are the most productive. If you are a morning person, take the time to finish larger projects during this period and leave the smaller tasks for later on in the day when your focus decreases.
5) Say no to multi-tasking
Most of us would assume that multi- tasking will increase our work efficiency but truthfully it is the opposite for most of us. Academics Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino and Nicola Persico researched into the effects of multi-tasking on a group of Italian judges. Each judge was randomly assigned cases with a similar workload, it was deduced that the judges who worked on fewer cases, tended to complete more cases and at a quicker pace. Try to set your sites on one task and do not get bogged down with other smaller tasks.
6) Set self-imposed deadlines
When creating your plan for the day try to set self-imposed deadlines. Track and limit your time on tasks and make sure you stick to this routine. It is true that generally people work better under a certain amount of pressure. Giving yourself a set time period to complete tasks will create a sense of urgency that will improve your work productivity.
7) Take regular breaks
Take regular breaks for mental and physical wellbeing. It’s no coincidence that school children need to take so many breaks whilst learning, try to use the same mentality. If you have a long lunch break, try to get out of the work place and go for a walk. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, using work time to exercise may help increase efficiency and help you to regain focus.
8) Organise your emails
This might seem like an ideal time to procrastinate but trust me it is absolutely essential. If you receive a heavy intake of emails organising your inbox will keep you sane and help you later on down then line when you are searching for that important email. Try using filters and folders to create desktop harmony.
9) Don’t take work home with you
You know that age old saying “There just isn’t enough time in the day”? Well, we all know exactly how you feel, but taking your work home with you is not the answer. None of us are perfect and that is a piece of advice we all need to learn to acknowledge. If you need to work throughout your lunch break, then do so, but if you want to be fresh for the next day, don’t allow your work routine to bleed into your home life.
10) Daily review
Allow yourself plenty of time to review your daily tasks and make sure you take a look at your check list. Review and evaluate everything you have achieved, if there are any unfinished tasks this will also give you a chance to add to tomorrow’s daily plan. Give yourself a gold star, a pat on the back or just sit bit and relax.