Ever have a day pass and think to yourself, “Today was a total bust! Productivity was low and I didn’t get one thing accomplished that I wanted to?” If so – that makes two of us! As a newlywed, bonus mom, and overachiever, it can be tough to accomplish everything I set out to do on any given day.
Luckily, I’ve developed a few techniques that help keep me on track and leave me feeling like a champ when I call it a night.
In the spirit of sharing the wealth, check out these 5 ways to increase work productivity. If you find them helpful, keep it going by sharing these tips with other goal-getters who could stand to get in on these practical techniques.
Give every minute a purpose
If law school taught me nothing else, it taught me the importance of capitalizing on each hour, minute, and second to reach intended outcomes. In fact, during those days, I literally mapped out which tasks I would complete during each hour of my “working day”. Although I didn’t always finish a task within the time allotted, this method helped me maintain focus by ensuring that I maximized my day. Since then, I have practiced carrying over a loose version of this concept to professional and personal endeavors.
Now, 10 minutes isn’t just 10 minutes. I think to myself, “What can I do in the 10 minutes before this call to help myself accomplish something?” Remember, it is always better to do something rather than do nothing at all. So ask yourself, “How am I adding value to my time?” then develop a plan for getting things done.
Write it down and scratch it off
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a stickler for an awesome planner! I live by the ability to write out every task I need to accomplish within a day. I like to prioritize tasks by importance then scratch them off when they are complete. This method ensures that I don’t spend my day flying by the seat of my pants or moving so fast that I forget to meet important timelines. It also helps minimize my stress when I can visually see my accomplishments and the things I have left to do. At the end of my day, I am able to look at outstanding items then develop a game plan for how I intend to tackle the next.
Focus on one thing at a time
Don’t let a million and one email notifications overwhelm you to the point of distraction. Instead, use your tasks list to focus on one thing at a time.
Remember that you are only one person. Do not flood your brain with more than it can process at once. This leads to error. The key is to hone in on the task in front of you. Hide distracters like email notifications; social media; and unimportant calls until you have completed a task. Be present as you work on something. Schedule set times for responding to emails, checking voicemail, and making calls.
Don’t panic, readjust
There will always be times when things do not go according to plan. Maybe a meeting is unexpectedly moved; you experience technological issues which impede upon your ability to be efficient; or you lose track of time. In these situations, it is important that you take a moment to regroup. Methodically think through an alternative plan of action then write it down. Afterward, take a deep breath and start the process of readjusting. Productivity is naturally decreased by panic. Instead, take a step back to regroup and move forward.
Take brain breaks
I am SO big on brain breaks. I have always believed that you cannot operate at your best when you are mentally drained or exhausted. Combat mental exhaustion by allowing yourself a brain break between projects. Sometimes even a 5-10 minute walk or a small social media break can help restart your mental juices and push you through the next big thing.
All of us are super women in our own right – juggling careers, parenting or being the best wife we can be. Either way, our roles require us to work efficiently to accomplish daily goals.
Think about things that work for you. What techniques do you use to increase productivity? How can you tweak them to achieve better outcomes? How can you implement the suggestions here to fit your lifestyle? Develop a custom productivity plan based on not only the techniques discussed in this blog, but those that make a personal difference in what you accomplish when implemented consistently. Put it all together and voila! You’re already one step closer to kicking some major butt in the office or in your home this week.
You’ve got this covered! Give every minute a purpose, write tasks down, focus on one thing at a time, Don’t panic-readjust, take brain breaks, and do what you know works for you.