We all have natural daily rhythms, ebbs and flows of energy and motivation that fluctuates throughout the day. Some of us are morning people, while others are stuck in a sort of brain fog until at least lunchtime. To be the most productive and work efficiently, it can be a big help if you can recognize your daily rhythm and try and work with it, instead of trying to fight it.
Just when you think your to-do list is so long that it can’t possibly handle one more item, your manager comes in with a new project she wants you to take on. Two responses may come quickly to mind: screaming that you’re already overworked and can’t possibly be expected to add to your workload or cheerily agreeing to do the task -- and then seething as she walks away.
Distractions make it tough to work efficiently and can increase your stress level. Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., author of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress, shared some tips for handling distractions with Bobbi Dempsey of The Office Professional:
If there is one thing that can kill your output at work more than anything else, it’s procrastination. This is like the arch enemy of productivity. If you have a habit of constantly putting everything off, it will be very hard to get anything done. This will not only negatively affect your productivity, but it can also harm your professional image because people will start to doubt your ability to work quickly or meet deadlines.
With so many things on an employee’s mind, it is no surprise that a survey by LinkedIn found that 63 percent of all professionals frequently create to-do lists. Women were more likely than men to make such compilations (71 percent vs. 60 percent), and list-makers were divided pretty evenly between those who jot items down by hand and those who compose electronically.
One of the biggest ways people kill their productivity is by wasting time procrastinating, allowing themselves to be easily distracting as a way to stall doing the important tasks on their agenda. You might look at it this way: idle time is wasted time, at least when there are things you should be doing.
Trying to be more productive, but can’t seem to figure out where all the hours in your day go? If you frequently panic at the end of the day because you have barely crossed anything off your to-do list, you may need help analyzing how you use your time at work. That is where RescueTime can help. This online tool helps track exactly how you are spending your time on the computer. This can help you spot time-wasters and spot trends in how you are using (or not using) your time.
It is probably no surprise to hear that getting enough sleep can really help your productivity. If we are sluggish or exhausted, we usually find it difficult to focus on even the routine basic tasks, let alone tacking the tougher stuff.
Wasting time can really affect your productivity—and can also keep you from achieving the kind of results that impress your boss and help you get better job security.
Time Doctor software is designed to help you see how you and your co-workers are spending your time at work. If you need to track the amount of manhours you spent on a particular project or task, this program makes it easy (you can even record screenshots if needed).
It can be tough enough to keep track of your important priorities and conflicting responsibilities during your official workday. But as many of us know, the workday has become increasingly long and fluid—often extending long after you walk out the door of the office.
As this article says, many professionals (especially women) now find themselves faced with a 24-hour workday because, as a result of technology, they may be connected to the office from the time they wake up until they go to sleep.