How many days per week do you wish you could have gotten more done? Even the hardest working and most dedicated employees get into slumps. If you feel as if you’ve lost focus and want to bring up your production, a few simple changes to your routines, habits and goals can give you a fresh perspective on your tasks and priorities at work.
If you find yourself off track, the following daily tasks will help you get back in the flow and increase your productivity as an employee.
1. Create a daily schedule
Time-consuming tasks and continually putting out fires can suck up all of your time keeping you from accomplishing the things you need to finish. Gain control of your day by brainstorm a list of task types such as responding to emails, returning calls, projects and meetings. Then identify what keeps you from accomplishing necessary tasks, such as co-workers or phone notifications. Divide your daily activities into low, medium and high priority categories. Schedule high-priority or more difficult tasks earlier in the day when you are more energized and can clearly focus. Schedule low-priority items such as administrative tasks for later in the day when your energy starts to dwindle.
2. List daily must-dos
Lists are a great way to track your daily accomplishments and eliminate brain clutter. But, they are also a great way to quickly feel inundated and overwhelmed. If your typical daily to-do list has more than 15 activities on it, it’s time to rethink your list strategy. Start by listing what you have to accomplish for that day by finishing the phrase “If I do nothing else today, I will complete …” These tasks should be items that directly impact the company’s bottom line or help you achieve team goals. Other tasks should be separated onto a weekly to-do list and used to fill downtime throughout the week.
Project management systems like Asana help organize task lists with due dates, categories, and even the option to repeat the task automatically.
3. Take breaks
While this may seem counter-productive, studies show that rest and breaks increase productivity. Your brain needs to relax to be able to create and produce effective results. Schedule breaks on your daily calendar and stick to them. Use breaks effectively by meditating, exercising, refueling your body or simply closing your eyes to rest.
4. Organize emails
Emails are one of the most prominent time-wasting activities at work, especially if you have no way of organizing them. Start your day by categorizing every email- in folders or with color-coding tags. Implement a 60-second rule. If you can answer the email in less than a minute, do it. This keeps easier emails from piling up. It also prevents senders from following up two or three more times before you respond.
5. Put your phone away
Smartphones offer plenty of conveniences, they are also distracting with their easy access to social media and the outside world. Turn phones on silent and put them out of sight so you don’t get sidetracked by countless notifications.
6. Create a vision board
Our inner desires fuel productivity. Creating a vision board or displaying pictures or quotes that motivate you goes a long way. They help to keep you on track by keeping your why right in front of you. By looking at goals and desires daily, you teach yourself to make better decisions throughout the day that directly help achieve the items pictured on your vision board.
7. Think positive thoughts
Changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts is crucial. If you constantly think “I have too much work” or “There is no way I can get everything done today,” you won’t. When you change those to “I will accomplish X today,” you’ll start to see tasks fall off your list.