Making the most of you day can be a real challenge to a lot of people. The office can be a hotbed for distractions of all forms. From Facebook, to socializing with your co-workers. You might be finding that even simple tasks seemingly take up more and more of your time. Here are the basics on how to take charge of your day and start increasing your own productivity.
The key goal of this is to identify and limit how much time you’re spending on your day-to-day tasks. Now you might think you’re pretty great at gauging how much time various tasks take you during your typical day. But the fact is that you’d be very surprised if you actually realized how long you spend on seemingly quick tasks… All time that is pretty much wasted from your day. Some recent research has suggested that only around 17 percent of people are actually able to accurately gauge the passage of time. Guess the rest of us have some messed up internal clocks. So instead of hoping that you are one of the seventeen percent, admit that you could probably use some help in time management. That’s where tools like Rescue Time come in. It can help by letting you know exactly how much time you are spending on your common daily tasks, such as checking emails, social media accounts, taking phone call and meetings.
Break Up Your Day
It’s surprising because it may sound counterintuitive to you, but it’s vitally important to make sure to take regular breaks throughout your day. Taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance. Furthermore exercising during work time can improve productivity, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Even just going for a walk outdoors, or squeezing in a quick gym visit can get your blood pumping and could be just what’s needed to clear your head and get your focus back.
The “Two-Minute Rule”
This one should appeal to even the most seasoned procrastinators. Essentially the “two-minute rule” is pretty simple: if you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. According to entrepreneur Steve Olenski, by completing the task right away you actually spend less time than having to get back to it later.
No More Meetings
It’s no secret that meetings are one of the biggest time-sucks around, yet somehow we continue to unquestioningly book them, attend them and, inevitably, complain about them. According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone (which could turn out to be more productive).
Your commute is time that most people seem to simply waste on getting to and from work. How about instead of Candy-Crushing or Facebooking, you could be using that same time to pound out some emails, return some phone calls, create your daily to-do list, or even squeeze in some quick brainstorming.