If you find yourself with a long list of things to do and not enough time in the day to get it all done, you may not be using your time as wisely as you could be. Making small changes in your habits and routine can have a big impact on how productive you are.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your task list, the first thing you will want to is evaluate the priority level of each item. If there are some things that can wait until later, move them to the bottom of the list. Placing your pressing action items at the top of the list will help remind you what needs to be done. Even if you have an idea of where your priorities lie, writing out a physical list and keeping it in front of you will keep it fresh in your mind as you work.
2. Say No
If you are the type of person who bites off more than they can chew, it may be time to learn the word no. While you want to be the type of person that your boss and coworkers can come to to help out, you don’t want to agree to things you can’t manage. Setting boundaries allows you to reclaim your time and take control over the projects you dedicate your energy to. Being able to get a few things done at a high quality level is better in the long run than cranking out a lot of work done with low effort.
3. Front Load Your Day
When it comes to structuring your day, try to place the toughest tasks at the beginning of your day, before you break for lunch. According to Forbes, getting these items out of the way in the morning when you have more focus and stamina for the day ahead allows you to then relax a little in the latter half of the day. Always do what works best for you, but try to use your morning wisely.
4. Set Deadlines
Setting deadlines that you communicate to other people will help you hold yourself accountable. You should already be adhering to deadlines set for you by your coworkers or bosses, but it can be harder to stick to deadlines you set yourself if you know there are no repercussions. Sharing your personal goals and deadlines on a group document within your department can help everyone keep each other honest and on track.
5. Reward Yourself
When you are feeling extremely productive, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. Having small incentives to keep yourself motivated is a good idea to reinforce how good it feels when you are working hard and seeing results. Rewards don’t have to be large or expensive. Something simple like a coffee from your favorite shop or a piece of clothing you’ve been eyeing can feel exciting enough to keep the spark going.
6. Know When To Rest
Productivity is important, but so is knowing when to call it quits. If you aren’t getting proper rest, you will not be able to sustain any level of work. Additionally, resting involves more than just sleeping. While sleep is crucial, so is resting your mind. Taking time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, like reading, watching TV, or exercising can be extremely beneficial for your overall work ethic. Spending time with the people you love can also help you leave work at the office. Ignoring these things can lead to burnout and exhaustion, which will leak into your work eventually.
Finding ways to be productive can seem like a large task in and of itself, but it doesn’t have to be. Tweaking the way that you approach the tasks you are already doing can help you to look at them in a new light. Exploring some of the tips above can help you to stay on track and find the work you are doing rewarding.