If you’re like most people, there aren’t enough hours in the workday to check off all of the items on your “to do” list. To be productive, you can either choose to work longer hours or work smarter. If you choose the latter route, here are several time management strategies to increase productivity at work:
1. Give yourself deadlines. Establishing your own deadline for open-ended assignments will help you to focus on the task at hand and hold you accountable to meeting a completion date. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re watching the clock.
2. Improve your concentration by taking breaks. Some people have the misconception that taking breaks throughout the workday will cause them to lose momentum and focus. In reality, giving yourself brief brain breaks throughout the day will help you to maintain a constant level of performance and complete the project faster.
3. Enforce the two-minute rule. Throughout the workday, you’ll encounter a number of tasks that can be completed within a short period of time. If a task can be completed within two minutes, take care of it immediately. Enforcing the two-minute rule will prevent you from having to back-track to these tasks later in the day.
4. Limit meetings. Most employees would agree that meetings are the biggest productivity drainers in the workplace. Before accepting a meeting invitation, determine if you would be able to accomplish the meeting’s goals via a phone conversation or web-based meeting as these two avenues could help you to be more productive.
5. Avoid multitasking. Contrary to the popular belief, multitasking will actually cause you to be less productive. Also, taking on too many assignments at one time can impact the quality of work that you perform. Instead, give your focus to one assignment at a time.
6. Make the most of your commute. By using your commute to take conference calls and respond to voicemails, you’ll buy some extra time in the workday.
7. Minimize distractions. Get a jump start on your day by arriving to the office before your team members. You’ll be amazed at how much work you can accomplish with an hour or more of quiet time at the office. Turn off notifications on your email and phone to help you stay focused.
Use these productivity tips to help you get the most from your workday.