Being a dynamo on the job that slashes through a to-do list like a samurai isn’t always easy. The good news is that it’s not impossible or even hard to learn to become that way. All it takes is implementing some smart self-improvement ideas for work into your day-to-day routine. These four simple strategies will not only improve your work day, they are also great tools for personal development, helping you combat stress and become a more productive individual.
- Get out of interruption mode: Doesn’t it seem like things always come up when you are at your most busy? You’re trying to hit that deadline and then suddenly a meeting is called or a phone call comes in or Gary from accounting decides it’s time to tell you all about his bunion. End that by shutting as much as you can off; your phone, your instant messenger, your email, and your availability. Let your coworkers and direct supervisor know you need to hunker down for an hour or 3 to finish a project. They will likely understand.
- No more multitasking: No matter what anyone says, multitasking isn’t actually helpful to finishing up a project. In fact, research has shown that multitasking can cause a 40% drop in productivity, waste as much as 2.1 hours in a typical work day, and even decrease your IQ by 10 points. Stay focused on one task until the end, then move on to the next for the optimal amount of efficiency and productivity.
- Smart tasking: There are a lot of things to get through during the day, but the most efficient way to tackle them is to clump similar items together to be completed during a chunk of time. For instance, checking and responding to emails can be clumped together with sending out client updates and reports. If you bundle similar tasks together, you avoid having to switch between contexts. You’re focused and not having to switch brains from creative to logical thinking. Thus, you’re able to power through tasks at a faster rate.
- Be mindful: By that we mean pay attention to what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and how long it takes you to do it. By tracking these key informants, you can find ways to improve your productivity.