Having a clean office is one thing, but it means nothing if you’re not a productive member of your work force. Not being able to stay efficient at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point. It’s not a question of whether you like your job or are a good worker. There are just certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the day. A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion, and even termination. Rather than risk you losing your job, lets focus on 5 tips to help you change your productivity for the better!
Take Regular Breaks
A lot of people attribute breaks to laziness, but that is not the case at all. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else. If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information – sort of like your computer hard drive. Taking a break is like resetting your computer so that it can start anew. This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were having difficulty with previously by allowing you to see them differently. If you are having trouble organizing your thoughts, a quick break will allow you to take in new information more easily.
It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working. Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything: if you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.
If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then. Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.
Pace Yourself and Balance Your Workload
Balancing one’s workload is an issue everyone suffers from time to time. It’s often a case of underestimating the amount of work needed for a specific project. When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule. Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan. All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day. Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.
Your Work Comes First
In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first. If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.
Don’t Go on the Internet Unless You Need to
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, in this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations (too bad we all have smartphones).
When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related. If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away.
Try to be Happy and Optimistic
Try to remember two different moments in your work-life. That time you went in booming with confidence and happiness. Remember how great that day was, how well you did? Now look back to the last time you arrived at work pissed and negative. Wasn’t that day just the worst?
If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right. This can be by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work. If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively, as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else. Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly. Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.
All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company. While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better, more efficient employee.