The workplace is a competitive environment. With the economy remaining sluggish and jobs scarce, there’s never been more pressure to succeed at work. And with technology making it easier than ever to access your work from anywhere, you’re always on call for emergencies. So how do you manage to maintain high productivity levels while also tending to all of life’s other responsibilities? The answer lies in these six habits!
Be proactive, not reactive
Peter Daisyme is a successful businessman and has been able to achieve his goals by not letting emails dictate how he spends the day. His advice for business professionals: set aside time in your schedule, but don’t let those plans be dictated solely by phone calls or email messages. Be sure that you have an agenda at the beginning of each workday so that you can better stick with it as things come up throughout the day (phone call, meeting request).
Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks
A recent study found that only 17% of people were able to accurately gauge the passage of time. This means most people can’t tell you how long they spend on tasks like email, social media, and word processing with any certainty – unless they use a helpful tool that tracks hours in real-time.
Follow the “two-minute rule”
Steve Olenski, a content strategist online says that he has become influential by implementing the two-minute rule. He recommends everyone do what they know can be completed in less than two minutes immediately rather than having to get back to it later. According to Steve’s experience, this approach actually saves you time because completing tasks right away takes “less” time than getting back at them later on.
Just say no to meetings
Meetings are one of the biggest time-sucks around, yet somehow we continue to unquestioningly book them. When people think about how much they don’t like meetings, few would blame scheduling another meeting for an event that could have been handled by email or a phone conversation with no need to be present in person at all – it’s just so easy and tempting!
But beware: Meetings seem productive on paper but can actually burn through your workday instead of helping you get ahead when done wrong. 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 may take less than 5 minutes), or Web-based video.
It is better for your productivity to focus on one task at a time instead of trying to do several things in the same amount of time. It’s much more difficult and takes up more brainpower when you have too many tasks going, which can result in lost efficiency as opposed to multitasking with another project while working on this one.
Have a Reliable Internet Connection
The answer: very important.
In fact, you can’t work from home unless your internet connection is good enough for the job at hand.
And if that sounds like an obvious statement, then consider this: most people who are working remotely aren’t doing so because they want to – they’re forced into it by their employer or client.
So how do we know what kind of bandwidth and speed will be needed when we start telecommuting full-time? How much data should I plan on downloading each day? What about streaming video content? And how long does it take to download one song? These questions and more need answers before anyone can say with any certainty whether or not they’ll be able to work effectively while remote. The most important thing is that you don’t have many internet outages and if you do, know how to resolve them.
Take exercise breaks
Research from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has found that work time can be used to exercise for improved productivity. For those who are able, set times during the week should be built-in for a walk or visit to the gym; this will help clear your head and get you focused again.
Ditch digital devices
We all spend our days staring at some form of screen. While heavy computer use might be part of your job, digital devices can distract you from what’s really important and social media platforms like Facebook could even hurt your health. Improve work efficiency by stepping away for a moment to write during meetings or try recording important data so you can review later —you’ll find that on whole life will flow more freely than before!
If you feel the need to increase your productivity levels, try incorporating these six habits into your routine. Not only will you see an increase in the quality of work produced but also in happiness and satisfaction with life.