Winning at Work: How to Boost Your Personal Productivity
The first step in increasing your productivity is to know how you spend your time. You should invest two or three days to track your time and the way you spend it. Ideally, you should pause every hour or two and tabulate how much time you’ve spent on particular tasks. Identify the activities that consume the greatest amounts of your time. You may be surprised by the percentage of your time that is unrelated to school and/or work. Next is to only touch things once. You need to decide the first time you touch it, that is open an email or listen to a voice mail, that you are either going to take action now, delegate it, or delete it. You should set specific times in the day when you’ll check and tend to emails, texts, and voice mails. By turning off notifications, you can wait to respond to your messages to when it is your set time for these types of tasks. You will want to take regular breaks. Plan your work in 90-minute intervals and then recharge with a walk, music, or a brief chat to improve your concentration and boost productivity. Finally, see if some of the time you currently spend playing video games or connecting on social media can be reallocated to work activities. If you have time that you can use more productivity, save your social media or gaming time to set times of the day.
- Do you work better in the morning or at night? How can you best structure your time to take advantage of the hours when you are most productive?
- What type of break helps you maintain productivity? Do you prefer time being alone or with others when you take a productivity break?
- How does background noise impact your productivity? Would you rather work in a busy office or coffee shop or in a quiet place away from others?