Some days at work, it seems time flies and you don’t have much to show for your efforts at the end of the day.
These low-productivity days can be maddening and are often the result of not having good habits. Consider the following strategies if you’re looking to boost your productivity and reduce the number of days when you feel you are spinning your wheels.
Start each day with a strategy
If you don’t start each day with a strategy, you may end up spending hours reacting to other people’s priorities that are thrust upon you, as opposed to having a set agenda. Therefore, spend at least 10 minutes figuring out your checklist for the day and what you will need to accomplish each item.
Also, it helps to start each morning with some healthy habits, like a good breakfast and some physical activity. Healthy habits can provide you with more energy for the day, helping you get more done in the afternoon.
Use a planner/ diary/ checklist
Once you’ve developed your agenda for the day, don’t just commit it to memory – write it down. There’s nothing wrong with using a list or daily planner. In fact, some of the most successful people in the world make a habit of using one. Business icon Richard Branson noted in his autobiography that his notebook is his most vital possession.
If using a pencil and paper is too bulky or difficult to keep track of, there are plenty of free notepad and checklist apps you can install on your smartphone.
Consider the 80/20 rule
The Pareto principle is an economic rule of thumb that says 80 percent of business results come from 20 percent of efforts. Conversely, 80 percent of efforts results in just 20 percent of results.
Therefore, by focusing on the results-producing 20 percent of your efforts you can be more productive than spending time on the other 80 percent. Identify your “20 percent” activities and your “80 percent” activities. Then, focus on diminishing or eliminating as many activities as you can from your 80-percent group.
Tackle the big stuff first
Putting off the most challenging stuff on your plate makes it more likely it won’t get done. We tend to get mentally and physically drained by the end of the day, so why save the hardest stuff for then?
Instead, handle the hardest tasks first and hit the softballs at the end of the day.
Technology makes it tempting to multi-task. However, studies show that multi-tasking only provides the illusion of being more productive, as this approach leads to tasks taking longer to complete and a greater chance of errors being made.
Our brains are made to focus on one thing at a time, so don’t fight your brain!
At SSI, we support our contract workers after they are placed and support them in being as productive as possible. If you are currently looking to partner with an employment firm that provides a robust level of support, please contact us today.