We all wish we had more hours in the day to get things done. If you only had two more hours to finish paperwork, or an extra 15 minutes to return customer calls, then maybe we could finally get ahead. Sound familiar? Oh, the things we would do if we only had the time!
There is no way to add time to the clock, unfortunately. But there are some easily overlooked ways to improve work productivity, like to:
Wait on Emails
Do you find yourself pulled away from tasks throughout the day because of incoming emails? How many of those are actually so important that they could not have waited a few minutes? The stop-and-go mentality of email checking is a time waster. Check your emails on a schedule, say five minutes at the beginning of each hour, and keep the notification light on your smartphone hidden away while you are busy with other things.
A cluttered workspace, physical or digital, will hurt your productivity. Did you know the average worker spends 30 minutes of every work day searching for important emails? That’s 10 hours every month that workers could have back if they just had a better organization system for emails. The same concept applies to physical desk space. Don’t let emails or paperwork pile up; develop and maintain an organization system then stick with it.
It’s a fact that people who exercise regularly are more productive in the office and have higher levels of alertness. Workers with a fitness regimen also take less sick days on average. An active lifestyle will keep you motivated and feeling great in personal and professional arenas.
Keep a traditional datebook, or just create a to-do list in a notebook so you can check off tasks as they are completed. The act of writing something down reminds you of its importance and gives you a quick visual cue of your work priorities. There are also many list applications for smartphones and tablets that work well.
Take Time Off
This may seem counter intuitive but everyone needs a little break from the demands of work once in a while. Not only does time off work rejuvenate you physically but it also provides a way to mentally recharge. You will return to your desk refreshed and ready to take on new tasks and ideas.
Even saving a few seconds here and there will make an impact long term. Find ways to maximize the time that you already have and it will mean higher productivity and lower work-related stress.