With the holidays just around the corner it is not unusual for productivity at work to fall at the end of the year. However, you can help yourself stay on track by making a few small changes. It is important not to let your focus drift in order to complete your tasks in the quickest way possible whilst also doing a good job.
Make your goals small– As the saying goes success creates success, but sometime your goals don’t allow you to create this drive. However, you can manage your goals better by breaking them down into smaller parts and work through these parts bit by bit. Making your goals smaller has a number of benefits.
- Easier to begin – The hardest part of achieving any goal is to begin it. Often a goal can be a large project that at the start may seem overwhelming or unachievable and as a result beginning this project will be significantly more difficult than if you were to break it down and start with a small target that will be easily attainable.
- Help create pattern of success – If you start the day with a huge to do list and at the end of the day only have a couple of things ticked off, you go home feeling as though you have accomplished nothing. If on the other hand you break your goals down into smaller parts, your list will be full of smaller parts that can be completed in much less time and as a result more items will be crossed of the list. If you continue to do this, you will create a pattern of leaving working feeling happier with your contribution to the organisation every day.
- Set you up to achieve the bigger goals – Every small task you complete gets you one step closer to completing the overall goal. When you create smaller goals or tasks, they should lead up to bigger goals, it is important to do this in such a way that enables you to experience consistent progress and celebrate your achievements.
Use your headphones! – When you are working in a n office that has an open floor plan, headphones can be a huge help if you need to stay focused. Research has shown that if you listen to music while you work you will complete tasks faster than you normally would. However, this is not the case with all music so be careful when choosing what to listen to. Generally, music without lyrics with a simple structure is the best type of music to listen to in these situations, as other music could be a potential distraction.
You don’t even necessarily need to be listening to music whilst wearing your headphones! The more focused you are, the more productive you will be. However, it can be hard to stay focused and keep up the flow when you have co-workers coming up to your desk to chat. By simply wearing headphones, you are sending out a do not disturb message to your co-workers and can stop them from interrupting your work.
Avoid Multitasking – Often we try to take care of a number of tasks at the same time, especially if they are small or seem easy to complete. However according to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller, “multitasking is not humanly possible”. We all have a limited number of thoughts we can hold in our brain at one time. Your brain may fool itself into thinking it can do more however it is actually working extra hard to deal with multiple thoughts at the same time when you are moving back and forth between different tasks. If you focus on just one task at a time you will get through the tasks faster.
Hit the gym – Research has show that exercise can have a hugely positive effect on your productivity such as a 41% increase in your motivation, 22% increase in finishing work on time and a 21% increase in concentration. Just half an hour a day can improve your productivity.
Even though you want to get as many tasks as possible completed and in the quickest way possible, it is important that you only focus on one task at a time, otherwise this could slow you down. It is also essential to block out any distractions that may come your way and disturb your flow.
Korkki, P. (2018) How to Make the Most of Your Workday [Online] https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/how-to-improve-your-productivity-at-work
Stahl, A. (2018) 5 Ways To Increase Your Productivity At Work [Online] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/06/28/5-ways-to-increase-your-productivity-at-work/#369a27102138
Borysenko, K (2018) Three Ways To Keep Your Productivity High At The End Of The Year [Online] https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2018/11/23/three-ways-to-keep-your-productivity-high-at-the-end-of-the-year/#28023ca2471d