How to Be Super Productive (So You Have More Time for the Good Stuff)
Posted on 06/03/2013
Have you ever noticed that the guy who seems to do literally nothing in his cubicle all day somehow manages to get everything done? He takes extra long coffee breaks, goes out to lunch, takes walks around the office, always has time to catch up with coworkers and still gets his stuff done on time. To be honest, you kind of hate him. But more than that, you want what he has: effortless productivity.
Unbeknownst to you however, it’s hardly effortless. He has a system. And we’re prepared to give you some quick tips on how to contend with him.
1. Prioritize three things you want to get done today. Don’t leave until they are.
2. Manage time wasters—limit the ones that don’t energize you. (A walk around the office? Yay. A 20-minute Facebook break? Nay.)
3. Say no. Focus on what you need to get done before taking on someone else’s favors.
4. Play motivational, upbeat music when you feel yourself starting to drag. (Cue the Rocky soundtrack).
5. Take breaks. Refocus for 5 minutes every so often to ensure you’re working at your highest level.
6. Eliminate distractions when you are working. Put your phone away (turning it on vibrate doesn’t count), turn off email notifications and make sure that Facebook tab is closed.
7. Find your most productive time of day. Some people are ready and raring to go at 6 A.M. Not for you? No worries. Optimize your work schedule according to when you work best.
8. Sleep. It sounds simple enough—but we know that some of you will try to skimp whenever possible. Try to get in your 8 hours.
9. Set some exciting goals. These are what will truly motivate you.
10. Avoid multitasking. Your mom was right it isn’t really productive. Focus on one thing at a time (“monotasking” as it’s called) to maximize the quality of your work.
11. Delegate responsibilities if you’re overloaded. Don’t be afraid to ask for help—the best leaders are the ones who know when to collaborate.
12. If your attention wanes, allow yourself to move onto other tasks.
13. Follow this wonderful schedule as laid out by Lifehack.org:
Monday: Ignore the unimportant
Tuesday: Reward yourself after completing small tasks
Wednesday: Purge the unnecessary off your to-do list
Thursday: Reuse past strategies to meet deadlines
Friday: Ask for help
14. Bunch tasks—group similar activities and do them at the same time.
15. Answer your emails and voicemails three times daily. (First thing in the morning, right after you eat lunch and before you leave for the day.)
16. Utilize technology. Hundreds of apps are available to help limit distractions and keep you focused; give it a Google and be amazed.
17. Swap out coffee for water—staying hydrated will help alleviate stress, and while it’s tempting to get a caffeine buzz you risk crashing later.
18. Get some fresh air. It keeps you healthy and clears your system of bacteria. (You don’t want to be the office sniffler, do you?)
19. Create a pleasant workspace. Clear the clutter and add something that smells nice, reminds you of home, motivates you or inspires you.
And most importantly:
20. Try to enjoy each day at work.