After being interrupted, it can take some people up to 23 minutes to refocus again. Additionally, the average employee is interrupted every three minutes. That’s a lot of lost time, and it can make for a less productive day.
However, there are many ways to be more productive, whether at the office or at home. From minimizing distractions to time management, read on to discover three of the most effective tips.
1. Prioritize Your List of Tasks
The first step in achieving a productive day is to list all of your tasks and then prioritize them in order of importance. Many people try to accomplish smaller tasks first to feel more productive, but that can backfire, as many of these are less important jobs.
Rather, focus on the most important item on your to-do list. Don’t put it off. Once you complete it, you’ll feel an instant sense of relief and motivation to immediately tackle another important task.
Once you’ve completed the worst jot, the rest of your workday will feel far less stressful.
This technique is commonly known as “eating the frog,” and it comes from a Mark Twain quote that essentially says that if you have to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. That way, your day can’t get any worse.
2. Learn to Communicate
Communication is key if you want to work together as a team and avoid misunderstandings. We often reach bottlenecks in the process while waiting on a response from a co-worker or supervisor.
An employee may send an email requiring a response, but the recipient might be in a meeting and unable to answer. Cluttered email inboxes can also mean losing important messages. If this is a problem, here are some helpful tips for organizing your inbox.
While you can’t change how quickly someone responds, you can decide what to do with your time as you wait. Use this time to work on your next most important job.
You can also set up an automated message that sends if you’re unavailable. Include helpful information, such as who else they can reach out to, a link to company guidelines for basic questions, or a phone number to call if it’s urgent.
3. Start Time Blocking
There are rarely enough hours during the day to accomplish everything on your list. However, there is always enough time to tackle the most challenging and important tasks.
The best way to manage your schedule is to start time blocking so you can focus on what’s important.
Most people waste time checking emails or chatting with co-workers rather than setting aside a block of time to focus on a particular task. For instance, you might set aside a chunk of time from 8 am – 9:30 am to work on a client proposal. Afterward, you can take a short break, no more than 15 minutes, and then focus on the next task.
Devote all your time and energy to that one task and minimize distractions. Some people wear headphones, but you might also place a sign on your desk or tell co-workers that stop to chat that you have to focus.
Start Having a Productive Day
Use these tips to start having a more productive day, and you’ll see your stress levels decrease and your efficiency skyrocket. Anyone can use these productivity hacks to manage their day and accomplish more.
If you’re interested in learning more tips on office productivity, be sure to read some of our other business posts! We cover all the latest on tech, marketing, and more.