Got a never ending to-do list? Struggling with procrastination? Just want to achieve more during your work day? Try these 7 simple habits to get more done at work.
Whether you’ve got a problem with procrastinating or your frustrated at your level of productivity, despite knowing you have the same 24 hours as Beyonce, these tips will help. And you won’t need Beyonce’s entourage, bank balance or even her incredibly high self-discipline to implement them.
- 7 habits to get more things done at work
- Resources we recommend:
- Listen to The Simplifiers Podcast
- Send Mary a voicemail to get featured!
7 habits to get more things done at work
1. Stop trying to multi-task – focus on one task at a time.
Science has proven that multi-tasking just doesn’t work. Stop trying to make it a thing! You’re much better off concentrating on one task at a time. When you do this, you will find you are more efficient, more focused, and less stressed.
Want to take it one step further? Batch your tasks. Put similar types of tasks that require similar types of brain power or actions together. For example, separate all brainstorming and creative work from replying to emails or financial admin. It’s easier to get tasks done when you’re already in the right mindset and flow.
2. Start time blocking.
Schedule into your calendar when you’re going to do specific types of work. Don’t just write a to-do list. This helps keep you accountable because you’ve set times. Maybe every Tuesday from 9-10am you work on bookkeeping. Brilliant! Make it a set task in your weekly routine to help you chip away at it. Plus by doing this, you limit decision making fatigue because you always know what you’re meant to be working on.
Technology has made us easy to contact at all times. How often do you receive an email, call or WhatsApp message that needs an urgent response? Now think about how often you get interrupted or distracted by people who could wait?
Consider setting an automated response on your email account so people know how long they should expect to wait for a response. Turn off any notifications on your laptop for emails, Slack or other apps.
You can even tell other members of your team which hours you will be unavailable so they know not to wander over to your desk and instead, they can talk to you at a more suitable time. It’s like setting “Office Hours” for yourself. (That last one is something Mary does with our team and it works well for us!)
4. Regularly Marie Kondo your workspace.
You might think that tidying up and de-cluttering is just another procrastination activity. But if you’re tidying your workspace, it will have a noticeable impact on your mind.
Having a clear desk with minimal distractions is great for getting you in the right mindset, motivating you to work. Chaos and mess is obviously not. My workspace tends to reflect my mental headspace. Tidy desk = tidy mind.
5. Keep your phone out of sight.
This is one I’ve been testing out recently and it was unexpectedly effective.
There’s been lots of research over the years proving that even small distractions like notifications can have a significant negative impact on our ability to focus and get work done.
But it’s so much worse than that.
A 2017 study has shown that simply the presence of your phone will reduce your productivity. And that’s even if it’s completely switched off and you’re actively ignoring it.
Easy and fast solution? Put your phone in a drawer or another room when you’re trying to focus on a task. Get the work done and then come back to your beloved “precious.”
6. Pay attention to your body and set your schedule to work with it.
Stop fighting your body – work with it to get more done at work.
If you are more focused in the morning, schedule in difficult, brain heavy tasks for then. Need a bit of time to get going? Start off with easy wins like small admin tasks. Always get a post lunch slump? Switch up your food options, go for a walk, or give yourself easier tasks to complete.
If you work for yourself – set your own schedule. Remember, you are in control here!
Take a short power nap in the afternoons if it works for you. Take mornings off and work later in the day if that suits you better. Don’t feel like you have to work the way other people do.
7. Kick off every day with a plan
It might sound obvious, but there are a lot of us out there that jump straight into the day without taking some (unhurried) time out to actually think through what we’re doing each day. This just leads to a messy day with lots of decision making at irregular intervals.
Personally, I like to look at my calendar in order to plan my to-do list and schedule the night before, but early in the morning would work, too. To avoid overwhelm and having to make constant decisions through the day, take the time to make a plan. Even 10 minutes each day will help you tremendously stay on target.
Get more done at work by using this time to prioritize tasks and work out what you should be focusing on next. Not only will you reduce anxiety, but you’ll feel in control, confident, and you’ll save time, giving you structure to your day. All things you need when you want to boost productivity!
Resources we recommend:
Listen to The Simplifiers Podcast
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