Regardless of how much you love your job, there will be instances when you’ll end the day unproductive.
And while it’s common to be in this state every now and then, being unproductive all the time will prevent you from meeting deadlines and goals.
It can also cause stress and conflict. Over time, unproductivity causes you to lose your job.
If you’ve been unproductive at work most of the time, you should know the root cause before solving the problem.
Unproductivity is caused by many different reasons, making every employee in a workplace vulnerable to it. Fortunately, there are ways on how you can regain focus at work and become productive again.
Incorporate the following productivity ideas into your daily routine:
1. Use the Right Tools
Being productive has become easier because you can now choose among the best productivity apps and use them to your advantage whenever you’re working.
Regardless of the scope of your job, there will always be online and offline tools available to make your life easier. One of the easiest ways to improve your productivity at work is to maximize the right tools.
Aside from showing all of your tasks on one page or screen, these tools also allow you to communicate with your team members and monitor their progress on specific projects.
Some of the Most Common Tools You Should Use Are:
- Communication tools: These tools are utilized for real-time chats, video conferencing, and customer service engagement. Communication tools are necessary for every business, especially if you’re working with remote employees.
- Task management tools: You’ll need task management tools to assign projects to your team members and determine their progress. These tools are also necessary for listing your own and your team’s to-do list and ensuring no one will have the same tasks under the same project.
- Time tracking tools: If you’re assigned a managerial or supervisory role in a company, time tracking tools are essential because these will help you monitor your team’s productivity and attendance.
2. Never Multitask
It’s very common for employees to multitask—thinking that this will allow them to tick off more responsibilities on their to-do list.
However, this rarely happens because multitasking can result in busywork, which means that you’re doing a lot of tasks yet accomplish nothing. The act of switching from one task to another can also drain your brain fast.
If you want to be productive at work, never multitask. Instead, focus on working and completing one task at a time.
Single-tasking is an effective way to be productive at work because it conserves energy, increases commitment, and promotes self-discipline. It’ll also be easier for you to ward off distractions if you focus on one task at a time.
You can single-task at work by silencing your phone and closing your email so you can easily focus on the task at hand.
You can also try the Pomodoro Technique, wherein you’re expected to take a five-minute break for every 25 minutes of work.
3. Organize Your Workstation
The overall look of your workstation can affect your ability to focus and remain productive at work. Studies have proven that a cluttered workstation can also negatively affect your ability to take in information and focus.
Moreover, having too much clutter can increase your levels of anxiety and stress.
Another simple yet effective way of improving your productivity at work is to make sure that your workstation is organized and clutter-free.
You can do this by putting essential items for daily use on top of your desk and storing everything else in drawers.
You should also have a filing system to sort documents efficiently and a trash can nearby for easy disposal.
Having an organized and cluttered-free workstation requires commitment, so clean your space regularly and get rid of items you don’t need.
Ideally, you should start fresh in every project and never keep items and documents from previous projects.
4. Take Regular Breaks
Regardless of how urgent your tasks are, you should never force yourself to finish everything in one sitting. Doing this will only take a toll on your mental capacity and become the reason for half-baked outputs.
Taking regular breaks is important if you want to boost your productivity at work.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, taking breaks at work can actually help you process and retain more information, increase your creativity, and allow you to refocus on your work.
If your job includes physical labor, taking regular breaks can also reduce your risks of injuries.
In taking breaks the ‘right’ way, you have to take them every 52 minutes and strive to spend some time outdoors during your breaks.
If you can’t go outside to enjoy nature, bring plants to your workstation as these are known to alleviate stress, boost creativity, and increase productivity.
5. Prepare A To-Do List Every Night
You’ll have to accomplish a lot of tasks at work every single day. However, these tasks can become too overwhelming to the point of confusion—plus, it can be challenging to organize tasks based on levels of priority.
Figuring out which tasks are more important than the other can lead to mental exhaustion and prevent you from accomplishing anything.
If you want to start your day on the right foot and ensure that you stay productive all the time, prepare a to-do list every night.
These lists are essential productivity aids to ensure that you spend your day right and accomplish the most urgent tasks.
Depending on your preferences, you can use a pen and paper or app in formulating your to-do list. Make sure that the tasks in your list have due dates and it’s best to limit yourself to five tasks every day.
When you have a to-do list the night before, you won’t have to waste any time looking around your desk the following morning. Through this, you can immediately roll up your sleeves and start working right away!
Being productive at work doesn’t happen overnight.
Following all of the tips in this article for a day won’t immediately make you a stellar employee—you need to start small and remain consistent with your efforts to see results.
While this can be a challenging feat as an employee, your determination will also help you achieve your goals later on.