On an average working day do you often find yourself chatting to friends online? Scrolling through strangers instagram feeds? Doing quizzes to find out ‘what type of cheese are you?’ Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. While 20 years ago the most entertaining thing at your desk was watching a rogue bug make it’s journey from one side to another; in today’s society we are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of online entertainment. And while this definitely has its benefits, it is making it more and more difficult to spend your working day productively.
So how do you look past the distractions and spend your work day actually working? Forbes magazine tackled this topic in a recent article and came up with 5 key ways to increase your productivity at work.
- Stop multitasking – while so many of us proudly call ourselves ‘great multi-taskers’ according to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller, multitasking is not humanly possible. So focus your mind on one task at a time, it’ll help you get through them all much faster.
- Take breaks – we don’t work well when we’re burned out. Regular breaks help with concentration and boost your mood. So take a walk, go get a coffee or make a cup of tea; anything to get you up and about.
- Set smaller goals – instead of looking at one huge daunting task, break it up into smaller parts. It will seem much less scary and give you little benchmarks to motivate you along the way.
- Know when you’re the most alert – some of us wake up ready to go then crash by 3 o’clock, others take all morning to wake up and only mentally arrive at work at 2pm. Everyone’s different, so take some time to gauge when you’re at your most productive and use that time to tackle the bigger jobs for the day.
- Implement the 2 minute rule – every working day has tiny windows of unused time scattered throughout, whether you’re waiting for a meeting to start or waiting for a room to become available. Utilising these 2 minute windows to get your smaller tasks out of the way is a great time saver. If it takes less than 2 minutes – do it now!