Tackle tough projects when you’re at your best
To be more productive immediately, choose to use your time when you’re most alert, most brilliant, and possibly most caffeinated to take on your most difficult projects. You probably already know when your work is the best it can be and when it’s just the bare minimum. Make sure to schedule the hardest projects for when you’re up to the task- and then some!
Schedule the easier work
Administrative tasks are easy time-wasters. Answering emails or catching up with coworkers can easily eat up your morning. Try doing those things at a set time and don’t deal with them outside of your schedule. This will allow you to be proactive, instead of wasting your time being reactive. Research has shown that it can take people an average of 23 minutes to recover from small and trivial interruptions, so be sure to mention to your coworker that you can catch up – later.
Take regular breaks
While it can appear to self-defeating, the truth is that to keep energy levels up and to keep your mind fresh, it’s important to take small breaks. Some research has shown that working in 90 minute intervals is the most ideal for maximum productivity, known as “strategic renewal”. Try working for 90 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. If that’s too much, shorten the time of work to an hour and readjust. There’s also the Pomodoro Technique, which is 25 minutes of straight work and then five minutes for a break. You may have to try a variety of different schedules to see what works for you. Some people have trouble with rigid work-break-work-break schedules and 25 minutes isn’t always enough for every task. If this isn’t for you, at least schedule short breaks for yourself to prevent mental and physical fatigue. For your most productive results, it’s important to keep your mind and attitude fresh.
No more multitasking
Being busy can feel like being productive. The truth is that it may be eating away all of your power reserves. The truth is only 2.5% of all people can actually multitask productively. The chances are that you and most of the people you know can’t multitask productively. Humans who try to multi-task increase their amount of cortisol, the stress hormone. A study at the University of London found that the stress of multitasking while performing cognitive tasks experienced significant IQ drops. That’s similar to those who skipped a whole night of sleep or who smoke marijuana. Switching from one thing to another repeatedly stresses your mind and your body, so try just doing one thing at a time. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll become.
Take care of yourself
It sounds obvious, but a junk diet will create a junk performance. Professional athletes know this, so they hire nutritionists. While you may not be scoring a touchdown at the Super Bowl any time soon, you’re still going for your own goals. Be ready mentally and physically with daily exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. Take your top performance over the top!
Are you trying to take control? Check out Steps to Take Control of Your Career
Do you need more tips to get promoted? Check out 5 Ways to Excel at Work to Get Promoted