It's Wednesday afternoon and the office has slowed to that mundane mid-week lull. Time almost stops and it occurs to you that there are so many more things you would've hoped to have checked off your to-do list by now. Instead of having an internal meltdown, fling on your super hero cape and snatch your to-do list by the neck. Now is the perfect time to create the kind of work day and job satisfaction that you've always dreamed of.
Here are the top 10 ways very effective people improve productivity, task management, motivation and success at work:
1.) Make Yourself a list
For those of you who prefer a more freestyle form of working this one may be a challenge however, we cannot stress enough the power of a good list. Whether you want to scrawl it onto some lined paper, jot it down on a post-it or type it ever so neatly into an app like Evernote, you just cant go wrong with a good old fashioned list. Write down everything you know you need to do, put it somewhere you can see or access easily. Having a list helps you keep track of your tasks and monitor progress, you can also try adding your deadlines to the list or colour coding certain tasks in order of importance. There is nothing quite as satisfying as putting a line through or tick in a box next to an item that you've completed.
2.) Go For A Walk, Get Some Fresh Air
Most people who work in an office will spend 60% of their waking hours sitting down according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. This is linked directly to a heightened risk of serious illness and decreased productivity. Going for a quick walk may seem counter-productive as it does take you away from your work, however it is a time investment worth making. A quick 10-15 minute walk can help blood circulation and improve brain function. It also helps you to relax and enjoy a change of scenery. If disappearing for a 15 minute walk isn't an option in your workplace, try taking your walk during your lunch break. Whatever it takes to avoid remaining stationary at your desk for the entire day.
3.) Create A Personal Plan
Sometimes it pays to spend some time plotting your next moves, a personal strategy is a powerful tool that helps you get to where you want to be. When working on tasks and projects you may have a basic plan created in collaboration with team members or handed down from senior management. A shared team plan need not inhibit your personal planning process and should in fact help you to fulfill and even surpass it. In your personal plan you want to set your own deadlines separate from the project deadlines. You can details resources you have access to, include full task lists and personal goals. This helps you preempt issues, tackles personal challenges before colleagues and senior management catch a whiff of them and improve your personal standards. If you are working in a competitive office environment this will no doubt enable you to stand out among your peers.
4.) Manage Your Time
We often find ourselves in the habit of simply working on one thing until its complete. This however, is not always the most productive way to work. Sometimes it is more beneficial to segment your time and dedicate specific chunks of time to specific projects. Varying your workload throughout the day helps you bring fresh energy to different areas of your task load and stay alert, it can also help you get through more in the same period of time.
5.) Listen to Feedback
Listening to feedback can be scary, however where your work is concerned it can make all the difference to your productivity. Whether you are senior management, mid-level or entry, you have a team of people around you whether it be colleagues, managers or even clients who you can ask for feedback. It may be terrifying at first to put yourself out there and you may have to take some harsh criticisms but be prepared and be gracious! It will massively improve the opinion of those you work with, your managers will be impressed with your maturity and dedication, your employees and clients will feel heard and valued and you, well you will be made so much better. More robust, empowered by greater understanding of your strengths and improved by better knowledge of your shortcomings. You can only get better from criticism and so it is never a bad thing.
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