Some days it could be overwhelming to stare at the stack of papers needed to be processed or project folders sitting at your desk “screaming” at you.
Beware of reactive behavior
It doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to tackle these tasks. Soon, you start jumping from one reactive behavior to the next one, from one interruption to an email. This takes your concentration away throughout the day making it difficult for you to complete projects and therefore decreasing your productivity factor.
What can you do to complete everything on your plate?
Taking a vacation or the day off is tempting but it will lead to more procrastination.
One solution is to identify and adopt new habit to increase productivity factor. Consider the following six new effective habits.
Know what to do first
Don’t spend time staring at your things to do or how many emails you have received. Spend 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of your day organizing your work in batches. This is a simple and effective way to increase productivity. Once you have grouped your tasks, prioritize and identify the most important projects.
Divide and Conquer
It could be overwhelming to take over a complicated assignment. Break you work to smaller manageable tasks first. Look at what tasks are the essential ones and try to eliminate tasks that perhaps are unnecessary. Then integrate other tasks into main tasks and set a dateline. This forces you to avoid procrastination and create a sense of accomplishment each time you reach a milestone while working towards your goal.
Working at the right time
There are morning and night people out there. A recent survey indicates that 57 percent of executives are more productive on Tuesdays. Schedule the most important tasks and/or projects for days and times when you can have the highest productivity factor. For example; if you are a morning person don’t allow any interruptions during the first part of your morning. Focus and use this productive time to your advantage. Focus and concentrate until these small tasks have been completed during the early morning.
Use Email efficiently
Constantly going through an ever expanding inbox full of unorganized email can become a time consuming task. Instead of checking email constantly, turn off the reactive behavior by checking emails twice or three times per day. Use your inbox as a process tray. Create an archive folder that you will use to move emails you have dealt with. In your inbox, keep emails that need to be processed or need a response from a coworker before you can reply back.
Always think in bulk and anticipate your recipient’s answers. For example, if you receive three different emails from different coworkers that are involved in the same project, wait until most related emails have arrive (usually during the afternoon) and write one email directing each person into what to do. Have sections separated be the parties and sub parties involved that include actions to take for any possible questions and provide with anticipated answers.
Remember that sometimes is faster and better to pick up the phone for certain activities such as coordinating complex activities. The less email you send, the less you are apt to receive.
Close your door
Set boundaries whenever it comes to give access to coworkers. Establish office hours at your cubicle or office to avoid interruptions. This is especially important when you are under a tight deadline or working on an assignment. If necessary, you could hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign in you cubicle.
Get Fresh Air
Recharge and clear your head by taking short breaks throughout the day. Changing the scene of your cubicle and moving around can be invigorating from your routine and helps you get the energy necessary to tackle the next task.