Efficiency at work
10 habits that improve your productivity
Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the work day to accomplish everything you want? Between the meetings, unforeseen tasks and endless emails, it is not always easy to be productive. Increase your efficiency at work, improve your focus and lower your stress by adopting these 10 good habits.
1. Set your priorities
Start by drawing up a list of all the tasks and projects you have to complete.
Rank them according to their degree of urgency (deadlines) and importance (impacts on the company): What is urgent isn’t always the most important, and vice versa. The items with the highest priority should be at the top of your list. Set deadlines for all your tasks so that they do not drag on. Don't hesitate to ask your manager for advice about which projects should be given priority. It is very likely that your manager also has a deadline for the tasks that need to be completed.
2. Plan your week
Based on your list of priorities, plan your schedule for the week and leave enough room for unforeseen events and interruptions. If you have difficulty estimating the time required by a task, such as making financial projections, divide it into sub-tasks. Is your schedule too full? Delegate some of your work to your co-workers or learn to say no when they offer you additional work.
3. Structure your meetings
Everyone knows that meetings often tend to drag on. To be more efficient, determine your goals in advance and set a period of time for each one, then take the last 5 minutes to summarize them. Provide the agenda in advance and send participants the relevant documents within a reasonable period of time so that they can read them.
4. Work in phases
Set realistic daily goals for yourself. Start your day with the most urgent and hardest tasks. Researchers say that it is more effective to work for 90 minutes and then switch to more routine tasks or take a break for about ten minutes. For example, focus on preparing financial statements and then check your e-mail before you dive back into them.
6. Take breaks
Giving your brain breaks so that it can regenerate is healthy and necessary. At lunchtime, avoid eating in front your computer: Take advantage of the break to take a walk outside for a few minutes instead. During the day, take small pre-scheduled breaks as rewards for your good work.
7. Limit e-mailing
Do you check your inbox every two minutes? Giving your e-mail so much time and attention harms your productivity. Consider scheduling specific times during the day when you will check your emails and answer them. If necessary, deactivate alerts for new messages.
8. Avoid multi-tasking
Trying to do several things at once often ends up costing you time and productivity. As much as possible, concentrate on one project at a time or group similar activities together. This will help you avoid the adjustment time involved in moving from one task to the next.
9. Turn off the notifications
There is nothing more distracting than seeing a continuous stream of text or social media notifications. During office hours, turn off notifications for counter-productive applications.
10. Prepare yourself for tomorrow
Review the next day before you leave work, either by checking your schedule or updating your list of tasks that need to be accomplished.