Feel like you’re spinning your wheels on workplace tasks? Find a direction and get more done in your workweek by following these simple and practical tips. Soon, you’ll be plowing through workplace projects faster and with fewer distractions.
Distraction is the best way to get less done each workweek. From email to coworker questions, many distractions compete for your attention each workday. Reduce these distractions by establishing standards when you need focus time. For example, ask colleagues to avoid asking you questions when you’re working on time sensitive projects. While working on those projects, sign out of email, instant messaging and other communication channels. By reducing distractions, you can work faster with fewer frustrations.
Burnout is a major hindrance to workplace productivity. Rather than plowing through each day’s projects, take a few breaks each day. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks help to reset your mind and provide the time needed to return to a project with a fresh perspective. Useful activities to do during workplace breaks include walking outdoors, reading the break room newspaper or chatting with coworkers in the break room.
Use the 80-20 Rule
According to 4 Ways to Make Your Workweek More Productive, you can improve workplace efficiency by adopting the 80-20 rule. This rule states that 80 percent of a project’s progress happens during the first 20 percent of effort put into it. When working on your next project, put the first burst of effort into it and then set the project aside. Revisit it a short time later and decide if it’s good enough to send off as is, or if more work is needed. Most times you’ll likely find that the work is done after the initial 20 percent of effort.
Contrary to the beliefs of some, multi-tasking doesn’t lead to more or better results. It can lead to the opposite outcome. You can only fully focus your attention on one task at a time. When you try to work on multiple projects at one time, you aren’t able to put your full attention into any job and to complete each project may take longer.
Instead, create a prioritized to-do list to focus on one project at a time through your workday. As each task is completed, mark it off the list and move on to your next project.
What do you hope to achieve at work today, this week and this month? Workplace goals keep your days on course and provide direction for your workplace activities. Achieving your daily assigned duties should naturally be included in your workplace goals. But you should also extend your goals beyond completing your assigned tasks. For example, if you strive to earn a promotion in the next year, set goals that can help you win the promotion.
Don’t spin your wheels at work. Instead, be more productive by reducing workplace distractions, by focusing on one task at a time and more. This increase in productivity may just be your ticket to a job promotion.