● By Mel Sim
Get serious, get busy and get focused.
Feel like there are never enough hours in a day to do the things you need done? It’s not an issue about time but instead how you use it. Whether you realise it or not, some of the things you do at work are actually time wasters, which lead to work piling up and you feeling overloaded. The solution? Amp up your productivity. How? These 10 proven hacks.
#1 Declutter your workspace
A messy table is guaranteed to make you feel flustered, all over the place and in complete chaos. Which is why it is important to keep your workspace neat and organised so that your mind is the same as well, allowing you to focus on your tasks ahead instead of on the mess.
#2 Do the tough task first
That one task you’ve been procrastinating on and constantly at the back of your mind? Tell yourself you will get it done today. Not only do you get to tick it off your checklist but you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulder, making you more energetic and eager to get going.
#3 Turn of email notifications
You’re busy writing your report and then, ping! An email comes in. What do you do? Stop working on that report and reply the email. Imagine if 10 emails landed in your inbox within 30 minutes. There’s no chance you’ll ever finish that report. The smart thing successful people do? They turn off their email notifications if they want to concentrate on a task without any disruption and go back to their emails only when the task is completed.
#4 Take short breaks
Yups – you better believe it, taking regular breaks that have nothing to do with your work can make a huge difference to your productivity level. Research shows that your productivity diminishes the longer you go without a break. Go on, take a short coffee break and come back to tackle your work later.
#5 Write down your goals for the day
At the start of every day, do this: Write down what you want to accomplish on a piece of paper, stick it up next to your computer, and return to it regularly during the day. You need your list to be clearly visible from your desk so that you can constantly check in for a reminder. Prioritise your goals and tackle the important things or the easy ones first.
#6 Do one thing at a time
Think multitasking is a good skill to have at work? Think again. You’re better off focusing on just one task and getting it done before you move on to the next. Trying to multitask takes your concentration away, hurting your productivity more than it helps.
#7 Complete all five-minute tasks
If you can do something in five minutes or less, do it right away instead of waiting for the end of the day to get it done. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can go through your to-do list.
#8 Schedule a power hour
Dedicate one hour per work day to get as much done as you can. Give it your 100% focus so no phone calls, no emails, no walking around, no chatting. Just get right to work. How successful people maximise this power hour? They schedule it first thing in the morning so that when it is up, they’ve completed a lot and feel even more motivated to keep going.
#9 Look at something red or blue
Did you know that blue helps you focus while red is great to increase performance on detail-oriented tasks? In fact, white – the colour of most offices – are said to be bad for productivity. So do your productivity a favour and add these pops of colours to your workspace. Another successful productivity hack? Go with plants – they help you be less stressed, more attentive and more productive.
#10 Put your phone on silent
Like email notifications, Facebook and Instagram notifications suck focus out of your day. So it’s best to keep your phone on silent and to turn off notifications until after work or during your break.
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