Is there anything more frustrating than facing a long to-do list of work tasks and having a hard time getting anything off the ground? In a working world where our days are crammed with tasks and tight deadlines, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and less productive when there’s too much to do. Distractions, interruptions, and stress get in the way of us being as productive as we’d like, as do organizational tasks, such as searching, renaming, or sharing files. How many times have you felt frustrated because you were stuck with repetitive, organizational tasks that kept you from tackling bigger, more interesting projects? How often have you felt you could improve your productivity?
Of course, there are ways to become more time-efficient at work, but sometimes being productive isn’t just about using your time wisely but about getting in the right mindset. Increasing your productivity at work is also about finding ways to stay energized and motivated enough to stay focused throughout the day, and ultimately being fulfilled and satisfied with your work life.
Starting the workday with a long list of tasks can be as intimidating as glancing at a mountain top before a climb. It is easy to feel pressured and discouraged when faced with a daunting list of tasks you need to accomplish in a day. The trick to overcoming this fear is to break the list down and take it one task at a time. Be in the moment. Focus on one goal at a time. For example, start the day by getting through your emails. Do not think of what should come up next while you’re still opening your emails. In other words, do not multitask and answer emails while also checking your Slack messages and checking new content coming in from the production team while studying the budget file. While multitasking can often seem like a good idea at first, it often brings your productivity to a halt, making it impossible for you to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. Set small, achievable goals and tackle them one at a time, and you’ll reap the rewards and feel productive and good about yourself!
Prioritizing goes hand in hand with setting small, achievable goals for yourself. When you have a long list of tasks to handle, it is hard to decide what to do first and what to leave for last. Some prefer to take on the most important tasks first (in the morning), and leave smaller, easier bits for the afternoon, while others prefer doing things the other way around. The trick here is to understand how you function and identify your productivity/energy peaks throughout the day. Are you a morning person? Then get to the big projects as soon as you turn on your computer. Are you more productive in the afternoon? Then spend your morning getting organized and answering emails, and block time in the afternoon for your bigger projects, when you know your creative juices flow best.
Yes, thinking that you can spend an entire day working without interruptions might look like wishful thinking. From urgent requests to incoming messages needing immediate feedback, it is often hard to stay productive and do as much as you originally planned when you are constantly distracted. Luckily there are ways to limit interruptions when you want to focus. The first trick is to turn off email and instant messaging notifications. Block yourself some focus time on your Google Calendar to discourage teammates from inviting you to meetings. Alternatively, you can set your status as “busy” on your different communication tools and channels. Just like work interruptions can get in the way of your focus time, getting rid of non-professional distractions are just as crucial to increasing productivity at work. It is so tempting to procrastinate by checking your social media accounts, reading the news, or browsing the web in search of your next holiday destination. Resist the temptation to take care of your personal errands by setting yourself time away from your phone. Start slow, 20 minutes to begin with, and gradually increase the time spent away from your phone, and see how your productivity improves as a result.
You heard us right! Believe it or not, allowing yourself regular breaks can do wonders for your productivity. For every hour of work, take 10 minutes for yourself. Going for a short walk or doing something away from your screen can do wonders for your productivity, as it can help you refill your energy tank and come back ready to do more, better. On the other hand, if you keep working for 8 hours straight without a single break, you will run out of energy sooner. As a result, you might waste more time either procrastinating or being simply unable to function at full capacity. Take a break, and come back better prepared to do your most productive and inspired work.
Another big block to our productivity is the little tasks that are time-consuming, repetitive, and eventually exhausting. How often do you find yourself stuck renaming hundreds of files or searching for images? Do you ever spend hours or afternoons filing, organizing, and tidying up folders and deleting, and moving things around, while telling yourself you could use this time more productively? Fortunately, there are tools built to help you automate some of the more mundane tasks. For example, for your visual assets, BOOM Worksite makes it possible for you to multi-select files to share or publish them with dedicated links in just a few minutes. Worksite also tags visual asset files, making it easier for you to find them in mere seconds just by typing keywords in the platform’s search engine. Moreover, files are organized in a centralized library, making it easy for your team members to access them, without needing a middle person in charge of sharing, publishing, organizing, or renaming files one by one. Automating organization makes it possible for you to save your energy and do more productive and interesting work.
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