Hectic days, involving high pressure, with so many activities waiting to be done, are the worst nightmare for any working individual. Everything goes ok at one time, but then, suddenly, you are stuck in place. Do you often wonder how to cope with your stressful full-time job?
How to use your time wisely and not burn out during the day? These are the problems that only high productivity, along with our positive attitude, can solve. Efficient use of our own resources leads to successfully done activities which, in the end, make us feel accomplished. The important things to memorize are focusing, planning and putting in effort. In order to change your ways you need to embrace new habits!
Here are some things you can improve or change in order to boost your efficiency:
1. Plan Your Activities in Advance and Create To-Do Lists
Nothing can make your life easier than putting things you have to do on paper. You can also use some of the popular both desktop and computer applications like Google Tasks, or To-do-list. If you have a lot of meetings during the day, it will be easier to update your list on-the-go with a help from your gadgets. Also more complex tasks should be divided into few more simple tasks so that you can complete them step by step. It would be helpful if you plan your tasks for the next day the night before. Just a simple goal setting and prioritizing the night before can give you much needed head start in the morning. You should also emphasize and mark crucial activities on your to-do list that need to be done for the next day. Your to-do list is your best helping hand you can get!
2. Arrive to Work Early
After a good night’s sleep, the other thing that will improve your performance is arriving at the office early. You will avoid the traffic jam, eat breakfast at your own pace and better prepare for your work-day. You can even stretch and do some simple exercises at your workplace – when no one is watching. Due to mornings without unnecessary stress, your efficiency throughout the day should improve drastically, and it can also make a big difference regarding your career.
3. Adopt 90-Minute Working Pattern
According to a research, individuals who work in intervals of 90 minutes are more productive than those who work more without a break. So for keeping your productivity on a high level you need to unplug every 90 minutes. Renew your energy every 90 minutes with a break, when you can have a healthy snack, go for a run or read the news. The brain is able to focus for 90 minutes without a need for a break. It is a cycle also happening during sleeping time called Ultradian Rhytm.
Catch your rhythm and improve yourself!
The Pomodoro technique – This time-management life hack can help you increase your efficiency, by splitting everything you need to do into a 25-minute working period and a 5-minute break period. Every chunk is called “Pomodoro” and after about 4 Pomodoros you should take a 15-minute break. Every Pomodoro you miss or you skip work by doing something else does not count and you need to start all over again. You can use the Pomodoro app to help you track your time and record the number of pomodoros you completed.
4. Avoid Distractions- Turn off the Buzz!
It is crucial to avoid distractions and be focused on things you have to do. It is the hardest thing to change. We are constantly distracted by social media, apps, messages, news, all kinds of notifications. Turn them off during working hours and dedicate yourself to your tasks. You probably won’t miss anything important, but will rather finish the things important for your career.
5. Keep your workplace clean, and stocked with supplies
Put your workplace in order so that you could relieve yourself from the pain of looking for things that are not where they are supposed to be. Unnecessary clutter brings these moments of discomfort for everyone. In order not to waste anymore work time, rearrange your office space and find a particular place for everything you need. Create an organized filing system, by stashing documents in alphabetical order. Also make sure you have everything you need for your job: office supplies in the office and all tools for an out-of-office work.
6. Use Technology to Make Your Life Easier
Even though technology causes many distractions, it can also become your perfect ally. Different programs, both for PCs and smartphones can help you get organized, efficient and proactive.
Boomerang – an application connected with your Gmail that will help you regain control over your inbox. It can schedule the exact date and time when to send an e-mail. Also e-mails without response can boomerang or come back at the top of the inbox to remind you of them.
Rescue Time– App that will reveal the horrible truth to you – The amount of time you have wasted so far! It runs in the background of your PC and it tracks the amount of time spent on particular websites or apps. You can pre-set your time frame and it will show you a detailed report of your recent activities.
Evernote – This notepad can be synced with the cloud and you can access your notes regardless of your current location. Other options such as saving pictures or voice-recording are also available.
7. Eat Healthy and Boost Your Energy
The things we consume daily have great importance for our overall performance at work. If you want to finish your working day strong, you should take care of what you eat. You should choose healthier snacks to eat during your break-time, like protein bars or nuts (raw almonds, hazelnuts).You can also switch from coffee to lemon juice or green tea. Another important thing that can help you regain focus is leaving your office for lunch. Not only will you be able to eat a more satisfying meal in a nearby restaurant, but you will also refresh and lower your stress level.
8. Take a Break
Clear your mind by taking a 5-minute break once in a while and do something unrelated to work. Walk around, do a few stretches, have a glass of cold water. It is a simple thing with great effects.
You can even try meditating every day for five minutes. Close your eyes and imagine walking through the woods or by the sea and feeling the sun on your skin or fresh breeze onto your face. Pick the same time every day to do your meditation, because it needs consistency for best effect.