When it comes to work efficiency, even small changes can yield big results. Here are eight easy habits that can help you improve your focus, make better use of your time, and recharge your productivity.
1. Create realistic deadlines
Giving yourself practical deadlines—not too stringent and not too loose—will help you work at a reasonable pace and finish on time. To reinforce this habit, reward yourself—with a coffee, a chat, etc.—whenever you meet a deadline.
2. Slow down and stop multitasking
Tying to juggle multiple tasks actually lowers our work efficiency, as does rushing through work just to “get it done” Taking your time (and handling on task at a time) means improved focus, fewer “re-dos,” and faster finishes.
Daily exercise is a game changer. It improves our energy, stamina, memory, sleep, and concentration—and reduces stress. Because exercise provides more oxygen to the brain, a good workout helps us work more efficiently and effectively.
4. Ditch social media
Unless monitoring or posting to social media is part of your job, it’s likely distracting you from your most important tasks. To increase work efficiency, turn off your cell phone and refrain from scanning Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites.
5. Create a calm atmosphere
Keep a clean desk and spend time tidying up each night before leaving work. That way, you won’t end up searching through piles of paper for the vital files you need to work efficiently. Plus, you’ll feel calmer and more in control.
6. Take Breaks
Research shows that fatigue sets in after just ninety minutes of work. Breaks—a walk, a short conversation with colleagues, even spending a few moments on a different job—will allow us to unwind and see our work with fresh eyes.
7. Tackle hard jobs when you’re most energetic
We work most effectively when our energy is at its peak. Are your most animated in the morning? After lunch? Take on the most complicated tasks then; you’ll feel less pressured and complete them in a shorter period of time.
8. Stop trying to be perfect
Realize that no one is perfect. Are you always late because you’re attempting to dot every i and cross every t? Cut yourself some slack! Stop striving for an unattainable standard; just get your work done efficiently, to the best of your ability.