With workloads getting heavier and job titles becoming blurred with new expectations, we’re all trying to get more accomplished at our jobs.
My solution — although not a good one — was to try and multitask. But at the end of the day, I would have started a variety of projects and finished none. To boost my productivity (and feel like I accomplished something each day), I began following these four steps.
1. Create a manageable to-do list: Instead of writing the project as a whole on my list, I broke it down into several steps. Maybe for you that means jotting down a list of five people you need to respond to — instead of “call back clients.” The task begins to not look so daunting, and you’ll also feel good being able to cross something off your list sooner.
2. Ignore emails: I’m not saying you should stop replying to people, but don’t let your emails control your workflow. Don’t you hate when you’re in the middle of something, stop to read an email that just came in and then completely lose your train of thought? The good thing about emails is that you don’t have to read or respond to them right away. Finish what you’re doing and then take time to go through your inbox. You may even set aside a certain time when you check your emails each day. That not only helps you, but it lets people know when they can expect a response.
3. Make a call: If you find yourself typing back and forth to someone, just pick up the phone and talk to them about it. Email has its advantages, but if it takes 10 minutes to write up something you could say in two, you’ll save a lot of time in the long run by just talking to someone (And no, sending a text to their phone doesn’t count as a call).
4. Reward yourself: Maybe a job well done is enough of a reward for you, but I could definitely use a little more than that, especially for difficult projects. So, take a break or do something fun after you’ve accomplished a big task. For me, I look forward to my 2 p.m. Diet Mountain Dew on crazy days, and that helps me focus and make the day seem a little better.
So, stop procrastinating, complaining about your work and feeling unaccomplished. These four tips might not lessen the load, but they sure do make getting to the finish line a lot easier and quicker.