4 Easy Ways to Improve Productivity
Last week I posted about the importance of getting enough rest and taking frequent breaks. However, many of us still tend to be prone to overworking. That’s because with ever increasing demands to do more with less, the need to improve our productivity is at its highest. This is especially true when we are trying to balance work, family, personal lives, and our health. In this week’s article, I’ll explore four additional ways you can improve your productivity, enabling you to tackle and complete your demanding work tasks, while leaving sufficient time for yourself, your family, and your personal well-being.
1. Quit Multitasking
Though it may be tempting to do so, the human brain just isn't wired to multitask. Psychologists have found that attempting to perform several tasks at once can result in decreased productivity. In fact, according to research, multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%. This is because switching between multiple tasks limits your focus, hampers working memory, and increases stress and mental fatigue. Instead of trying to multitask, commit to completing a single task before moving on to your next.
2. Give up on Perfection
As a perfectionist, this one is difficult for me, but I have gotten better over the years. Rather than wasting time chasing after the illusion of perfection, finish each task to the best of your ability and then move on. If need be, you can always go back and adjust or improve later.
3. Set Self-Imposed Deadlines
Leveraging a manageable level of self-imposed stress can help you focus and meet your goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a self-imposed deadline, and then stick to it. You may be surprised just how focused and productive you can be with a deadline! For large, complex projects, set interim deadlines for various project pieces so you aren’t scrambling to finalize things at the last minute.
4. Improve Your Workspace
Research shows that people with a messy workspace are less efficient and more frustrated than those who have an organized work area. Clutter limits your brain's ability to concentrate and process information, which can cause stress and fatigue. By decluttering your workspace, you can improve your mental health and work more efficiently. What’s more, some research shows that enhancing your workspace with aesthetically pleasing elements—like plants, photographs, or artwork—can increase productivity by up to 15 percent! Spruce up your workspace with pictures, candles, or anything else that makes you smile.
With ever increasing demands to do more with less, we need to be more productive than ever. This is especially true when we are trying to balance work, family, personal lives, and our health. To improve your productivity, remember to quit multitasking, give up on perfection, set self-imposed deadlines, and improve your work area. These strategies will enable you to more efficiently and effectively tackle demanding work tasks, leaving plenty of time for yourself, your family, and your personal well-being.
Written by Ashley Kayes, CP APMP
Senior Proposal Consultant, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI)