How productive are you at work? If you’ve ever finished a working day feeling like you just haven’t got enough done, or you don’t seem to have made any progress on a To Do list, then productivity could be an issue for you. Learning how to manage your time so that your resources and energy are used productively is essential for getting the most from your role. These are some of the key productivity challenges you might face, as well as some solutions for overcoming them.
Challenge: getting everything done
Solution: focus on one task at a time
Multi-tasking is the reason that many of us can feel incredibly busy in the space of an hour but seem to have achieved very little at the end of it. Some scientists even believe that multi-tasking is not something the human brain is capable of. If you’re struggling to get everything done then you might find it easier to just do one thing at a time – and don’t move on to a new task until you’ve finished the last one.
Challenge: the big goals
Solution: break everything down into smaller tasks and objectives
If you’re going to get to the big objectives then you need to map out the small steps that will take you there and focus on these one at a time. Otherwise you may find yourself staring at the “finish project” goal for hours and achieving nothing because you don’t know where to start. Instead, focus on what you need to do day-by-day and step-by-step to get you there.
Challenge: working long hours
Solution: regular breaks
Productivity cannot be sustained over a long period of time without being refreshed. If you plan regular breaks into your working day then you’ll give your body and mind the chance to refresh and revive. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the fact that regular breaks will, not only help you to concentrate and be more productive but also improve your mood, so schedule these in every hour or so and get away from your desk.
Challenge: wasting time
Solution: the two minute rule
If your response to having a couple of free minutes is to jump on social media or browse online then you could be wasting valuable time that could make you more productive. Entrepreneur Steve Olenski says that you can save time by finding and immediately completing tasks that take two minutes or less – over the course of a working day that could build up to significantly improved productivity.
Challenge: avoiding the most intimidating tasks
Solution: tackle them when you’re feeling most alert
Avoiding the jobs that are the most complicated or time consuming can end up setting a project back days, weeks or even months. If you’re continuously failing to start because you’re leaving the most intimidating tasks to the end of your daily list then your productivity will be severely impacted. Instead, prioritise those heavy or complex tasks for the times when you feel most alert and you’ll be surprised by how painless they are, and how quickly you can complete them.
Our Working Productively course is designed to help you assess your individual productivity challenges and to identify the best ways to overcome them.