By Ayanda Sotshisa, PR Practitioner, Blogger & Cultural Critic
Our workplaces are changing rapidly, and many of us find ourselves shifting between remote working and office environments, between in-person meetings and video calls. It can all become overwhelming, causing your productivity to plummet and taking you far off track for that performance bonus you’ve worked so hard on.
But streamlining your work strategy can get you back on track to being the employee of the month and will require only a few minor habit changes to see your productivity and work efficiency skyrocket.
Try these tricks to conquer your week:
Have you ever been trapped in a meeting that went on for hours, never managing to resolve any agenda items? These types of meetings are productivity killers – not only do they eat into your time, but they leave you frustrated and unfocused.
You need to become a master at meetings: Only schedule a meeting on a topic where people need to be present, such as a strategic planning session or important announcement, and reroute all other engagements to emails or video calls.
Ditch the distractions
It’s natural to keep an eye on Insta, but regular checks can soon become a major distraction during your workday. If you find yourself getting sucked into social media, you may be losing important time that could be spent on your to-do list.
Give yourself a few minutes to check texts and social media, and then stash your phone out of the way. The same goes for anything else that might distract you: Switch off TVs and speakers, and avoid those chatty colleagues.
Forget about multitasking. If you’re going to become an efficient ninja, you need to take down one task at a time. But not all jobs are equal, right? That’s why you need to break down your project into tasks and tackle the biggest jobs when you’re at your most energetic. Then set aside time to power through the small, quick tasks on your list later in your day when you get your second wind.
To power up your productivity game, keep an eye on your energy levels and work accordingly. If you’re a morning person, work through your toughest tasks first thing. And if you’re prone to an afternoon slum, ensure you’ve got a Red Bull to boost your energy levels and keep you on track.
Take regular breaks
You might be tempted to put your head down and work until you complete all your tasks, but you’re actually slowing down your productivity. Taking regular breaks prevents fatigue, boosts concentration, puts you in a good mood and helps your creativity – you’ll return to your task with a fresh perspective and new ideas.
Use your breaks to get your blood pumping by taking a brisk five-minute walk around the building or stretching out the kinks in your neck caused by long hours of computer work.
Focus on rewards
There will always be days when you simply don’t feel upbeat about a day in the office. Boost your motivation levels by focusing on rewards. Most companies incentivise employees who put in extra effort – this may be through a special mention at the staff meeting or a performance bonus – and working towards these can help you stay amped for your next meeting. If those seem too far away, work out a reward system for completing your task list, such as a five-minute break after completing five tasks.
Never again will that to-do list go unchecked – all you need is a few small changes to take control of your career and conquer your week.
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