Things to increase productivity and make you say ‘I love my job’

It’s time to be up to the task.

Harper's Bazaar India

It’s important to practice what we preach. Considering this is an article about being productive on the job, you readers will be happy to know that I’m writing this piece well before I was supposed to. All it took were a few tried and tested tricks and tips—dedicating time for a task, clearing the important stuff first and at the earliest, and delegating tasks to others, to name a few to get to this point. Without being organised and knowing how to manage my time, it wouldn’t be possible. While I’m not the best person to give out advice, the internet doesn’t lie. The experts sure know what they’re talking about when they’re letting all of us know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to being productive at work.

Here are some of the best ways to be more efficient and productive.

Make a simple to-do list

Start your day by jotting down what you’re going to do. And have that in front of you so that you can tick things off once you’ve completed them. What’s important here is to have a list that is short, realistic, and has enough scope for change. The last thing that you should do is bite more than you can chew by having so many tasks that you just won’t be able to complete. You don’t want to feel anxious and tired right at the start of the day now do you?

Do one task at a time

With a task list long enough to go beyond one page, it’s easy to jump in and decide to multitask in order to save time. What has a strong chance of happening here is that you leave some tasks incomplete or finishing them not giving it your all or performing it at a lower quality. You certainly do not want to start more than you can finish. Maybe it wouldn’t have been the case had you tackled one thing at a time. Doing so only motivates you to fully focus on the task at hand before you take on the next one. 

Save the major tasks for when you feel the most productive 

I’m a morning person who does the heavy lifting of my task list during the first half. On the other hand, there are many colleagues who take things lightly at the start, but go all out in the second half. Different people and different working styles, yet both are smart enough to reserve their energy for when they work best and eventually get things over the line.

Plan your day visually by time blocking 

The idea of a perfect day is one where everything goes just the way you’d planned. One way to get that done is time blocking, which basically sees you create a schedule to help you track how much time each task takes. If you’ve decided that something’s going to take two hours of your day, setting that limit is a way to ensure that you do and then move on to what’s next. Doing so also sees you dedicate yourself to a particular task for a particular time so there is simply no scope for any distraction. 

Have the right things around you at your workplace

The reason your mind feels cluttered is because that’s exactly how your desk looks. So start by cleaning your desk and getting rid of anything that isn’t required. For instance, make your desk or cubicle a bit more colourful. Or even better, get a plant to feel less stressed and more productive. You could also add some photos of your loved ones, put up motivational quotes to feel chirpy and appreciated throughout the day. 

Do not forget to take breaks 

If you think that you’re a machine working in a factory at your workplace, it’s important to take regular breaks to avoid wear and tear. We’re not saying that you should be away from your desk for lengthy durations. Take short breaks throughout the day so that your mind is clear and prepared for the next task. It’s tough to stay away from social media when you’re at work which is why you have break time as a distraction. Also, ensure that you get up from your seat when you take a break. Go out and stretch your legs to feel relaxed for a bit before you come back to work. 

Eat at the right time

I cannot stress this enough but don’t forget to eat in your quest to get work done. You can tell from a person’s face if they’d had their breakfast or lunch at work or not. You just can’t get work done on an empty stomach. No one’s asking you to have a heavy meal. Regular small snacks throughout the day will work fine. Just don’t have your breakfast at lunch time and lunch during the evening.