We’ve all been there, the 3:00 p.m. afternoon slump. It’s the time of day when your brain refuses to cooperate with the pile of work you need to finish before the workday ends. When your brain is fatigued, distractions like text messages, social media applications, and chatting with co-workers fill the void, preventing you from being productive.
However, it is not just the afternoons that can really slow you down. You could also find yourself hitting a 10:00 a.m. mid-morning slump, which can make it difficult to start your day.
Learning how to be productive at work is actually easy, and these productivity hacks will show how to get the most out of your mornings.
Tip 1: Make a Plan
First, make a list of everything you need to accomplish for the day. This will help you keep track of all your tasks and ensure you don’t miss anything. Even if you momentarily get side-tracked, a to-do list can help you refocus.
Try to follow this routine every day: To maintain focus, write down your top three goals and activities for that day, and don’t leave work until you’ve accomplished all those goals. Keep in mind that if you started your day right, you’ll finish everything that needs to be completed in time. Even better, try planning out your priorities the night before. That way you can hit the ground running as soon as you’re in the office.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you stay organized including:
These tools include boards, lists, and cards to help you achieve your goals mentioned.
Tip 2: Silence Your Notifications
When used correctly, cell phones are amazing tools for both work and communication. Providing us with a convenient and efficient way of doing things, smartphones can increase productivity by keeping us organized and connected.
But they can also be a major work distraction. Research shows that employees waste at least 2 hours a day by simply checking their smartphones. 65% of that time is lost to personal messaging, 44% to reading news, and 24% of the wasted time is due to shopping websites.
To avoid distractions, turn off your notifications to minimize distractions. Whether it’s email notifications, text messages, or app notifications, make sure to turn them off. If you still find yourself looking at your phone, try putting it on “do not disturb” mode.
If you have important phone calls or are waiting for a crucial email, you can always customize the settings of your phone to receive notifications from specific people. But to prevent burn-out set time to check your phone.
Tip 3: Clear Your Inbox
Emails can pile up quickly, making you feel overwhelmed. If you want to know how to be productive at work, start by cleaning your inbox every day. Don’t let an inbox full of messages stand in the way of your productivity. Instead, follow these rules to keep your email under control:
Instead of responding to emails, try using an acknowledgment receipt for less important or urgent messages. This will help you save time.
Delete irrelevant emails as soon as you receive them and be sure to flag spam emails so you won’t see them in your inbox.
Tip 4: Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Rest is the ultimate key to keep yourself, and your mind, healthy and sharp. A well-rested brain will help you work smarter. You’ll be able to think clearly and maintain focus despite distractions. So, if you want to be productive at work, make sure to get a good, undisturbed night’s rest. Healthy adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest:
- Develop a bedtime routine and stick to it consistently. Following this routine will help you avoid hitting the snooze button.
- Electronic devices emit a high concentration of blue light that affects sleep patterns. If you can, try to avoid them before bedtime. But if you must, use night mode which will create a warmer background.
Tip 5: Keep Your Mind Active
Our last tip on how to be productive at work is about stimulating your brain. Exercise your mind with non-work related tasks to help improve focus and stay productive. Mental exercise is important to keep you alert, coherent, and active all throughout the day.
- Stimulating your brain can be both physical and mental. Set aside at least 20-30 minutes of your morning routine and carry out non-business related activities such as running or biking.
- Try playing games that get you thinking or a Rubik’s cube. This can help you think strategically in preparation for the challenging day ahead.