5 Ways to Boost Productivity at Work

It’s easy to get distracted at work, lose track of time and get behind on your projects. Since companies have to do more with less, it puts more pressure on workers to be more productive and accomplish more in less time. A recent study by PayScale shows that 45 percent of employees are interrupted at work every fifteen minutes. In addition, over half waste over an hour each day on distractions. These distractions can be one of your colleagues who needs help on a task, your addiction to social media or just being inundated with emails. Here are five ways to be a more productive worker:

1. Prioritize your work. When it comes to promotions and getting ahead in the workplace, the ability to prioritize your work is extremely important. Make a list of all the projects and tasks that you need to accomplish and prioritize them by deadline and how critical each one is to your organization. The tasks that have a closer deadline and are more critical should come first and you shouldn’t move to the others unless those are completed. By prioritizing your work, you can show your management that you are accountable and have everything under control.

2. Do work before you go to the office. You should take advantage of the time you spend at home before you go to work in order to concentrate on more important tasks at work. For instance, you can read industry news and check emails before you head to work. This way, when you’re at work, you don’t have to worry about performing the same tasks again and get distracted by them. You can also head into the office earlier when it’s usually empty so you aren’t as distracted.

3. Stop multi-tasking. It’s very easy to try and work on several tasks at once but you end up not accomplishing a whole lot in the process. When you multi-task, you end up not giving 100 percent to each individual task, so the quality may suffer. Instead of multi-tasking, focus on one major task at a time and work as hard as you can on it before you move to the next one.

4. Take a break. It’s unhealthy and counterproductive to spend hours upon hours working without downtime. Take an hour or two after work to exercise and don’t spend too much time answering work emails outside of the office. If you spend too much of your personal time doing work, it will make you miserable! Also, during your lunch break, you should leave your cubicle, and if possible, your office. Too many workers are eating at their desks these days when they should be getting fresh air and meeting and conversing with people.

5. Track your time better. Most people aren’t aware of how they are wasting time or even that they are being distracted. There are a lot of tools you can use to track where you’re spending your time online. You should keep a precise time log by writing down all of your tasks during each workday and how long you’re spending on each task. All those minutes you spend on Facebook, for instance, can really add up and prevent you from working on more important tasks.

Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. His new book, a New York Times best seller, is called Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press) and his previous book, Me 2.0, was a #1 international bestseller.

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