Trying to boost your productivity when getting comfortable in your workplace can be difficult. It is even harder to manage when your workload may seem overwhelming at face value and do not know where to start.

While productivity can be difficult to maintain, implementing small steps in your work routine can help you get on top of your workload and make the day less stressful for you. If you want to become more productive, consider implementing some of these strategies everyday at work.

1. Write out your goals for the day

Research shows that when you have a written plan of action and what you want to accomplish for the day, it increases productivity. Start with a to-do list and write out all of the tasks you need to get done.

When taking on larger projects, break it up into smaller tasks and determine how much you can get accomplished for the day. Organizing your day and planning is a good way to stay on track. Prioritize each task and glance at your list throughout the day if your mind begins to wander

2. Time block your schedule

Using time blocks within your schedule can help you increase your productivity. With this strategy, set a time limit for each of the tasks you work on.

If you are blocking out 90 minutes to work on a project, note that on a printed or digital schedule. After that time block is over, block another section of your schedule similarly. With a larger project, break it up into smaller time blocks to manage your workflow more efficiently.

3. Make time for breaks

Research shows that the brain operates best when you switch between focus and unfocus. Taking regular breaks can have a positive impact on focus and productivity. Instead of working without stopping, it’s more beneficial to take frequent breaks to feel refreshed. The most effective breaks are when you move, create, socialize, or nourish your body and mind.

Consider the “Pomodoro Method” as a strategy to remind yourself to take breaks. With this method, use a timer where you dedicate yourself to a task for 20-30 minutes, work on it until the timer goes off and then take a five-minute break. This strategy can be effective because it provides more time for uninterrupted, focused work and then provides a way to step back from the task for a few minutes before going back to complete it.

4. Limit your distractions

There is always something to distract you at work- emails and messages, social apps, noise, or colleagues. When your attention is lost, you lose your productivity with it. If you are in office and nearing a tight deadline, make it clear you do not want to be distracted. Use a signaling mechanism to let your team know that you are busy and should not disturb you until it is urgent. This can me as simple as putting on your headphones or changing your status to “busy” on whatever chat channel your company uses or.

Consider these other simple tricks to limit these distractions:

  • Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or “Airplane” mode when you are not using it
  • Block out the external noise with noise cancelling headphones
  • Set up designated times throughout the day to checking and replying to messages/emails
  • Turn off push notifications on distracting social media apps

5. Avoid multi-tasking

While multitasking can make you feel invincible, at times, and seems to be efficient on the surface, it tends to take longer and result in more errors. Jumping from one task to another can easily get prioritization lost in translation. Prioritize your most important tasks, then delegate the others. When you have finished one task, it is time to move onto the next.

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