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  • No More Headaches! 10 Ways to Organize Work and Boost Your Productivity
No More Headaches! 10 Ways to Organize Work and Boost Your Productivity
Contributor
Written by
Sarah Kaminski
December 2019
Contributor
Written by
Sarah Kaminski
December 2019

Time is the most valuable currency we have. And once we truly realize this, our priorities might change as we start trying to make the most of the time we have.  That’s why my new mantra says work smarter, not harder.

If you’re not sure how to do this, there are ways to manage your time and effectively increase your productivity at work. Let’s discuss some tips that will help you organize yourself and get in the right mindset.

1. Timing Is Everything

According to research, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused every day. 

Find out when your biological prime time is, and use that specific time of the day when you have the most energy for the work that requires the most concentration. 

For some, that is soon after they wake up, for others – late in the evening. 

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to schedule the first 90 minutes of your day to get down to work uninterrupted. If you do this for a period of three months, you’ll experience a tremendous improvement in your productivity. 

2. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Set aside 10-15 minutes to plan what you want to accomplish the next day. 

Decide on ten things (two must-do and eight would-like-to-do tasks) you wish to finish. Select only the tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work. 

3. Schedule Work Blocks on Your Calendar

To make sure you have enough quality time to work on your tasks, designate time slots for each one of them on your calendar.

This will help you avoid distractions and focus on your assignments one at a time. 

For instance, you can designate specific time slots for reading and responding to your emails. 

This is where it would also be wise to turn to technology to help you figure out how best to schedule the work blocks.

Extracting data from your Outlook calendar can help you create useful reports and analyze calendar events. You can use apps such as TimeTackle to convert calendar data to Excel super easily, which will provide you with valuable insights into how you spend your time. 

4. Limit the Time You Spend on Various Tasks

There have never been more distractions, opportunities for multitasking, and communication channels taking away your precious time and focus. 

Tools like Rescue Time can help you identify how you spend your time without invading your privacy. Optimizing your daily schedule is another perk of this online tool. 

Hive is a similar productivity platform designed to manage projects and tasks more efficiently. 

Make sure to do one thing at a time. Avoid multitasking as it can slow your brain and cloud your judgment. 

5. Take Short Breaks 

When you’re working on long and hard tasks, taking regular breaks improves concentration and can help you maintain a steady level of performance. 

6. Implement the “Two-Minute Rule”

Entrepreneur Steve Olenski recommends that if there is a task that can be done in two minutes or less – do it straight away. The idea behind this “rule” is that getting back to the task later will take more time. 

7. Take Control of Your Work Hours

Don’t allow incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day, or you’ll easily end up accomplishing far less than you first intended.  

Start your day by addressing your personal work first to make sure you execute what’s important to your goals. Remove distractions by muting your email, voicemail, and text notifications when you need focus to finish an important task. 

It’s best to set aside some time for responding to the messages you receive – refer to point number three and make sure to check them at the designated time. 

8. Work in 90-Minutes Increments 

Working in 90-minute intervals can be a way to maximize productivity. 

According to research from Florida State University, elite performers who work in 90-minute intervals are more productive than those working longer than that in one sitting.  The researchers also concluded that best performers rarely work more than four and a half hours a day, and take breaks in between sessions. 

According to the lead researcher, the goal is to avoid exhaustion in individuals. 

Also, the trick is to learn to refresh, to calm your mind, and relax the body in between work sessions. 

9. Make Use of Environmental Psychology

A simple and inexpensive way to boost your company morale (and productivity) is to invest in office landscaping. Decorate the working space with pictures, motivational posters, pretty accessories, and most importantly – plants!

Enriching office space with leafy, green plants can increase productivity by up to 15%. Along with purifying the air, plants have a calming effect on humans. A “green office” makes employees more mentally, emotionally, and physically involved in what they’re working on, as well as more satisfied. 

LuxaforMeteo is an office gadget that monitors the conditions in your workspace and helps you achieve a better environment in terms of health and productivity. 

10. Work Smarter, Not Harder

This is such an important concept that it has to be mentioned again. Try to minimize interruptions, as they tend to disrupt work patterns and lower productivity. Instead of taking your unfinished work home or putting in long hours, try to create a distraction-free working environment. 

When you have to finish important tasks, set boundaries and let others know you’ll be unavailable for a certain period of time. 
Make the most of your working hours. If we want to succeed, we must learn to work more effectively and more efficiently. Implement these tips, and get more things done in less time.

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