If you are having a less-than-productive day at the office, the chances are procrastination is the culprit. The quicker the deadline looms towards us, the more tempting it is to distract yourself with smaller, less important tasks or, worse, fall into a social media hole. To help you put procrastination in the past, we’ve come up with five productivity hacks.
Separate your day into segments
One of the simplest ways to increase productivity is to break down your day into segments and create a series of mini-deadlines. Breaking down an 8-hour task into 30-minute segments is an easy way to increase your focus on a particular task, leaving no time to dawdle. Organise your day into manageable chunks and dedicate a task for each one, with a five-minute break between each task.
It’s more tempting to procrastinate if you’re surrounded by distractions. For some people, this could be having too many tabs open at
once, leaving your phone on the top of your workstation so you can see notifications as they pop up or even checking your emails every few minutes. At the beginning of your working day, make it a priority to remove
all of these distractions and start with a clear workspace. Turn off email notifications, leave your phone in your pocket or desk drawer, close any unnecessary tabs and move any distracting items like office accessories or toys from your desk into your draw.
Leave the office at lunch
A common misconception is that spending more time in front of the computer leads to a higher output, but this is not the case. Sitting at your desk for hours on end is a recipe for disaster when it comes to productivity. The importance of taking a break cannot be underestimated and a change of scenery can actually give you an energy boost and taking time out allows you to relax, recharge and re-define your goals.
Reward yourself regularly
A bribe or two comes in very handy when you have a day of deadlines to complete. One way to keep your motivation levels high and stop yourself from drifting off mid-flow is to give yourself regular rewards. This way, you’re more inclined to be engaged with your work. It’s up to you what these mini-rewards are. It could be anything from a five minute social media break, a new pair of shoes or a fancy lunch. The important factor is that each time you complete a task you get a feel-good factor that focuses you on goal-oriented tasks.
Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise
It’s tempting to begin your day by crossing off all of the small, simple tasks on the to-do list, but it’s more effective to start your day with the most challenging task. The industry term for this is eating the frog, which means starting with the task you’re least looking forward to. This way, you’ll spend less time procrastinating and more time getting stuff done.
Are you a chronic procrastinator? How do you stay productive? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.