8 Schedule Hacks to Become More Efficient at Work
Everyone wants to be able to give all their attention and energy to their work once they’ve arrived at the office or sat down at their computer. Every day, there’s a new chance to show that you’re great at what you do, but even on your best days, you may wonder if there’s a way you can become more efficient. Sometimes, the to-do lists are longer than usual or you want to make a better impression with your boss.
Whatever your reasoning is, you can almost always be more productive and efficient at work. To figure out what works for you, try out some of these eight tips and watch your efficiency skyrocket.
1. Get Lots of Rest
Everyone’s tired in the morning, but if you’re finding that a cup of coffee or a big plate of breakfast isn’t waking you up, it’s time to get to bed earlier. How much you sleep each night is vital to how you feel during the next day. No amount of caffeine can give you the same energy as a full night’s rest, so figure out how much sleep you need for your stage in life and try it out for a few days.
2. Try New Exercises
Exercising may not be everyone’s favorite activity, but it’s been proven to get people the efficiency levels they’re looking for. When you workout, the brain prevents neurogenesis from occurring, which is when brain cells degenerate. Don’t feel like you need to hit the gym for an hour every day to make this happen! You can check out some quick exercise routines that will fit into your schedule any day of the week.
3. Tackle Big Projects First
Procrastination can be a major problem when you get started on your busiest days. There’s something about knowing you have major projects to accomplish that makes people want to do the complete opposite. Instead of spending the day dreading your major work project, tackle the biggest parts of your day first. Once you get that done, you’ll feel energized to get even more done than you would have before.
4. Learn to Reward Yourself
The desire to be more efficient probably comes from feeling like you don’t get enough done. Think about your typical day at work. Odds are good that you actually get a lot more done than you think. A great way to ease into more efficiency without being hard on yourself is to reward yourself for your accomplishments, whether they’re big or small.
Give yourself that five minute break to stretch and get some water after you answer your morning emails. Tell yourself how great you are for arriving to work on time or putting a to-do list together. The small things may feel insignificant, but your days wouldn’t be nearly as efficient without getting them done.
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5. Limit Your Phone Time
Having your phone sit near where you work is a major distraction. If a notification pops up or you glance at it while you’re stressed, your instinct reaction will be to pick it up and open the apps you love to spend time on. While browsing social media could work as one of your personal rewards, it’s smarter to limit your phone time while you work. You’ll see your productivity naturally increase if you turn it off or leave it out of sight for a while.
6. Create To-Do Lists
Most people use to-do lists to keep them on track at work, but if you don’t use one on a daily basis, it may be time to start trying them out. You don’t need to sort out all your tasks onto one list, but having a sticky note on the side of your computer screen or a typed document will remind you what you need to accomplish. That reminder could be what keeps you from having a normal day to having a great one.
7. Listen to Background Music
Everyone has a different preference in music, but trying something new could help you do more at work. Studies have shown that if you’re trying to read, write or study, nature sounds help you focus. Try out different sounds like nature recordings or instrumental music to see what helps you get in the zone. You can also experiment with wearing headphones to shut out distractions even more and get to what you need to do.
8. Be Kinder During Your Day
When you take a second out of your day to be kind to someone, it creates a sense of joy. Imagine that you give your coworker the last soda in the office fridge. You may have really wanted to drink it, but knowing that you made their day that much better will inspire joy and self-confidence. You’ll get back to your work feeling like you’re on top of the world, which will make your job seem like a breeze.
Taking the time to think of someone else is just one of the ways you can increase your efficiency at work without needing to drink more caffeine or energy drinks. No matter what you decide to try, you’ll be glad you took a new approach to your efficiency. Figure out what works for you, then make an effort to make it a part of your daily routine.
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Originally published at Productivity Theory.