We’ve all had the feeling that we aren’t getting as much done at work as we should be. It may be the result of stress, a chaotic work environment or just all-around lack of focus. In these situations, it is sometimes hard to figure out where exactly you should be putting your energy in order to increase your work productivity.
If you feel like you could be providing more efficient work, you may wish to simply take a step back and reexamine your entire workflow. That way, you can get a better view of what the problem areas are.
An Organized Desk Is an Organized Mind
There are many little things that can make a huge difference as far as improving work performance. Something as simple as having a properly organized workspace can do wonders to increase your overall productivity.
Not only does an organized workspace allow you to find supplies and equipment faster, but it will also promote a general feeling of tranquility that will let your thoughts flow more efficiently. An organized desk is an organized mind, and an organized mind can take care of problems much faster than a disorganized one can.
Find Your Oasis
Besides a disorganized personal workspace, an overall chaotic environment can make it near impossible to get anything done. Too much noise and negativity, for example, can have a big impact on your concentration and how much you’re able to accomplish.
While you can control your own desk, you can’t control an entire office. Simply taking a step out of the office to perform some deep breathing or a little meditation can make you feel more refreshed and put you back in the perfect mindset to produce better work. If taking a quick break isn’t an option, some noise-canceling headphones and a couple of potted plants placed strategically around your desk area (preferably at eye level) can do wonders.
Set Aside Some “Me Time”
It might be that your workspace isn’t the problem but your headspace is. Your work life and your personal life are supposed to be separate, but that’s easier said than done.
Emotional baggage can carry itself right along with you into the workplace, and vice versa—you might be “taking your work home” with you (especially if you work remotely), which can make it feel like you’re working 24/7 and cause major burnout.
While there may be no simple fix for your personal problems, there are many things you can do to reduce their effect on your work. Setting aside some “me time” in the morning is the perfect way to get yourself into a good state of mind before heading into work. Giving yourself a special treat, such as an expensive coffee, is another little thing that can make going into work rewarding when the work itself isn’t. If you’re in a good mood, you’re going to be more productive.
Take Advantage of Project Management Apps
If you feel you’ve done everything you can do on a personal level in order to increase your work productivity, you may have to seek outside help. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean finding a therapist (although this can be a really wonderful option if you’re open to it).
Instead, you may wish to utilize project management software in order to more efficiently manage both your time and energy. Project management software is used to plan projects, including scheduling and allocating resources. This is a great way to make sure that you and everyone on your team are spending the proper amount of time in the right areas of a project and not wasting excessive amounts of time in the wrong ones.
While project management software won’t reach into your brain and turn your “OFF” switch to “ON,” it will give you a better idea of how you’re spending your precious time. Once you know where your time is going, you may be able to allocate it better. This can also give you an idea of your weak spots, certain areas of your work you may need to improve on or simply delegate to others who can handle them more efficiently.
Besides software that you can use on your personal computer, there are also project management apps that can serve the same function on your smartphone or other device. These apps may prove more useful than their software variants as they can be taken with you wherever you go.
Use Productivity Apps
Another helpful bit of technology that may prove beneficial when it comes to increasing your overall work performance is the much-beloved “productivity app.”
Productivity apps are fairly similar to software management apps — the difference is that productivity apps don’t stop at the workplace. They can be used to increase your productivity at home or at the office.
When looking for the best app for productivity, there are many things to keep in mind. While many apps are free, there are also some that you can pay for that will contain more in-depth features. The best productivity apps will function similar to a day planner, except they also keep an eye on you and hold you accountable. With them, you can plan out your work day and make sure that you don’t spend more time on one thing than you want to. This information can also be shared with and used by coworkers so that they can be on the same page as you.
With either apps or software, you can create a digital to-do list that will help you keep track of what you need to be doing. You can then sort through these objectives based on priority and schedule an allotted time when you feel these tasks should be completed. The less time it takes for you to wonder what you should be working on, the more time you’ll have to actually be working on something. Sometimes, understanding this simple fact is all that stands between you and unlimited work productivity.
Bonus: One Step at a Time!
Finally, always remember not to take on too many tasks at once. If you have a lot of things you need to do, it’s very easy to get weighed down by the mountain of work ahead of you. Always remember that it’s best to take one step at a time, something that organization, project management software and productivity apps can help you with a great deal. Rome wasn’t built in a day!