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June 11, 2020

Become a Pro at Being Productive

Jessica Lambert

The past month has been a different experience for people around the world. There has been a lot of uncertainty in many aspects, one of those being working from home. Although the concept of working remote is not unusual, it has probably not been as heavily practiced as it is now. Here are some tips on how to adjust to this new environment and be productive as possible.

  1. Prioritize – Create an on-going to do list and rank what needs to be completed first. This can be ranked by the due date or how much time you need throughout the week to make sure it is completed before the deadline. Next, take the first two tasks and schedule a time slot in your day to work on it. Once those two tasks are completed (and if you are feeling extra productive) move onto your third task and so on until you are done for the day. Do this every day and experience the satisfaction of crossing something off your list!
  2. Control Time Wasters – Time wasters are “things that can be ignored with little to no consequence” (Ferris, 96). Examples of these include emails, texts or meetings and phone calls with no agenda. One tip would be to turn off or disable notifications in your inbox and cell phone. A second tip is to only check your email twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Then, implement this into your daily schedule that allows you enough time to focus on one task (such as interpreting survey data from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) before checking your email or phone again.
  3. Batching – “Batching is… the solution to our distracting but necessary time consumers” (Ferris, 106).  Time consumers are “repetitive tasks or requests that need to be completed but often interrupt high-level work” (Ferris, 96). Instead of doing each small task as they come in, set aside an allotted time each week and knock out multiples of those tasks all at once.
  4. Use Meetings Efficiently – This could have been done over email. Does that sentence sound familiar? While meetings can be helpful, most are not essential. If you cannot prevent a meeting, do your best to keep it under 30 minutes and “define the end time” (Ferris, 103). This sets a precedence and will place pressure on the attendees to focus instead of socializing or cause distractions. Most decisions or discussions can be done in 30 minutes and be sure there is an agenda beforehand.
  5. And last but not least, take breaks throughout the day! Don’t worry if you don’t get everything done. Trust me, it will be waiting for you tomorrow.

These tips can help improve your day-to-day work flow and overall performance. Share these tips with your team or coworkers to maximize efficiency throughout your company.

Source: Ferris, Tim. The 4-hour Work Week. Manhattan, 2011.