Large, complex tasks are the usual culprits in slowing us down. The idea of a large task can distract you or weigh on your motivation. Instead of trying to plow your way through it, break it up into sections of effort.
You’ll trade one large task for several smaller ones, and it will be easier to motivate yourself and measure your progress.
17. Create Innovation Time
The common assumption is that working hard and working long hours are good things and sufficient for success. The mantra is “focus on delivering this quarter’s results.” But doing more of the same is not enough – we have to try the new
If you’re constantly “doing task,” you have no time to innovate. Making the same widget day after day does not allow you to think about what new widgets you might make.
Try setting aside time to work on something that will move the needle.
[tweetshare tweet=”One of the most common barriers to innovation is lack of time. People are just too busy doing their day job to spend time trying new things. – Paul Sloane.” username=”itzandyjones”]
18. Optimize your daily commute routines.
Be aware that It’s easy to think of commuting as a total waste of time. When you’re standing on the train platform or waiting at a traffic light, every minute that ticks by can seem like a minute lost from an already jam-packed day at work.
Depending on how close you live, you could have half an hour or more time to catch up on voice-mails, listen to an audio book, make voice memos for the day ahead, or just relax with some calming music. Make the most of your trip.
19. Attempt working on Sunday night just a little.
You need to take time to relax on the weekends in order to keep your sanity, but working Sunday night can be a great way to catch up and prepare for the week ahead. On Sunday night, you won’t be bothered with phone calls or emails. Instead, you can look at the week to come with a refreshed mind and tackle a few tasks while you’re at it.
13. Say no.
Your list is long and it grows longer by the day. Sometimes the easiest way to get something off your plate is to avoid accepting it in the first place. Don’t be afraid to say no to a task or a meeting that you feel would be unproductive.
14. Be Agile
When one is agile you attack the task at hand with a positive attitude, providing suggestions to overcome obstacles. Provide options. Don’t say it can’t be done, explain what can be done.
- Gain as much information as possible in order to deliver a quality product. Don’t assume that what you’re doing or how you’re doing it is best.
- Be willing to move outside your comfort zone for the overall good of the team.
- Train others where needed.
- Tackle highly valuable projects based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.
15. Get Ergonomic
When it comes to being ergonomic, note that an ergonomically correct office work station will help you avoid fatigue and discomfort.
when you are in your front desk trying to get a task done, sit upright, supported by the chair’s back support. Incline the seat 5-10° downwards. Sit with feet flat on the floor, or supported by a footstool.
Sit directly in front of the computer screen and keyboard to avoid neck twisting.
16. Eat Food Good for the Brain
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list. This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. About 60% of your brain is said to be made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory
Also, you can start your day with a healthy oatmeal, and some blueberries for dessert. Having wild salmon for lunch can have positive effects on your concentration, and green tea is a great alternative for coffee, since it gives you enough caffeine to start your day. You can also use avocado or dark chocolate to stimulate brain function, as well as to satisfy the need for something sweet.
17. Decrease the Number of Surrounding Distractions
You’re not alone when it comes to distractions. It’s not easy staying on task when you need to work for hours at a time, but some people are able to do it. The question is: why them and not you?
A number of things may draw your attention from what is important – a messy working surface, some nasty odour or outside noises. Start your day with a quick clean-up of your desk and always have an air freshener above your table.
If there is too much noise, use headphones to cancel it out. You can even play some classical music – it may even turn out to be good for concentration – these impressions vary from people to people. Once you are “in the zone” you’ll see just how easier it is to work under these conditions.
18. Learn How to Stay Focused
Since we’re left to our own devices, it’s up to us to find ways to master our focus ability. That’s what these tips are for, so we can finally stay focused and on track with what we want to accomplish for ourselves.
Learning to stay focused is actually learning to power through. To invest enough time and efforts into something so that it actually becomes important to you.
Tell yourself to pay as much attention as possible for a whole hour when you are learning new things which should be used in your work later on. Then, see just how much of the content you managed to retain. If you are supposed to read a long text on a particular topic, browse the web to find a video related to it. Video clips are much more engaging, so your power of retention will spike in those circumstances. Once you have some sort of basis for the new topic, maintaining focus will be significantly easier.
19. Avoid Spending Time Unproductively
Time is a precious commodity. Deciding how to spend your time can make or break you. Unless you are sleeping, there is no good reason why you should be unproductive.
To avoid spending time unproductively consider, fixing up an agenda and set a time limit, transform ideas into tasks and assign work on the spot.
20. Try to Segment Your Larger Tasks
Some tasks are just too copious, meaning it will take more than a month to complete them, thus they are easily abandoned. The main reason for this is fear that all of your work will be for nothing, however, I heavily disagree with this notion.
There are a lot of products, like video games, movies, even food, that are more likely to earn you money if you invest more of your time. For the purpose of tackling such problems, split your monthly task into weekly tasks, and create milestones. Even weekly milestones can be segmented into daily assignments, so that you can have a clear overview of the progression you are making with a large project.
21. Neatly Organize the Assignments
Also, organizing assignments contributes to keeping track of progression more easily. Another thing you need to take into an account is difficulty – in other words, you need to ensure the load of the assignment is evenly distributed on a daily scale.
If, one day, you can finish tasks with ease but the following day, you are barely managing – then, you are clearly not doing something right. You can also send yourself emails every week to recap with what you have done so far – this is extremely useful if your daily and weekly assignments are a part of a larger one.
22. Make Sure Tasks Are Well Defined
The advice itself may appear mundane, but if you fail to complete the assignments, simply because your job definition was vague, than those flaws will come back to haunt you.
Sooner or later, you will have old tasks that need to be redone, and new tasks that are supposed to be done on that day, and before you know it, the whole organization process will become a challenge to maintain. Just make the criteria by which you will estimate that a certain project or task is fully finished.
23. Maintain Office Equipment
When it comes to utilizing technology, this is one of those responsibilities that is so easily neglected, and yet when we least expect it, our device starts to malfunction.
Postponing PC, or printer maintenance can cause great setbacks. Clearly, all of this can be avoided with monthly maintenance.
In other words, all it takes is to pick a date for checking all the equipment you use and save yourself some potential future troubles. Test all the features you commonly use, and find a certain box where you can keep all your receipts and warranties.