Create a Schedule that Fosters Productivity
The human body was not designed to sit at a desk for eight to ten hours per day. It seems that the longer we sit while staring at a computer screen, the harder is it to remain on task. Maximum productivity requires focus, but that can be elusive if you do not know how to schedule your day in order for productivity to occur.
Keep reading to learn how to work smarter, not longer.
There is nothing more frustrating than having great expectations for the workday only to realize that you did not accomplish nearly as much as you had hoped. Even more frustrating is to have a colleague or team member that never seems to struggle with long to-do lists or backlogs, yet they participate in the same meetings and always go to lunch. How is this possible?
The key to becoming a productivity master is to manage your time effectively so that you are working smarter, not longer. This means scheduling your tasks in such a way as to complete high-level items during the point in the day in which you have the most energy and focus. It also means taking many small breaks throughout the day, including a lunch break.
One of the biggest productivity mistakes people make is working through lunch. Not only is it bad for your physical health, it is also bad for your mental strength and stamina. The human brain has a limited pool of psychological energy or focus power. When you skip taking a break at lunch, your brain begins to drain faster than your smartphone battery. Taking even a twenty minute break away from your desk for lunch will nourish your body and replenish your brain’s energy.
While lunch breaks are important, they have a minimum effect on productivity. A Draugiem Group study shows that people with the highest rates of productivity take a seventeen minute break for every fifty-two minutes of work. During these breaks they took a walk, talked to co-workers about non-work-related subjects, or read. Meetings, checking email, watching YouTube videos, or checking social media during these breaks do not yield the same results.
Some managers may feel that this is an excessive amount of work time spent not actually working and that these individuals cannot be as productive as they report. Indeed, this study proves that working smarter, not longer is the key to productivity.
When planning your day for productivity, create a realistic to-do list and set a timer for each task. When the timer goes off or the task is complete (whichever happens first), get up and move around. Repeat this process throughout the day. At the end of your day, take a few minutes to reflect on how much you accomplished. If you did not complete everything on your list, think about the other things that you did complete that day, such as a great call with a client or participating in professional development.
Taking several small breaks throughout the day and maintaining a positive approach to your work will allow you to accomplish more in less time and maintain your overall momentum. Those who are most productive know that working smarter, not longer, is the key to becoming a productivity master.
Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent. Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates. To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.