Lately it has become difficult to really tell the difference between working hours and everything else. People seem to be taking their work home and thinking about it even during dinners and family outings. But if you maximize your performance while at work, you can leave the office carefree and enjoy your time with friends, family or yourself. Here are some tricks that might help.
Make To-Do Lists
Starting off your day with a clear list of things to do helps you stay on top of your performance. It is also a huge time saver, as with a to-do list you won’t be sitting pointlessly, trying to remember that one task you were told to do. Make a habit of writing a list as soon as you arrive to work, or even the night before. Include even the little tasks such as replying to emails —and of course, stick to your list.
Not all items on your to-do list are of equal importance. While it might be tempting to focus on easy tasks that will make it simple to cross them off, it is better to prioritize and concentrate on the most important ones first. Emails can usually wait, for example, but a report to your boss cannot. Doing the important stuff first can in the beginning feel counterintuitive. However, in just a week you’ll discover you’re not under a huge pile of tasks anymore because you tackle the big stuff with more attention.
A clear desktop often grants a clear mind—and more time. Know where you keep important documents, delete or toss those you don’t need, organize your folders and you won’t spend 15 minutes looking for an invoice ever again.
Managers are especially prone to juggling everything that comes their way, but so are other workers. If you feel you’ve bitten more than you can chew, ask yourself if you are the best person for a task at hand. No matter how good you are at your job, you are probably not the ideal choice for everything, and that is completely fine. Successful people know when to delegate, so learn to say no and do your best at what is left.
Sometimes you’re just present in the flesh while your mind wanders elsewhere. It’s not easy to fully commit to work if you’re having a personal issue, but it’s possible to work on your focus. Close the tabs with social media sites and put your cellphone on silent mode. If you realize that you are still distracted, you can try a cognitive supplement, such as Lucid Smart Pill? A bonus idea: keep an empty paper next to you and jot down every idea that comes to your mind so you don’t have to think of it while you work on something else.
Take A Break
We’re not robots, so don’t treat yourself like one. Working in blocks and taking breaks is making you more productive as it’s allowing your brain to unwind, if only for ten minutes. Stretch lightly on your chair, walk to the coffee-machine or just have a quick chat session with a colleague. Don’t make it too long though—you don’t want to waste time, but to make your eyes and mind ready for the screen again.