‘Shem’s Idle Notes’ : Ten ways to increase your productivity at work

No.10 - Keep to-do lists It might sound kiddish, but trust me, it works. Instead, would you rather spend an hour trying tor remember what you had to do?  Write a list first thing in the morning or even one for the whole week, to keep track of your tasks. No.9 - Get enough sleep Staying up all night and drinking three pots of coffee just aren’t working for your productivity.  Never under estimate the rejuvenating powers of a solid sleep. It’s better to work early than to work late. Get your rest first, and set the alarm if you have to.

No.10 - Keep to-do lists

It might sound kiddish, but trust me, it works. Instead, would you rather spend an hour trying tor remember what you had to do?  Write a list first thing in the morning or even one for the whole week, to keep track of your tasks.

No.9 - Get enough sleep

Staying up all night and drinking three pots of coffee just aren’t working for your productivity.  Never under estimate the rejuvenating powers of a solid sleep. It’s better to work early than to work late. Get your rest first, and set the alarm if you have to.

No.8 - Delegate

If you can, delegate.  No one can do it all themselves and if they can, ironically, they usually get secretaries. Don’t be too proud to shift certain responsibilities elsewhere. A coworker or a family member might be able to lend a hand in the times of heavy workflow. But, “delegating” shouldn’t replace “doing.” Getting help isn’t the same as passing on your entire workload onto someone else.

No.7 - Keep a notepad with you

Not only journalists need to have a notepad with them. If you don’t like pen and paper, there is the option of going electronic. Then, you are always certain you have kept a record of the important things somewhere else besides your memory. For quick reference, this is very helpful.

No.6 - Set milestones

It’s nice to have grand aspirations and goals in life, but the idea of completing a whole project might seem overwhelming. Instead, set smaller milestones along the way. Split the goal into smaller goal, and as you attain one by one, the feeling of achievement will inspire you to achieve the entire project.

No.5 - When stuck, move on to new tasks

It’s easy to become so fixated on a problem that the whole day slips by without anything to show for it. When that begins to happen, simply move on and find an easy task to check off on your list. A couple of those and the mind is fresh, the confidence is there and you’re a new man. You’ll know when you’re ready to get back and tackle the bigger hurdle.

No.4 - Block out sections of your calendar for work

You can never be accurate in estimating how much time a task will take to complete. So, it is not productive to work on tight schedules. Give yourself enough time between planned tasks, in case some of them take longer. Then, you won’t be pressed for time, and fighting to beat deadlines.

No.3 - Take necessary break

It’s great to stay focused, but a man needs to take a break every once in a while. You can’t sit in one position and finish a big project without getting up to refresh and regroup. The quality of your work will diminish as fatigue sets in, and then, you are better off not working at all.  If you ever find yourself frustrated, like you want to smash your computer into the wall, take that as the proper time for a break.

No.2 - Schedule e-mail checks

An e-mail inbox can easily become your nightmare. Mails just accumulate until one day, it is over loaded with junk that you can’t find your important emails.   The easiest way to manage the constant influx of mail is by scheduling check-ins. Pick one or two times a day to really clean out your inbox. Respond to the important ones, flag those that need special care and delete the spam.

No.1 - Don’t wait on others

The waiting game is a productivity killer. Sending out an e-mail and waiting for a response is the perfect excuse to lounge, and surf the web instead of working. Don’t do it. You need to be persistent and proactive with your correspondence. If that’s not working, ask yourself, “What can be done in the meantime?” or “How can I work around them?” Don’t allow yourself to rely on their diligence; because the longer you deal with others, the more you realize they just don’t get things done. You have to do it yourself.

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