I cannot count the days I have spent busy and yet unsure what I got done at days-end. I complained there were simply not enough hours in the day but those lost hours could be found with better productivity. I am not alone. A workplace productivity survey from the creators of Office Time found 64% of people spend up to 1 hour on social networking sites; 40% spend an average of 1 to 3 hours dealing with email; 34% spend 30 minutes to an hour procrastinating. SmallBizTrends.com offered 4 great tips to improve productivity I found helpful so I wanted to pass them along.
- Create a plan. The article suggests sitting down every Sunday at the computer and structure the upcoming week. Prioritize the items by day and week and make sure to incorporate time for family or friends to avoid burn out.
- Schedule Email. I know this and yet am as guilty as anyone else. The article suggests scheduling time to respond to email, as opposed to allowing your inbox to interrupt you all day long. Try 20 minutes before lunch, and again at the end of the day but avoid the inbox at the start of your day. Knocking a few things off your plate before hitting the inbox may set up better momentum for the rest of the day.
- Find Accountability Tools. This is especially important if you charge by the hour but even if you don’t accountability is essential. Tools such as Harvest, Toggl, and OfficeTime will allow you to time track and analyze how you spent your time. Each of these offer free trials and apps for your smartphone. Tracking my time with these tools not only kept me on track but caused me to rethink engaging in the little distractions that add up.
- Identify & Limit Distractions. Whenever my email beeps I get distracted. Chats on social media create the same situation. I keep my mobile phone email notification turned off so I am not interrupted every time an email arrives. For me it’s Facebook. I am a Facebook junkie. I used to keep the window open all day but now I only open it twice a day. I miss my Facebook peeps but I’m getting a lot more done. Be on the lookout for the distractions in your day and consider how you can diminish or eliminate them.
Let me know if you have any suggestions or distractions you want to share.