If you find yourself having trouble being productive at work, here are a couple tips that might be helpful.
1. Throw Out Perfectionism. Good does not have to equal great. In fact good enough is sometimes better than great because you can produce good work on time, where producing great work might put you way behind a project plan. When that happens other important tends to get ignored. This not only makes you work harder, longer, and faster, but you will ultimately burn out and find it harder and harder to recover. Trust yourself that the work you are doing is good enough and then give yourself props for getting it done on time.
2. Prepare for the Day Ahead. People who get a lot done in a single day are organized and know exactly what they are doing on any given day. The biggest secret is time spent either at the end of the previous day or early every morning is to take quiet time alone and plan the day out. Create a “to-do” list and prioritize tasks. Then make sure you handle the most important and/or the most difficult tasks first or when you know yourself to be most productive. Physically writing out the list improves your memory on what you plan to do and notes on each task help you to make sure you don’t leave anything to chance.
3. Limit Time Spent Online. Don’t sit at your desk and check your emails every fifteen minutes. Generally speaking, most emails are not that important so unless you are waiting for one that is absolutely vital (and we all know that doesn’t happen very often) then set aside one or two times during the day when you check your email, and the rest of the time get off the internet. People have done their own experiments and have found that when they unplug from the internet for a set period of time are more than twice as productive as when they keep their computer connected to the internet.
4. Take Frequent Breaks. Like it or not, by breaking away from work and taking a quick five minute break will allow you to return to your task refreshed and rejuvenated. Some people believe that they have to sit at their desk until a task is done. By the end of the day they are exhausted and the task is still undone. Workers who learn to listen to their bodies and their brains for signs of fatigue give the body the ability to move, hydrate, oxygenate and then return to the task with improved efficiency. Take a walk. Climb stairs. Drink water. Go out of the building for lunch. Anything that changes your physical position makes a difference.