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How to be more productive at work

 

Almost every professional will have had days that seem to never finish and yet leave you feeling like you don’t know where the time has gone. Between meetings, conflicting deadlines, calls and other interruptions, it can often feel that nothing gets done despite all of the activity. Here are some of our best tips for better time management and higher productivity at work.

 

Ditch your To-Do list

 

Many people keep a running list of pressing tasks and deadlines to help keep track of projects and logically lay out their current responsibilities. The problem with these lists is that they often simply grow and grow, with things added to the bottom and other things simply pending attention. An alternative approach is to schedule these tasks as appointments in your own calendar, thereby allotting blocks of time in your own schedule specifically targeted at completing individual tasks.

 

Plan for distractions

 

Nothing is likely to cause more stress than a late-arriving task or project that requires immediate attention. Even worse is when such projects appear just as you are tackling something else of importance. Though you obviously can’t plan fully for these unexpected tasks, one method for mitigating their impact on your productivity is planning time into your schedule dedicated to handling such issues. If a problem arises, time is available. If it doesn’t, you have time free for other tasks!

 

Prepare for meetings

 

Many professionals say that meetings are one of the biggest disrupters of their overall productivity at work, especially when the meeting’s aims are unclear and the discussion unplanned. Being focused and targeted on meeting topics, and thinking about what you want to say ahead of time, can help keep these meetings on track and – hopefully – make sure they contribute, rather than detract, from your overall productivity.

 

Set aside time with no distractions

 

The siren call of emails, messages and the phone can consume substantial parts of any professional’s working life. Try giving yourself a block of time each day where you don’t automatically answer calls or emails as soon as they come in. Instead, maintain discipline and schedule time after these quiet periods to reply to incoming requests.

 
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