Are there too many things on your calendar each day to get done? If your answer is "yes," you may be guilty of a common assumption made by many people, say researchers. According to a study reported by the American Psychological Association, research reveals that people over-commit because we expect to have more time in the future than we have in the present. Of course, when tomorrow turns into today, we discover that we are too busy to do everything we promised. Keep this fact in mind. It will help you to better-plan your days and avoid unnecessary frustration.
3 ways to improve your productivity at work
How can you improve your productivity and get more things done each day? Here are three strategies that can help:
- Schedule your time for work – Be consistent. Don't do personal things when you are scheduled to work. Make a "To Do" list and prioritize your tasks. A list is most effective for those of us who need to consult a reference or see it in writing. When you have completed a task, cross it off your list. You'll get a real sense of completion and satisfaction as you see your list getting shorter and shorter.
- Do the most-difficult, time-consuming, least-favorite job first – It may sound crazy but you'll be doing it when you have the most energy and motivation. If you tackle the toughest job first, the rest of your tasks will seem that much easier.
- Don't allow yourself to get interrupted by other people's "emergencies" – How many times have you had your tasks and activities planned, so you could finally get caught up with your own work, and all day long other people keep coming to you with their last-minute problems that only you can fix? You don't want to say no, you want to be a team player, but you have stuff to get done too, right? Remember, that being a team player also means respecting others' time and realizing that others have responsibilities too. If your co-workers can't grasp this, you have to. Learn to say no in a polite but firm manner: "I would really like to assist you with that, and I know you have a deadline. Unfortunately, I have a project which I must complete for my boss today. If you can come back tomorrow or another time, or better yet, schedule some time with me so that it is on my calendar, I would be more than happy to help you."