Doesn’t it seem there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your work done? Do you find yourself working harder and accomplishing less? Well, you’re not alone.
A survey by Salary.com found that the average employee wastes two hours of each workday, not counting scheduled breaks or lunch. There are so many distractions today, namely our cellphones. We’re often checking email, texts and the internet. What may seem like an occasional glance quickly adds up to wasted time during the workday.
There’s a saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” There are ways to get the job done without having to work longer or harder. Here are some tips to help you work smarter:
Turn off social media – If you’re not using Twitter or Facebook for work, wait until you get home to engage it, suggests Forbes. You’ll be surprised how much time you save by not scrolling through dozens of posts and tweets. If you are using email or social media for work, check it a few times during the day instead of very few minutes.
Make a List – Having a to-do list will eliminate that wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the night panic that you forgot to do an important task during the day. Make a list that can be realistically accomplished.
Delegate – Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to co-workers. Just make sure you delegate the right task to the right person.
Do Less – Carefully choose your projects and tasks. Don’t take on more than you can handle – you know your limits. Focus on one goal at a time.
Clear Your Mind – Forbes recommends taking a short break away from your desk several times a day. Go for a short walk or just step away from the computer for a few minutes. A fresh, clear mind does wonders to keep you focused and improve productivity.
Streamline – Try to reduce tasks such as the number or the length of meetings and how many times you check your business email. A few minutes saved here and there adds up.
Improving productivity goes beyond the office. Try to keep your workweek to 40 hours and enjoy the weekend. A study by Stanford University found that productivity declines sharply if the workweek exceeds 50 hours. Those who work a 70-hour week have the same productivity as those who worked 55 hours, according to the study.
Entrepreneur suggests these tips for a better weekend to help you relax and recharge:
Disconnect – Remove yourself from your job between Friday night and Monday morning. Forget about checking work emails or taking work-related calls.
Exercise – Just 10-minutes of exercise helps release the neurotransmitter, GABA, that reduces stress. Walk, run, work in the garden are al; great stress relievers. Get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air.
Enjoy your family – Spend times with the kids and your spouse. Go on a family trip or out to dinner.
Don’t sleep late – It may be tempting to sleep-in weekend mornings but studies show that waking up at the same time each day keeps your circadian rhythm – your internal body clock – in check.