The Break Room

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Improve Your Productivity

May 20, 2016, 08:32 AM by Kathleen Kontos

Everyone starts out their day hoping it will be a productive one, but it doesn't always turn out that way. From chatty co-workers to never ending emails, the modern workplace is filled with productivity killers that you often need to overcome to make the most of your day. For those days when your to-do list seems never ending and the deadlines looming, try out a couple of these tips to increase your productivity.

Check Email at Set Times

One of the biggest productivity killers is email. One second you are fully engrossed in the project you have due tomorrow, then your inbox fills up and before you know it, you've completely lost focus on the task you need to finish. A good way to remedy this distraction is to set specific times you check your email so you're not checking it every 2 minutes and getting distracted from what you're working on. Depending on how urgent you're emails may be, you can always set up automatic replies stating when you'll be checking your email or set up filters so you'll still get a notification for emails from specific senders.

Block Out Distractions

With more and more offices moving to open office concepts, distractions can seem somewhat intensified. One moment you're getting your project done in record time, the next your co-workers laughing distracts you and you never quite get back into your groove. A simple way to remedy this is to block out these distractions with a pair of headphones and whatever keeps you focused on the task at hand, whether it's a carefully crafted playlist or an interesting podcast. Another thing you can do if your biggest source of distraction is co-workers stopping by your desk is to set up a system to let them know when you'd like to not be interrupted without being rude. You can do this by letting them know that when you have your headphones in you're really trying to focus and would like to only be interrupted for emergencies.

Accomplish Difficult Projects Early

Tackle your projects that are the most difficult early in the day. First thing in the morning is the best time to tackle those projects that require the most focus and thought. This is the time where you're able to be your most productive so, instead of wasting it answering mundane emails, put it to good use with those difficult projects.

End the Day with a List

Another great way to set yourself up for a productive tomorrow is to get down what you need to accomplish. Before you head out for the day, write down the tasks you either need to finish up from today or will need to accomplish tomorrow. Then you'll be able to come into the office and start on your projects right away instead of spending time figuring out what needs to be done. It's important to remember to keep your list short with only the tasks that must get down. Too long of a 'to do' list can actually hinder your productivity.

While your productivity can vary from day to day (everyone has days where they just can't get in work mode), these tips can help set you up for a productive day and even turn around an unproductive one. What do you do to boost your productivity?

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