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Fall is on its way, which means shorter days, less sunlight, and less productivity? We hope not, but it’s almost inevitable we start dragging as the leaves start falling. DECU is here to help find that motivation and maximize productivity this fall!
1. Set a timer
Choose an increment of time you want to work on something (typically about 30 minutes). Set a timer for that time then get to work. Don’t check email or social media or take phone calls. Once the 30 minutes it up, stop working, take a break, catch up on email, etc., then start again for another 30 minutes.
2. Take breaks
Sometimes taking breaks can feel like you’re wasting valuable time, but that’s not true. Breaks are important to keep you motivated and energized. Make sure you’re scheduling breaks into your day and actually taking them, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the office every couple hours.
3. Follow the two-minute rule
The two-minute rule is a classic. Basically, if you have any pending tasks or any tasks that come up that will take two minutes or less, do it right away. It will take less time to simply get it out of the way than it will to revisit the task and do it later.
4. Log out or hide social media
Social media can be a huge time suck! It’s so easy to check Facebook for “just a second,” then the next thing you know it’s been an hour and you’re way back in 2009 on someone’s timeline. It’s easiest to log out, change your password, or hide social media all together. Schedule in social media breaks if that makes it easier, but don’t make it easy to hop on for a second while you’re working.
5. Decorate your space
It’s important to be organized, but it’s also important to have a space that gets you in the mood to be productive. Be sure to fill your walls with whatever motivates you! That could mean family pictures, vision boards, minimalist decorations, or lots of plants. Whatever makes you feel ready to take on the world – put it in your office.
6. Create to do lists
To do lists are so simple and so amazing. Be sure that you’re writing down every task you need to do, otherwise it’s easy to forget something. If you create a to do list each morning or afternoon, you can visually see what needs to be done and create a game plan to tackle it. Plus, it’s super motivating to cross something off when you’re done!
7. Stop multitasking
Sometimes I feel like the queen of multitasking. Eating lunch while writing an email and attending a webinar? I can do it all! Unfortunately, it’s been proven time and time again that multitasking doesn’t work. It feels like you’re getting a lot done at the time, but you’re simply taking longer to do each item. And, your work is sloppier and more likely to have mistakes. Stick to single tasking.
8. Set specific times to check email
When we’re talking about distractions, email doesn’t come up much. That’s because it’s often included in the things you need to get done. It’s part of the job, right? Well that’s true, but it’s also a huge distraction. Have you ever been totally in the zone when all of the sudden an email comes through? By the time you open it, read and process it, then reply, you’ve gotten out of the zone. It will take so much more time to get back in the zone! Schedule specific times to read and reply to emails and be sure to leave it in those times.
9. Schedule tasks as they arise
This goes along with your to do list. As soon as a new task arises, find at time to do it. Schedule it in before you even have time to think about it, worry about it, or procrastinate.
10. Track your tasks
Last, be sure to track your tasks so you can see what’s taking the most time. Not only are you able to see what projects take the most time, but you can also see what is wasting your valuable time. Do you still end up on social media every 15 minutes? Seeing it on paper makes it real!