I read a great article in Forbes the other week which provided 10 tips to work less and accomplish more.
While I didn’t find all of the tips to be helpful, there were a number that I felt strongly about.
I share this with the hopes of making myself and others more productive and happy at work and home:
- Prioritize your health: If you don’t feel well, you can’t perform fell. Productivity comes easier to those who prioritize their health and happiness. So, next time you think about skipping the gym, think twice. Exercise, nutrition and work-life balance are essential if you want to be a well-rounded, productive worker.
- Listen to music: Music helps spark our creativity and efficiency. Figure out what songs are motivating for you and put them when you need to “get in the zone.”
- Use your network: Nobody is good at everything; we all have our unique skills and expertise. When you come across a task that isn’t in your field of expertise, use your network for advice, guidance or insight. That’s what they’re there for, and hopefully they will return the favor by coming to you the next time they need help or have a question that is aligned with your skill set.
- Make lists: I’m a huge fan of to-do lists because they keep me organized. Before I get to work, I make a short list of the things I need to get done that day. I prioritize the list and cross things off as I complete them. There are few things that make you feel more productive than seeing your list shrink as the day progresses.
- Take breaks: When you find yourself at a stall with your work, or find yourself frustrated with a project, take a break and walk around the office. Even better: step outside for some fresh air. Stepping away from your desk helps reset your brain, allowing you to gain new perspective and insight into problems.
- Reflect: You’re not likely to be productive if you’re working at/in the wrong job, the wrong company or the wrong industry. Take time to reflect on your current role. If it’s not making you happy, if you aren’t excited to do your job, think about making a change to do what energizes and motivates you.
- Recharge: I can’t emphasize this enough! Take time for yourself – to rest; to eat lunch; to read books for fun. Use your vacation time – it’s there for a reason: to recharge your batteries.
- Remember it will be there tomorrow: Don’t stress if/when you don’t finish every item on your to-do list. (I know, it’s a lot easier said than done.) Try to budget time for interruptions throughout your day and remember that whatever you don’t finish will be there tomorrow. Working late to try to accomplish everything on your list is never a good idea because, if you’re in the right job, there is always more work to be done.
Taking time to relax, work out, cook and spend time with friends is essential for our sanity and our productivity.
The article stated it best: “the ironic truth is, you can’t work efficiently if you’re always working.”