Staying focused and productive while working can be a challenge. This is true whether you work in an office, remotely, or are self-employed.
The good news is, tools are available to help you get through your workday while getting things done. Try out a few of our favourite workplace productivity hacks today. You can find them below. Consider seriously ay of these ways to stay focussed at work.
1) Use Preformatted Templates
Sometimes, you need a professional-looking document in a hurry. Rather than trying to create one from scratch using a layout tool or a word processor, take advantage of the preformatted templates located within these programs or online.
For example, imagine you need to create a CV for yourself or your client. You can find beautifully designed CV templates online and simply fill in the blanks, replacing filler text with the needed information. The same is true of documents like letterhead, invitations, brochures, and flyers.
2) Create Legal Documents Online
The fill-in-the-blanks method described above can be used for some legal documents as well. For example, you can use online services to create forms such as employment contracts, partnership agreements, business plans, client contracts, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, website privacy policies or terms and conditions, non-complete agreements, digital image licences, and more.
The website will simply prompt you to enter the needed information. Then it will plug it into a document with the proper legal wording. The process typically takes 5 to ten minutes per document. You’ll skip a trip to the solicitor’s office and probably save a few pounds, too.
3) Schedule Social Media Posts in Advance
Social media marketing and maintaining an active social media presence are increasingly important to many businesses. But, it can be time-consuming to try and “feed the algorithm” daily or several times per week.
Tools are available to speed up the process. You can use design tools like Canva to create visually stunning posts in moments.
While basic design tools are free, Canva also offers a paid subscription that can help you schedule posts in advance. Or, you can use free or paid services from Buffer and Facebook to schedule your posts in advance.
What is the benefit of scheduling your posts? Rather than taking time out of multiple days to create posts, you can take a few minutes to an hour once per week. This centred approach will also help you to plan well thought out and consistent campaigns. You will also avoid being distracted by scrolling through social media.
4) Try the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro method is a time-management technique. Your workday will be broken down into 25-minute segments of work followed by short breaks. Most breaks are 5 minutes in length, but every fourth break is 15 minutes in length.
How does the Pomodoro technique help you stay focused? There are several reasons.
- When you know you only have a few minutes to complete a task, you may be more inclined to focus and work hard on it.
- Your next break is always less than half an hour away. Even with a heavy workload, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by a long day. Also, you can put off distractions – like checking social media or getting a cup of coffee – until your next break.
You can use your breaks to recharge for the next round of work. Have a cup of tea. Take a walk around the office – or even outdoors. Do some stretches or simple callisthenics. You will be amazed at how these short breaks help you wake up and stay focused.
The creator of the Pomodoro method originally used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer (thus the Italian Pomodoro, meaning tomato). You can use the stopwatch on your phone, or download a dedicated Pomodoro timer app.
5) List and Prioritize
It may seem counterintuitive to take 5 to 15 minutes to plan when you already know what a busy day you have on your plate. But prioritizing your tasks can help you get more done. How?
Often, we have more on our to-do lists than we can actually get done in a day. So, answer the following questions, they re-order your to-do list accordingly:
- What tasks have deadlines for today?
- What tasks are most important/vital to accomplishing my overall business goals?
- What deadlines must be met tomorrow or later in the week?
Well-organized to-do lists are helpful because we feel rewarded when we check off an item. It is like levelling up in a game – it activates the pleasure centres of the brain.
But prioritizing will help you avoid a common to-do list pitfall. Sometimes, we may be tempted to complete easy, small tasks just so we can check them off. It makes us feel like we’re getting things done – even if we’re putting off bigger, more important tasks. Prioritizing your list and working straight through it will help you get the most important items done on time.
Using templates and document creation software, planning social media in advance, managing our time well will help us be more productive in the workplace.