Posted by Hays UAE, March 2015
The emails you should’ve responded to days ago remain unanswered, the documents you were supposed to proofread remain riddled with grammatical errors, and your spread sheets lack critical updates. Panic sets in and you start to rush and stress. This situation is all too familiar to a lot of people; in our 24/7 culture overworking has become a way of life for many of us. However, rushing around will backfire – you and your team will become stressed and the quality of your work will suffer.
Here are 6 tactics to help you finally stop rushing and ultimately be more productive at work:
1. Stop saying yes and start pushing back
It’s all too tempting to take on new projects or accept invites to unnecessary meetings, especially if you want to prove yourself. If this sounds like you, you must force yourself to take a step back and focus your energy into those activities which will deliver the most value for your career and for the business. Do you really need to go to that meeting or would your time be put to better use elsewhere?
2. Make prioritising a priority
At the beginning of each week and each day, write your to do list and concentrate on those tasks which will deliver the most value. Make a habit of blocking out time in your diary to get essential tasks completed. Stick to the timings you have allocated and you will feel calmer in the knowledge that, even if you are not due to action a task instantly, it will get done.
3. Be ruthless with distractions
Don’t let valuable time get eaten up with distractions. Focus on one thing at a time. If necessary, shut down your emails and turn your phone off. Make sure you are tough when dealing with interruptions. Firmly tell your colleague who stops by your desk on the way to the coffee machine for a quick chat, that you are too busy.
4. Make every second count
Write a five-minute list – producing a list of low intensity tasks will enable you to make productive use of that spare five minutes before a meeting starts.
5. Don’t be afraid to delegate
You can’t do everything, sometimes you just need to let go of the control and trust others. Review your to do list and ask yourself ‘does this have to be done by me?’ Could you delegate the task to another member of your team? Don’t be afraid to delegate, your colleagues will most likely be pleased at the opportunity to develop their skills, whilst you save yourself valuable time.
6. Take breaks and get plenty of sleep
Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to get out of the office. Force yourself to take a break and get some fresh air – when you return you will feel refreshed and ultimately in a more productive and focused frame of mind. The same goes for sleep – get a full eight hours and you’ll arrive at work feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day.