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How to get more done at work

Sweta Dash
13th Nov 2016
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Thanks to the competitive spirit and the technological advancements, our work lives have become more hectic than ever! In order to keep up with it, most people end up putting Herculean effort at work, completely ignoring every other aspect of their life that needs attention – health, passion projects, family and relationships, recreations, and so on. We load up on caffeine and stretch our work timings to accommodate our desire of getting more done in less time. But what if we could do it better?

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According to latest research, time and productivity need not be directly proportional to each other. In fact, the world is slowly starting to take note of shorter work days. However, until you reach that point when smaller work days and manageable workloads become a reality for everyone, here are a few things that you can do to do more in a day:

1. Practice a good beginning to your day

Wake up early and start a healthy morning ritual. Waking up early is a mantra for success that cannot be emphasised enough. Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier if needed and get off your bed in time. Get your regular dose of physical exercises or mindful exercises to prepare your body and brain for the day. Do not skip breakfast before heading for work. Make a note of all the things to do at work. This will help you be mentally prepared with priorities for the day.

2. Prioritise your tasks

Once you reach office, have a second look at your to-do list for the day. Check your e-mails and speak to your clients/team if needed to figure out the priorities. After figuring out the tasks for the day, apply the Pareto’s principle. According to Pareto’s principle, you get 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your efforts. Figure out what deserves your 20 percent, and focus on that.

3. Be clear about the deadlines

Understand your tasks and fix deadlines accordingly. Break down your projects into actual actionable tasks and allocate relevant resources for the same. Discuss with the team and find the reasonable deadlines. Do not over-commit and under-deliver, but do the vice-versa instead.

4. Delegate tasks and be a team player

Allocate resources for every actionable task in your project. However, if you find that someone else can do it better and/or faster, do not hesitate to include them. Be a team player and make them feel as an essential part of the team. Meanwhile, you can work on other actionable tasks that are your forte but also be the point of communication for the delegated task.

5. Eliminate distractions

Do not allow yourself to be distracted when you really need to focus. Research shows that even a three-second distraction can actually double the chances of errors!

Follow the Pomodoro technique and indulge in uninterrupted chunks of time. According to the Pomodoro technique, you can break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks to achieve maximum productivity.

6. Improve your communication skills

Communicate the objectives and business strategies effectively to your team for best results. Bad communication will only cause chaos and result in poor results. Listen to the solutions suggested by your team as well and take the best ones into account. Learn to say ‘No’ to things that are not worth your time.

Implement these ideas and see for yourself how you save time and effort at work.

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