Most people are languishing because of the pandemic. And this feeling is affecting the way people work. For one, not everyone likes working from home due to the lack of boundary between work and life. This issue leads to another problem: longer working hours. The average work hours now is 48.5 minutes longer than the period during the post-pandemic era.
It’s also not easy to stay productive in the middle of a global crisis. Besides work, you have many things to worry about, such as your family’s health, your own health, and your finances, to name a few.
To help you get back on track and improve your work performance, consider using the following productivity strategies:
Structure Your Day
One way to stay productive is by structuring your day. There are many ways to do this. First, consider dividing your time into several intervals. Do only one task per interval. Monotasking will help you stay focused because you don’t have to switch between different tasks. It will also help you save time.
Another way to structure your day is by writing a to-do list. Enumerate all your tasks in a day. At the beginning of your day, write down all the things you need to do, including the little tasks. For example, perhaps you need to sync your online photo storage to free up some space in your phone. Or you need to call a colleague to discuss work matters. You can’t always trust your brain to remember these tasks, especially on a busy day. So make sure that you add them to your to-do list as well.
The to-do list will serve as your guide throughout the day. After you finish a task, you’ll easily know which one to do next because you have it listed down. Also, the act of scratching off tasks from a list can increase your momentum and make you more motivated.
Start with the Most Difficult Task
The common belief is to start with the lighter tasks to get more done in a short time. But doing this can take a toll on your productivity. The brain is just like your muscles. If you use it a lot, it gets tired. This means that if you leave the most difficult task later on, you will already feel fatigued and won’t have enough mental capacity to finish it.
Thus, you should start with the most difficult task instead. This is a way to use your energy wisely, given that the easier tasks will need less energy to finish. Starting with the most difficult task will also help you avoid procrastinating.
Distractions do exactly what they’re called: distract people. Even the smallest distractions, such as a notification bell from your phone, can derail your productivity. If you pick up your phone every time it rings, you’ll use up a lot of time scrolling to your phone. And this is why you need to eliminate distractions during your work hours.
Activate the “do not disturb” mode of your phone to avoid getting distracted by notifications. You can also keep your phone in a drawer while you work. Next, remove all physical distractions from your workspace. Consider stripping it down to the very basics. Only put essential things at arm’s reach: your notebook or planner, water tumbler, and so on.
Leverage Your Chronotype
In many productivity videos, YouTubers say that part of their productivity routine is waking up early. This leaves an impression that everyone must wake up early; otherwise, they don’t be productive.
But that’s not true at all. Waking up early doesn’t make you productive. Instead, it’s about determining your body clock and adjusting your work to accommodate that.
Taking a chronotype test will be helpful. A chronotype refers to a person’s circadian rhythm and is classified into four types: bear, wolf, lion, and dolphin. If you find out your type, you can determine your productivity window and work with your body’s circadian rhythm. For instance, most people are classified under the bear chronotype. Its productivity window is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. So if this is your chronotype, you should schedule difficult tasks within this time frame.
It’s okay if you’ve become a little less productive than you were before the pandemic started. But you have to be more proactive to change this and perform better at work. The strategies discussed above will certainly help you get started. You don’t have to use all of them. You can try each strategy first and see which ones work for you.
Meta title: Ways to Stay Productive at Work
meta desc: Productivity levels of employees have dropped since the pandemic started. If you’re in the same situation and want to get back on track, you’ll need to use these productivity strategies.