There are many things that can influence our mood and behaviour at work, from tiredness due to the lack of sleep to stress due to relationship issues.
Luckily, there are also many ways in which we can improve our work habits and achieve better results.
While some of them might require a bit more effort, there are also simpler ways that require nothing but a slight change of habits.
With that in mind, if you are struggling with staying productive, here are ten ways in which you could improve your productivity.
1. Accept your flaws
First things first, you need to accept that you have a problem in order to start fixing it. Nobody is perfect, and regardless of the reasons for your lack of productivity, it’s still a problem that you need to work on fixing.
Moreover, you’re not superhuman either, and productivity depends on more things than one, so it might take you some time to find the right kind of balance. However, once you do, you’re less likely to lose it again.
2. Prioritise your tasks
We’ve all been in the situation where we had so much stuff to do, we had no idea where to begin.
In those moments, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose motivation completely.
However, instead of giving in to the feeling of hopeless, take some time to organise your tasks.
Determine which of them can be done quickly, which are more important, and which might take a bit more time.
Once you have a clearer picture of your work, it should be easier for you to determine where you should start.
3. Plan ahead
After organising your tasks and deciding on the order in which you want to do them, make a plan. Keep in mind the time of the day when you feel the most productive, and do the most difficult tasks then.
Similarly, use the less energising moments to do the simpler things, like checking your emails, making phone calls, and organising your documents.
It might also be helpful to write down your plan on a piece of paper and make a checklist of all the things you need to do for the day.
This way, you’re less likely to forget anything, and you’ll feel much better about yourself once you start crossing things off the list. Finally, after a few days of planning, re-evaluate your strategy, and adjust it if needed.
4. Get rid of any distractions
Most of the people who struggle with productivity refuse to admit that they actually allow themselves to get distracted by social media.
No matter whether it is only five minutes or 15, spending time on social media is still a distraction that has the potential to ruin your focus for the whole day.
So, try to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media while working to a minimum, even if it implies installing applications that block any chosen websites for a set amount of time.
5. Keep your desk clean
If there is a mess on your work desk, there’s likely to be one in your head as well.
Cleaning your desk and organising your work supplies wouldn’t take you longer than 15 minutes, and it can do wonders for your overall mood.
So, put away all your files and paper documents, keep your supplies in the bottom drawer, and leave on your desk only the things you need. It’s a simple step, but it can help you feel much more in control.
6. Take breaks
It’s one thing to keep working while you’re “on a roll” but completely another trying to power through when you keep reading the same thing for the 5th time because you just can’t focus on it.
So, when your mind hits that brick wall and starts to wonder, take a break. Give your brain a chance to restart, stretch your legs a bit, listen to some music, grab a healthy snack, and it’ll be easier for you to work for longer.
7. Take the pill
No matter how organised you are and how many breaks you take, sometimes, there’s just too much work and too little time.
This is when it becomes easy to get burned out, stressed out, and even depressed.
This is also when you should consider taking some energy-boosting supplements, like good focus pills, which can help you maintain your concentration for longer.
8. Get inspired
The more inspired you are, the more productive you’ll be, and it would definitely show in your results.
Inspiration can come from many sources; you could be inspired by your parents, friends, mentor, or even your favourite movie.
So, try to find the thing that inspires and motivates you, and keep it close to you so you can always remind yourself why your job is worth doing.
For example, you can have a photo of your family on your desk, or a couple of meaningful quotes from your favourite book written in your notebook.
9. Find something else to love
No matter how much you might love your job at the moment, it’s still going to become exhausting sooner or later if there’s nothing else in your life that you care about.
Plus, if you’re a woman, research has shown that you’re even more likely to suffer from work-related stress.
The thing is, we all need a healthy balance between our professional and private life in order to be emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. So, try to find something else you’re passionate about, and spend your free time doing something other than work.
10. Get some help
Last but not least, you are not alone in this. Ask your co-workers how they deal with pressure, or, if you work alone, find somebody who is in the same field of work, and ask for advice.
By asking for help, you would show that you care about your performance and that you want to improve yourself.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to talk to your co-workers, superiors, friends with a similar job, or even a psychologist if needed.
It’s completely natural to go through periods of lowered productivity, but if those periods persist, they could affect your performance in more negative ways than one.
However, there are many strategies that could help you keep your work under control, and as long as you aware of your weaknesses and willing to put effort into boosting your productivity, there’s nothing preventing you from finding a solution to your problems.