Managing Productivity

It’s an interesting thing how we can get so wrapped up in our daily “To-Dos.” Sometimes it seems that stepping into the office can be a time warp. Before you realize it, eight hours have vanished.

Recently, I realized that I had been in the office for 11 days straight. Part of that reason was our “Extreme Office Makeover” that took place in a matter of one weekend (I’m not joking).

However, it’s important to make sure that long days aren’t spent 100 percent pounding away at your keyboard. I personally take deliberate action to break up my day and have found it drastically improves my work, interactions with colleagues and overall job satisfaction.

Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Laugh. Most people would agree that they work better in a fun, productive environment. It often seems that we get so focused on deadlines that we forget to step back and realize that we are surrounded with other people. I intentionally will try to say something random every few hours to break up the sound of typing keys and phones ringing.
  2. Daily Schedules. I work hard to schedule out my day based on when I am most effective. Mornings tend to be best for knocking out small, standard “To-Dos.” This helps me clear my plate (and mind) for the larger tasks. Afternoons I find myself being more productive in strategic projects and creative brainstorming.
  3. Take Breaks. This is my number one suggestion. As any of my colleagues will vouch, I take a lunch break nearly every day, and the days I don’t, they wish that I had. The mid-day break really has nothing to do with the food, but is all about taking a breather, leaving the office and letting your brain rest. Additionally, I try to get up from my computer and walk around every few hours. Taking 10 minutes to let your brain catch up will pay off in productivity in the long run.

We all want the same thing – high level of job satisfaction with high quality work – figure out what methods work best for you, and begin fitting the actions into your schedule.

For further thoughts on the topic, I found a great article in the NY Times discussing a similar subject. Click here to read the article.

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