Productivity at work: How to make the most of your work day

We all want to finish work and feel like we’ve been productive at work, the satisfying feeling of knowing you’ve achieved what you set out to do by the end of the working day feels good. Even though we chase that feeling, its sometimes difficult to come by; we’re humans not robots and working to 100% efficiency constantly throughout the work day is unattainable for most people- its all about finding a comfortable balance! Follow these tips for a productive, yet balanced work day!

1. Don’t take on too you much you can’t handle 

You may think that taking on extra tasks is productive as you’re getting more done, but if you know the inevitable overwhelm is coming then taking on too much will probably be counter productive in the long run as the quality of work produced will probably not be the highest. Likewise, sometimes when you have a lot on your plate you have to learn how to say no to people, as nice as it is to assist people and help them out, you have your own work to complete.

 2. Prioritise your most important/hardest tasks (Do them first!)

Getting your most important tasks out the way early in the day not only will help you in your role in general, but it also utilises your brain and attention span. The early afternoon slump of 2pm probably isn’t the best time of day to go over that proposal, tackle these harder, more important tasks with fresh eyes (and a fresh brain). Another good tip similar to this, is if smaller tasks pop up throughout the day try and do them straight away to avoid letting them linger. Working out when your productivity peaks the most throughout the day can also be useful as you can use this to judge when to do these tasks. For some people this could be first thing on a morning, for others it could be at 4pm.

3. Struggling to concentrate? Use the Pomodoro Technique.

This time management technique was coined in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the technique uses a timer to break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks in between (typically 5-10 minutes). This is a useful technique (especially for creative tasks) as it encourages concentration in short bursts which is a more realistic way to work, the technique helps to train your brain away from distractions. This is also a great technique for individuals who struggle with concentration a lot such as people with ADHD, to ensure you reap the benefits of this technique never skip your breaks, if you do this then you’re not executing the technique! For more information check out this handy guide over on indeed A guide to the Pomodoro technique and how to use it | UK

4. Take breaks

Even if the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t work for you, taking breaks throughout the work day is essential. Even if the break is just making a cup of coffee or going for a 10 minute breather outside, it all counts. Taking regular breaks actually helps your brain to process and break down information, meaning it can be more easily retained in the long term. Don’t feel guilty for taking breaks or needing a break, your brain needs it! During this time, make sure you eat and hydrate, particularly if you have a busy, non stop work day.