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Improving Your Productivity

Introduction
Your ideas and energy give life to your organization and enable it to function at its best. The more you realize your potential, the more you and your company benefit.
 
Your state of mind, attitude, morale – all these things – affect the quality of the work you produce. Feeling good about yourself and your performance helps you to produce work about which you and your employer can be proud.
 
When it comes to realizing your potential as an employee, there are certain practices that that can help with productivity whether you work at the entry or executive level!

One Task at a Time
Psychologists have determined that taking on multiple tasks at once can often compromise productivity. According to studies, giving specific tasks which require minimal time to complete, your full attention until they are fulfilled will result in a faster rate of overall completion compared to taking on multiple tasks simultaneously.
 
“2-Minute Drill”
According to Entrepreneur and Writer Steve Olenski, identifying and immediately completing tasks that take two minutes or less to tackle will have a great impact on your personal productivity. He explains that addressing tasks right away as they arise, will actually take less time than going back later to complete them.
 
Take a Break!
Modern research suggests that that taking regular breaks can help increase concentration, memory, and creativity. Meanwhile, working for long, uninterrupted periods of time has been linked to exhaustion and stress. Although it may sound contradictory, taking a few short breaks, or a 15 minute walk outside, will help you get more done, and improve the quality of your work as well!
 
Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep at night? The American Sleep Association states that 35% of individuals aged 20-59 are not getting the recommended amount of sleep at night (7- 9 hours). Not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase your chances of making mental errors, while well-rested individuals experience lower stress levels, and an increased ability to make split-second decisions.
 
Beating Stress:
Excessive stress can interfere with performance. You can minimize it if you do any of the following:

Set your own daily or weekly goals. This increases your sense of being in control of your life and can reduce stress. Also, informal surveys show that self-imposed goals will motivate you. You’ll get a feeling of pride when you reach them. Just be sure the goals are realistic.
Ask the right person if you’re unsure about something to do at work. Winging it or getting an answer from someone who isn’t responsible for a particular decision could get you in trouble and increase your stress level. Bosses prefer employees who ask questions in order to get the job done right.

Stop trying to change your boss. To build a better relationship, change yourself. Many people underestimate the power they have to improve a situation by changing their behavior and their expectations of others.

Take control of your stress and take care of yourself.
List the things that cause you stress. Try to change those over which you have control and acknowledge those over which you do not.

Write down three positive things you can do in the next week that will organize your life personally and professionally, and reduce your stress. Then do them. You’ve got to take care of yourself and your stress before you can offer your best to the people for whom you work.
 
Make Computer-Use Easier:
If you’re working at a computer terminal and experiencing visual fatigue, blink more often. With each blink you can lubricate your eyes. Dr. Frank Weinstock of Northeastern Ohio University says that “staring at the screen to avoid missing anything” rather than at the screen itself seems to cause a sense of eye fatigue.

Wipe your computer screen with one of the many cleaning pads available for this purpose. You’ll cut down on glare and eye strain.  Save documents on which you are working every 15 minutes.

You may be surprised to find that putting even just a few of these tips into practice may yield great results. It is important to remember that even the most seemingly productive of us can stand to improve their habits.