We’ve all been there. Hired into a job meant for one person, but feeling like we’re working for two. Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s often difficult to find the motivation to be productive in the workplace. Even if you love your job, how can you find happiness at work?
So how do you maintain the drive and fire to do your job and do it well without burning out and being left on empty?
1. Take Breaks
You might be saying that this sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many professions work straight through an 8 hour day without a break. Scheduling out your breaks has actually shown to increase concentration and productivity.
You might even consider taking a break in the middle of a long task in order to get more done. When you have an intense task, you’ll end up producing better work when you break in the middle rather than trying to work straight through.
2. Learn to Say No
Meetings are inevitable, but if every email results in a meeting, your entire day is shot. To be honest, most meetings can be resolved with a simple phone call or email instead of attending them and complaining about them after.
Would you believe that the average person spends over 31 hours a month in meetings that are completely unnecessary? While meetings might sound like the place where decisions get made and action is taken, it can truly be the biggest time suck of all.
3. Don’t Multitask
We’ve all been there, there’s so much to do so you think it’s easier to do two things at once. When this happens, both tasks suffer and your productivity lessens.
When you focus on one task at a time, you’ll find you complete it faster than if you try to juggle 3 things at once. Trying to complete more than one task at a time divides your attention and ultimately results in a loss of time and productivity.
4. What’s Crucial for Today?
At the beginning of your work day, make a list of what you need to accomplish for the day. Sure, there might be 15 things on your plate at the moment, but what are the most critical?
Making a spreadsheet with the top three items for the day will help you focus on the things that must be completed before the day’s over. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, some tasks can wait until others are finished.
5. Standing Meetings
Standing meetings are becoming more and more popular. When you attempt to be productive when sitting, you become complacent and innovation stops. Having each person in the room stand for the duration of the meeting maintains focus.
Being active will encourage all attendees to participate in conversations instead of having one person drone on endlessly. Not only this but since no one wants to stand for hours on end, your meetings will become shorter and more productive in the long run. Learn more about how to implement standing meetings in your work environment.
6. Put Away the Phone
Research shows phones as being the 4th biggest distraction when it comes to productivity. Funny how the one thing that keeps you most connected to the world can also suck you out of it. Your phone can draw your attention away from the things that are most important at the moment.
Imagine you’re in the zone and your phone keeps buzzing with notifications. Just like anyone else, your attention instantly shifts and is taken away from the task at hand and put on your phone. Muting or turning notifications off completely will help you get much more done and complete tasks faster.
7. Organization Is Key
When you’re surrounded by stuff, you instantly feel more anxious and uptight. Decluttering your workspace and just having the essentials will increase your productivity and make work more fun.
If you’re working on that important project, but can’t remember where you put the one document you need, your drive decreases and work comes to a halt. Being able to pinpoint where each important file and document is without taking your mind off the task at hand will make that project much easier.
8. Early Bird Gets the Worm
Sleeping until 9 AM is great, but think about all the time and productivity wasted while you were still sound asleep. Choosing to wake up early is difficult, but it gives you the time to start your day off on the right foot without feeling rushed or stressed.
You don’t have to start work as soon as you open your eyes, but giving yourself the time to do something for you in the morning, whether it’s exercising, eating a good breakfast, or reading the paper, allows the opportunity to focus on what’s ahead.
9. Learn to Delegate
Sometimes there’s just too much on your plate. Looking at everything you have to get done is overwhelming. Take the time to list out all the tasks on your plate and choose to hand over some of the lower level tasks to someone else. This gives you the mental capacity to focus on doing high-level tasks with excellence.
Even if it means hiring a personal assistant or outsourcing some work, it’s worth it if it means you keep your sanity and your drive.
10. Find Your Motivation
When you have tasks to complete that seem meaningless, remind yourself of why you chose your job in the first place. Being able to actively recall the motivation behind your drive and ambition help rekindle your passion for what you do.
Even if the motivation isn’t obvious at first, keep digging deep inside yourself until you figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you can recall where your passion came from in the first place, you’ll feel more empowered to complete the tasks ahead.
Creating Your Own Happiness at Work
Hoping and wishing that you’ll find the motivation to be productive in the workplace isn’t enough to help you do your job. Learning how to give yourself the space to make mistakes and grow from those will enable you to do your job better and find happiness at work.
Sure, not every day will be as productive as the last, but each morning is another chance to do it again.