Everyone experiences days when getting started on their tasks and getting them done seems to take more time and effort than usual. Whether they’re working from home or in an office, workers can find themselves surrounded by distractions and unable to focus on their responsibilities. At times, they may just be downright unmotivated. If you were in this situation, how would you stay focused on your work productivity?
How to Schedule Your Work Day for Best Productivity
One good way to stay productive throughout your workday is by utilizing scheduling techniques to help you stay on track. These methods are designed to keep you going when you’re in a slump, and you can also use them as a guide for planning out your daily schedule. You can even use these methods while you’re looking for job hiring Iloilo companies so you can stay motivated and ramp up your job search. Adapting these scheduling techniques even before you start working can help you explain your process to interviewers, and even impress your coworkers with great work performance once you’ve started.
We listed the top four popular methods usually recommended by productivity coaches. These are also some of the easiest ones to follow and apply to different situations. It’s best to try each one in turn to find the best one that matches your working style and task requirements.
Prioritize 1 to 3 Important Tasks
You might have a lot of things to accomplish on your to-do list, and you might be tempted to multitask. However, multitasking can ruin your focus and cause a decline in the quality of your work. Avoid multitasking and scrutinize your to-do list to see what needs to get done immediately. When you prioritize your tasks, you might realize that some work can be put off for tomorrow or later. This can stop you from feeling overwhelmed and help you stay focused on what’s most important.
You can choose to prioritize just one task a day or three tasks at the most. Keeping this list short and finishing one task before working on another allows you to be hyper-focused with your attention and efforts. Even if you end up finishing only one task, you can still feel accomplished and productive since you completed an important job. In some cases, the single task that you complete can help you better understand the weight of its requirements, so you can plan to allot more time for it or break it down into smaller, less timing-consuming tasks in the future
Practice Time Blocking or Scheduling Tasks
Time blocking is the process of scheduling your tasks for specific hours. Because you’re blocking slots in your timetable, this technique requires you to organize your work in advance. You can set up your timetable the day before your workday or an hour before your workday begins. This technique is particularly helpful when you have several tasks that need to be completed within the day.
When you practice time blocking, you require yourself to focus on a given task for a specific period. This can be anywhere from a couple of hours to just a few minutes, depending on the heaviness of the task you have to complete. As you have a by-the-hour deadline, you are also pushing yourself to accomplish the job on or before this deadline, especially so that it doesn’t encroach on your other responsibilities. However, you should also set aside time blocks for breaks, responding to emails, and scheduled or anticipated meetings.
Do Focused Work and then Take a Break
The general idea of working in intervals is to do focused work for a given time and then take a break. This method works for employees who can’t stay focused for long or might be taking too many breaks while working.
The most famous example is the Pomodoro technique, where you do focused work for 25 minutes and then take a short five-minute breather after. After four sessions utilizing Pomodoro, you can take a 15 to 30-minute break. The short amount of time given to you to accomplish your task forces you to concentrate in bursts rather than for hours, which can be fatiguing.
If the Pomodoro technique is too short, you can utilize another method known as the 52-17 Rule. This rule states that you do focused work for 52 minutes and then have a 17-minute break. This rule gives you much more time to do your work and fewer but more substantial breaks.
When the task can’t be broken up into smaller intervals or you want to stay focused for longer, you can try working for 90 minutes and then taking a 20 to 30-minute break. This method also allows you to take advantage of the energy peaks in your body, which can help you accomplish your task and do more work.
Use Apps to Help You Focus
Technology has come a long way, and there are now productivity apps that can help you stay focused. Normally, you might put your phone on silent or turn off notifications on your devices during work hours to keep you from being distracted. However, if you use these devices for work, you might miss an urgent phone call or an important email. Avoid these pitfalls by using apps to make more customized settings for your notifications. You might select contacts that are allowed to reach you at any time and delay notifications from less important sources such as social media or shopping apps.
Apps that allow you to plot your schedule and keep track of your to-do list are plentiful, but they can help you with work productivity and time management in other ways as well. You can also use apps that gamify productivity and reward you for not using your phone, so the satisfaction of completing your task is more palpable. Some apps can even be used to put a temporary lock on certain apps or websites. This functionality is especially useful for maintaining your focus when you get tempted to access non-work related-media.
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As you try these different scheduling techniques, keep an open mind. Consider using each method for a few days to see if it works for you. You can even combine them or use different methods for tackling different tasks. And once you’ve got a scheduling method that works, practice it regularly and consistently so you sustain your work productivity for the long term.