Studies show that more than half the day is "wasted" in non-productive work. Does that surprise you?
Well let’s take a look at your typical work day. How much time do you actually spend on doing productive work (whether you work from home or at the office)?
Before you start work, there is always the coffee making, the chat chatting at the break out area. Then you get back to your desk and start going through your mails. And you may also have a little catch up conversation with the colleague who is sitting next to you.
Then you are ready to work on that proposal. And guess what, you need to look for the documents you were working on. You thought you filed it away carefully but for some reasons you just could not find it. After 20 minutes or so you realised that you have renamed it and filed it in another folder. Finally, you get to start work.
Three minutes into your work and the phone rang or an email arrived and you disengaged from your work to respond to that. Then you needed to rush into a meeting and not everyone was on time. The meeting finally began and went nowhere, with no conclusion or actions items.
Get the picture?
Research shows that this is how office workers spend their typical work day:
– 28%: Unnecessary interruptions (with recovery time)
– 25%: Creating content (productive work)
– 20%: Meetings (may or may not be conclusive with action plan)
– 15%: Searching for information (half the time, search does not yield results)
– 12%: Thinking and reflecting (productive, creative work)
So what do you do?
1. Have a clear objective of what you want to achieve for the day or the next 2 hours and let nothing distract you. If you need to focus and concentrate then turn off the chats (digital or not) and the email alerts.
2. Get a draft copy of your work out in the designated time – even if it is not perfect. Start with a framework and fill in the content as you go along. Keep the momentum going, it is progress against perfection.
3. Do not allow yourself to be interrupted unnecessarily – turn off the emails alerts, online chats and let the answering machine does its work if you are doing creative or productive work. Manage your emails with filters and rules.
4. Take breaks in between chunks of concentrated work time – enjoy your brief coffee break. Do a little stretching, take a deep breath, relax your neck and your shoulders and then come back to more focus work.
5. Keep it simple and clean – your work place, desk and filing needs to be simple and streamlined. Make good use of the trash bin. This un-cluttering will clear you mind for more creative and productive work.
6. Set yourself up for efficient work before hand – get your documents, files, references organized each time before you wrap up work so you do not waste time looking for files and tools the next time you start work.
7. Enjoy your work – that will fuel you to be productive at work.
This is part of what I will be offering in a new program which I will run in mid Oct. If you are interested to check this out, sign up for a free report here. I will be sharing with you what else the program "How To Manage Work Related Stress" will include and how you can take advantage of exclusive bonuses.
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