Being successful in business doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7/365. Sure, there’s always going to be “crunch-times” when everyone’s working under tight deadlines and putting in way more than hours than usual, but it shouldn’t be crunch-time all the time. Studies show that working long hours can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, infections and more, so it’s vitally important that you learn how to work smarter and maximize your time. Besides, you’re going to end up hating your job sooner rather than later and you’re going to neglect your personal life, too.
Here are four tips to increase your productivity and make you happier at work:
1. Work smarter by knowing how and when you’re most productive. Do you need music, or is silence golden when you need to concentrate? Are you more productive in the morning, afternoon or later in the day? Schedule the more intensive work during the time you’re most efficient. If you know you get “food coma” after lunch, that’s when you should work on something relatively easy.
2. Take full advantage of those two 15-minute breaks written somewhere in your contract. Get up out of your chair and take a break — a real break. Surfing the net or responding to personal e-mails doesn’t count! Go outside, breathe some fresh air and take a walk around the block. You can even schedule break time with a friend who doesn’t work with you — just go outside and chat on the phone for a few minutes. Your friendship and your workday will benefit greatly.
3. Organizing and prioritizing at work is a huge way to increase your productivity. Put files away, throw things out when you’re done with them and make a to-do list every day. Feel satisfied each time you complete the task and cross it out. Also, recognize when you need help and don’t be afraid to ask the other people in your team for a hand.
4. Finally, the importance of nourishing your body inside and out cannot be stressed enough. Get enough sleep, eat balanced meals and exercise. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, get your heart rate pumping. You’ll increase your energy and your mood instantaneously.