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How to Stay Productive During Work Hours

Techniques that will help you perform your best during the work week.

By Ashlyn HarperPublished 5 years ago 5 min read
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

As a writer who works from home, I have faced new struggles that I've never had to deal with in past career fields. I've had to learn how to be a financial guru, marketing agent, and scheduling coordinator. In the past, someone else did all this for me. I would merely come in when I was scheduled, work my hours, and go home for the day. With my work located at home, those lines can sometimes become a bit blurry. I've also found my productivity levels fluctuate during my work hours more than they have ever done before.

Whether you are driving to a job or staying at home, productivity can always become a problem. Our minds can become distracted by other thoughts, or we could just not be motivated to put in the work. Whatever the reason, I have tried and practiced different methods to try and get the most out of each work week. After all, if I don't do it, then it won't get done. If you are having issues with staying productive during your work hours, these tips might help you get all the tasks you need to get accomplished completed.

Schedule your work day out.

I've always been a fan of planners, but recently I've become a little more detailed with my day to day organizer. With some research, I started using bullet journal techniques to my everyday work schedule. For each week, I write out everything I want to accomplish, create an area to add notes, and then make a couple of boxes for my goals (both personal and business related). Each day I'll choose the tasks that I want to accomplish and, if I can't get to some of them, will leave a little note to myself to finish it first thing in the morning.

No matter how you schedule your work week, a plan of action will help keep you productive. I've noticed that the more you write down, the more likely you are to complete a task. It also can help keep you reminded of everything you need to do. I used to detail each day a week ahead of time, but now that I've switched it up, I have found myself a lot more focused and productive. By giving myself the choice of what to accomplish that day, I can pick and choose what I want to do based on my motivation at that given time.

While I like writing it down, you can also use apps and calendars on your computer if that works better for your needs. Make sure to set a little reminder, and don't beat yourself up if you can't get everything accomplished. Just move it to the next day and remind yourself that you need to finish it before starting another task.

Put your phone away.

Since my job deals with photography, editing, and social media marketing, I'm almost always on my phone. Unfortunately, my mind can easily sway to other topics when I have that connection constantly at my fingertips. If you need to have your phone on you, it can become difficult to keep it from distracting you throughout the day. What I have started doing is putting a timer on my phone and turning my phone on 'do not disturb' when it is not in use.

By putting a timer on my phone, it keeps me on track with what I am doing. I usually give myself an hour to get all tasks finished on my phone and, if I don't get it accomplished, try to complete another job before getting back on it. This way I'm not just glued to the screen all day long. I'll also put it on 'do not disturb' so that notifications and phone calls are not continually buzzing in the background. We instinctively want to grab our device when we hear that little bell go off. By turning that off, you give yourself a chance to focus without wanting to check and see what is happening.

Take breaks often.

Sitting in front of a computer screen all day gets me antsy, tired, and less motivated for the task I'm trying to complete. Through trial and error, I have found giving myself small breaks throughout the day has helped reenergize my spirits to get back to work. Almost like a reward system, I'll take a break after I've finished a specific task. It can be as small as a five-minute break to get coffee and stand outside, but it has made a world of difference.

If your hour lunch break is not helping you get pumped for the rest of the workday, I would suggest taking this route. Humans were not meant to sit for hours on end at a computer screen, so getting up and moving can help get your blood pumping and those brain cells moving. That way when you get back to your work, you'll be much more enthusiastic about whatever you need to finish.

Break down big tasks.

When I'm working on a project, I'll find myself losing steam pretty quick. With big tasks, we sometimes need to break them up into pieces to give it our best. If you have a project that is sucking all of your motivation, think about separating it into chunks of time. Even if this means you do it in two days, this might help you stay productive during your work hours. I'll usually start with whatever project needs to be finished and put in a solid one to two hours of work on it. After taking a break, I'll move on to a different task that needs to get accomplished.

Once this small item is out of the way, I might move back to the more massive project. Doing this can help keep you motivated and get everything you need to get done in the day. Sometimes we work so hard on one thing that it becomes a horrible chore that we dread. By breaking it up into pieces, you don't give yourself a chance to despise it. Using this method can also give you an opportunity to take a break and come back to your task with a fresh pair of eyes.

Whatever technique you use, make sure to try out different methods to see what works best for you. We are not all created equal, and that goes for productivity as well. However, we can agree that being organized, taking breaks, and keeping your phone away can aid in boosting your focus during the work week.


About the Creator

Ashlyn Harper

A chaotic room of stories. My curiosities lead me in all types of directions, creating a chaotic writing pathway. I want this place to be for experimenting, improving my craft, and sharing new ideas with anyone willing to read them.

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