By Katherine Louie
If you’re anything like me, you’re always doing ten things at once. Although multitasking has gotten a bad rap (see here and here), I do believe that you can juggle different tasks and still make it to happy hour on time. The key is to make small tweaks to the way you work in order to maximize the time you do have. To help you better use your time, I’ve compiled the best tips for maximizing your time, efficiency, and productivity.
This might seem counterproductive, but taking short breaks throughout the day will actually help your productivity. When you’ve been sitting at your desk for a long period of time your energy will slowly decline (as well as your creativity). Sitting down also wreaks havoc on your body. Studies have shown that sedentary people have a much greater risk of dying early, gaining excess weight, and developing chronic diseases. To prevent this, try scheduling 15-minute breaks throughout the day and putting them on your calendar. It will be a visual reminder to get up and take a walk or find a healthy snack to munch on.
Create Manageable To-Do Lists
Every morning you should create a to-do list that details everything you need to get done. This list can be handwritten (my personal preference) or typed up on the computer. When creating a manageable to-do list, make sure you are being as realistic and specific as possible. Prioritize what you need to do, and then stick to your list. Understandably, things will come up during the day that aren’t on your list and that’s okay! The main point of your list is to keep you on track and to help you visualize your goals and what you need to accomplish. The better you are at following through with your list, the more productive you will be.
We get it—the idea of not having your phone at the ready is devastating. However, shutting off your phone is a great way to increase your productivity. Without the lure of Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter, it will make it much easier to bang out that article you’ve been putting off all day. To reward yourself for going off the grid, give yourself a “phone break” after you’ve crossed an item off your daily to-do list.
Having to say no can be hard, but turning down tasks throughout the day will increase your efficiency and productivity. Realize that you do have a choice when someone asks you to do something, and if someone isn’t your direct supervisor you aren’t obligated to say yes.
Katherine Louie is an aspiring writer currently working at Men’s Health. At Men’s Health, she assists the Publisher and V.P./Online Director as well as the Chief Advertising Officer for Rodale, Inc. She contributes articles to Ed2010, Viral Fashion, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health. Follow her on Instagram to stay updated on her latest work!