Four Workstyles to Improve Your Productivity
There are many different ways to get your work done. For some office workers, multi-tasking is a must. A recent study from CoSchedule says that multi-tasking can reduce your productivity by 40 percent. If you find yourself having trouble focusing on one task at a time, here are a few workstyles you can try.
The pomodoro technique is one of the most praised working styles for those that need to get a lot done in a little time. It was invented in the early 90’s by author and entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. He used a tomato shaped timer to track his work as a university student. Cirillo decided to name his working method “Pomodoro” after that timer.
The pomodoro technique allows you to work in short cycles, to ensure productivity. Once you have finished one 25-minute cycle, take a quick five-minute break to read articles or answer emails. Then, focus on your next task for 25 minutes. After you have completed three 25-minute cycles, take a longer 30-minute break.
Don’t Break The Chain
Fans of comedian Jerry Seinfeld should be familiar with this one. If you’ve been noticing that you have been putting off a particular task at your job, this is a great way to keep track of whether you have been able to resolve a reoccurring issue.
Grab a wall or desk calendar and a red marker. Think about a task you try to put off. If you are able to work on it for 15 minutes that day, simply x out the date in your calendar. Each day you are able to work on it gets an “x.” If you do not get to work on that task during the day, you have “broken the chain.”
The Action Method
Online portfolio website Behance created this productivity strategy based on one principle; everything is a project. Whether it’s managing finances, or working on a presentation, both take equal importance. Every project should then be broken down into three important steps.
- Action Steps: The concrete steps that allow you to move forward.
- References: Any relevant materials that you might refer back to (sketches, handouts, minutes, manuals, etc.)
- Backburner Items: What you cannot take action on now, but might be able to in the future.
Now, go ahead and grab a folder. Your action steps should be kept in plain view at all times. Your references can go in the pockets of your folder. The backburner list can then be attached to the back of a folder.
Do you ever get quick questions or smaller tasks to complete? If so, they can cause you to lose your concentration for about a half-an-hour. If you use an online app for your calendar, simply create calendar invites for yourself and make them different colors. Then color-code those items into specific tasks.
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