From finishing the final proposal, to dealing with stacks of orders sitting on your desk, when work starts piling up it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here’s how to tackle your workload without going under:
Rise and shine. Start your day off on the right foot. Instead of waking up and immediately checking your social media, take the time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, go on a quick walk or run with your furry companion and still get to the office in a good mood. Granted, getting children off to school and packing lunch for the family, ironing a shirt, and scrambling for a lost shoe may throw a wrench in your morning. Use your commute time to get in the right frame of mind for a productive day.
Maintain a project to do list. Get in the habit of updating your list at the start and end of your workday. Evaluate and prioritize each item in order of importance. If there are several projects competing for attention, seek advice from your boss or co-workers as to which should take precedent.
Streamline. Being productive involves working smart. If you have multiple documents from several different projects that need printing, hit print all at once so you are not running back and forth to the printer all day long. If you come across paperwork that needs to be filed, don’t stop and break your focus. Place it in a “File pending” box, and return to it when you have downtime.
Reward yourself with a break…and a few pieces of dark chocolate. The quality of your work can deteriorate when you are tired or hungry. Schedule breaks throughout the day. Stand up, step away from your computer, and take a mental pause. A short walk around the office will clear your mind and give your eyes a chance to rest from the harsh glare of the computer. Snacking on a piece of your favorite dark chocolate never hurts either.
Control what is possible. The music on your iPod and the items on your desk are in your control. Surround yourself with a few things that brighten your day, a small vase of flowers, your favorite family photo, a few bright desk items or a soft scented candle. If your supervisor doesn’t mind, listening to your favorite music in your ear buds is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Making positive changes to your work environment will boost your mood and increase your productivity.
Make comfort a priority. It’s difficult to do your best work when you are not comfortable in your work space. Make sure you have adequate lighting, for some it may mean working in a dimmer room with a few table lamps, for others it is direct sunlight and a cheery view of the outdoors. Pay attention to the comfort and quality of your desk chair and the distance you sit from your computer. Slouching, straining and squinting can wreak havoc on your eyes and body. Shoulder strain, headaches and back problems can result from not paying attention to your posture. If you would prefer to stand, or sit on a ball, while working on the computer, talk to your boss about making it happen. Visit my Pinterest board, A Fabulous Office, to see some of my favorite Office Ideas.
Dress up. Studies show by not taking pride in your workplace attire your productivity (and image) can be at risk. Refer to a recent Forbes article, Is Casual Dress Killing Your Productivity At Work?, for more information. Our outer image often mirrors our inner thoughts. Perception is paramount. It’s bad judgment to come to the office dressed as if you don’t value your position.
Think one step ahead. Doing only the bare minimum will get you only the bare minimum in return. If you are interested in job security, you must not wait for someone to ask you to do something beyond what is expected. Your job description is only a template and your job security relies on your ability to go above and beyond “average”. Staying motivated and being productive throughout the day will increase your confidence level and position you as a valuable asset to your organization.