If you feel like your productivity has been slowly dwindling, you may not be alone. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a 4.5% increase in productivity, including 2.6% in the US which Is the largest recorded increase since the 1970s. One of the few silver linings brought on by a seemingly endless year. Unfortunately for us, what goes up, must come down. Productivity flatlined in 2021 and is projected to actually revert by 0.2% in 2022. The question is, why? Is it due to increased hours of work as the economy reopens? Perhaps due to the effects of The Great Resignation? Or maybe it has to do with the desire of the workforce to be upskilled which will require one step back before taking a giant leap forward. There has been an undeniable shift in the workforce post-pandemic and regardless of the reason, there are some things you can be doing to revamp your productivity.
Start each day with a plan. This does not have to include a bulleted “to-do” list, though if you are the kind of person that receives a boost in confidence after you cross something off that list, then by all means. No judgments here. Each day is a new opportunity to crush your goals but how do you know where you want to end up without a plan of attack? Oftentimes people are so overwhelmed with looking at their day as a whole that they become discouraged about where exactly to begin. Start by analyzing the tasks that are a priority. What needs to get done? Is there a timeframe in which it needs to get done? A good rule of thumb is to not leave the tasks that require in-depth attention for the end of your day when your attention span is likely half of what it was when you started your day. Take on the hard projects first thing in the morning when your mind is clear and you’re fresh off your first cup of coffee. There’s something motivating about crushing a project before lunch.
Innovate. Once you have completed a task a couple of times, see if there is a more efficient way to do it. You may find a way that maintains accuracy and decreases time spent which will ultimately free up more of your time to complete other tasks. This will also go a long way in showing your capabilities and proactiveness to achieve greater.
Ease up on the multi-tasking. According to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller, “multitasking is not humanly possible.” Regardless of how tempting doing five things at once can be, typically half of your time is spent doing just that. Thinking about how you’re going to accomplish all five things. Pick one thing, start it, finish it, and then move on to the next. Chances are good you will finish the five tasks faster by performing them individually rather than all at once. Patience is a virtue, not a weakness.
Take a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Grab water, and have a snack. Skipping breaks and meals will only push you deeper into the hole. Your brain requires fuel to perform at its highest functioning level which will increase your productivity. You’re only cheating yourself by skipping lunch to finish a project. There will be days you are so busy and before you know it, it’s 5:00 and you feel more behind than when you started your day. We all have those days. But stopping for 15 minutes to eat a sandwich and have some water never hurt anybody.
Ask for more. If you feel like you’re at the point where you can do your job in your sleep, it’s time for something more. Go to your boss and ask if there are any other tasks you can take on. See if your coworkers need help. If you feel like you can’t grow in your current role, it may be time for a new role that will challenge you. Don’t hold yourself back from achieving greatness. If you need further assistance in finding a new role and increasing your productivity give us a call at (518) 275-4816 or submit your resume to www.walrathrecruiting.com where we are happy to help find your perfect fit!
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