I work at a marketing agency from 8:30 – 5:30 Monday through Friday. I love working in marketing because every single day is different. That doesn’t mean, however, that my days never feel boring, long, or mundane. Even when every day consists of a different to-do list or schedule, working behind a desk at a computer screen 90 percent of the day can get exhausting. At times I find myself taking an “instagram” or “snapchat” break every 20 minutes. Yikes. It’s hard to get into a good rhythm and flow of working if I allow myself to take a mini mental break every few minutes. To avoid counterproductivity while working I’ve come up with a few tips that have helped me out while on the clock for 8 hours every day. Maybe they can be of some benefit to you too!
1. Take a full lunch break
I never knew how valuable this could be until my new company, which requires us to take a 30 minute to one hour lunch break. When we don’t have a company lunch outing, I usually go home for 45 minutes and catch up with Brady and play with my puppy Charlotte Barkley. It’s refreshing to get out of the office and break up my day into two different parts.
2. Check your email at designated times of the day
Getting a notification or seeing the “1” pop-up on your gmail tab can be extremely distracting. I’m one of those OCD type of people who requires a clean inbox, but that doesn’t mean I have to check my email every time I receive a notification. By designating specific times of the day to check your email you can avoid getting distracted from the task at hand, which in the end will make for a more productive day.
3. Avoid multi-tasking
In my opinion it is completely okay to multitask while at home. At the office it’s a different story. I find if I am trying to work on two or three different things at the same time while in the office I end up getting off task. Working on more than one project during the day is fine, just stop trying to do it simultaneously.
4. Designate specific social media breaks
Just like your email, only check your Insta, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter at specific times of the day. Spending too much time on social media while on the clock can not only get you in trouble, but it will also make you less efficient.
5. Reward yourself with small daily milestones
One of my favorite things to do to keep me going through my work day is setting small goals and rewarding myself for accomplishing those goals. The small milestones at work deserve to be rewarded, plus they keep me on task and motivated!
6. No screen time during breaks.
Staring at a computer all day can be both exhausting and hazardous to your eye health (can you tell I am an optometrist’s daughter?). Whether it be a 15 minute break or a full-on lunch break, recharge fully and avoid screen time during those breaks.
7. Create a to-do list
I’m the type of person who feels accomplished by physically crossing off an item on my to-do list, which is why I make a physical list every single day. I try to keep my to-do list realistically applicable to that day so I don’t overschedule.
8. Prioritize your tasks
Every day I write down my top three tasks that I need to get done at work and after work. By prioritizing my to-do list I am more focused on staying on tasks and crossing those items off of my list by the end of the day.
9. Plan your day the night before
They say the most productive workers are those who plan the following work day out before leaving the office. By planning your day the night before you are able to see what you were able to accomplish that day and what still needs to be done the next.
10. Wear headphones
I find that listening to music or a podcast while at work keeps me in the zone and free from distractions. Sometimes your coworkers can be the most distracting thing when you’re trying to get things done. So tune them out, put on your headphones, and jam out to Katy Perry until your work is finished.
What are your secrets to staying focused and productive while at work? To see what we’re up to at work on the daily, follow us on Twitter @topaznsapphire.