Quick Tips for Improved Productivity

By: Lauren Mineau

Summer is a busy time for many of us, but in most scenarios, work still needs to be done. With more chances for play, it’s all the more important to get your tasks done so you can enjoy summer fun.

Here are a few quick things to help stay on track so you can stress less when you’re out of the office.

Avoiding Multitasking in Excess

Keeping an eye on several projects might be required of you. But when checking off smaller tasks on your to-do list, focus on one at a time. By completing each thing in full, you can confidently move on to the next thing. Switching back and forth, often called switch-tasking, can be a major productivity thief.

If you can, try and avoiding checking emails or IMs during each task. Break up the tasks by checking in on mail. If an emergency task comes up, you can deal with it with your full attention. If not, you can move forward.

Prioritize Properly

Before you dive in to anything, take a look at your tasks and pick and choose the importance of each thing. Try the following categories: Crucial, Important, Nice To Accomplish, and Delegate.

If some tasks can be delegated to team members without adding too much to their workload, go ahead and do so. Then they’ll be off your plate until you need to check in on them.

A crucial task should be one that would have significant consequences if it’s not done by the time you leave or the due date hits. It can also be a task that, if your part is not completed, the entire goal is skewed because the next steps are slowed down. Just because you’ll be out doesn’t mean others should be held back!

Important tasks are those that should be completed, but it would not be as detrimental if they got pushed.

Keep it Real

If you are prepping for a week away, keep in mind that you may have twice the work to do in half the time. Be realistic and work don’t put things on your list that you know you won’t get to. If you have to have meetings, try and schedule them back-to-back to avoid having to switch your mindset from meeting to other tasks. Most people will be flexible knowing they’ll get to confer before you’re out of the office for a time.

Time off is important for relaxation, overall productivity and health. Balance your excitement for time off with major productivity and you’ll be able to put up that out-of-office email with confidence.