5 tips to simplify your work life in 2019
As 2019 begins and resolutions are decided and put into action, it’s worth evaluating more than nutrition and fitness, and considering what can be improved in your work life. Though there may be aspects you’d like to change at the office that are out of your control, there are some that are well within your control, including how to simplify your workday.
Instead of coming into the office and taking thirty minutes to decide what to do and how to do it, instead use these productivity tips to make the time you spend at your desk more productive so that you can spend more time on all those other resolutions you set, instead of working overtime.
Declutter your space: Though it may seem inconsequential, if your desk is piled high with stacks of paperwork for you to sift through, cluttered with supplies and reminders written on sticky notes, or if it’s hard for you to find appropriate forms or your stapler, it’s time to clean. Once you’ve thrown out, filed away, and organised your space, keep your space neat by tidying up every night before you leave. A clean desk will have you feeling fresh every morning when you sit down, and will decrease the time it takes you to find important hard copies or your pen.
- Create shorter daily to-do lists: When creating to-do lists, it’s easy to get caught up and list out every single thing that’s on your plate. While having oversight on all of your projects is a very good thing, looking at an incredibly long to-do list can be overwhelming – especially on days where you’re busy or stressed. So put that to-do list aside and make another one that includes only the items you absolutely must finish that day. Even better? At the end of the day, jot down the tasks you need to tackle tomorrow so that you’re ready to dive in right as your caffeine is kicking in.
- Writer shorter emails: If you find that writing emails to clients, your manager, or your team members takes up a substantial amount of time, troubleshoot this by writing shorter emails. Be direct and answer questions concisely so that you write a sentence or two instead of paragraphs. Not only will this save you time, but it will save everyone else time, too.
- Limit distractions: If you find yourself taking too many breaks throughout the day to check social media, group chats, or news articles, do your best to limit those distractions. If you’re good at following your calendar, set aside a block of time during the day specifically for checking in on your notifications, but if you’re prone to falling into the online rabbit hole, install a website blocker (company permitting, of course) so that you are unable to check certain websites for scheduled periods of time. This will help curb your habit of checking non-work websites, which in turn will allow you to focus on work.
- Set specific work hours: In this era of connectivity, it’s easy to take your work home with you – but knowing that that is an option sometimes is an excuse to slack off when you’re in the office and just has you working instead of spending time with friends, family or your favorite activities. So do your best to set limits on when you work and try to keep it in the realm of when you are in the office. Of course, there will sometimes to be exceptions to this – when a client calls with an emergency after hours or when a deadline gets moved up – but as much as possible, keep your work at work.
By introducing these practices into your work life, you’ll hopefully start 2019 with a fresh outlook on work and will find that your productivity and work-life balance are impacted for the better.