Careers | Increase your productivity levels at work

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Between answering emails and attending meetings, it can be difficult to complete your daily tasks. We look at the best ways to increase your productivity levels in the workplace.

There are sometimes just not enough hours in the day to get all your work tasks completed. For some, this means working late or logging in late at night.

It’s a bad habit and practice that you do not want to start, or continue. Working smarter is the only solution. But how?

Track and limit how much time you are spending on each task. Don’t estimate. There are many tools like Rescue Time that can help you track how much time you spend on tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.

Set deadlines. This will motivate and keep you focused on completing each task in a specific period of time, especially for open ended tasks.

If there are any tasks that requires a short amount of time, say two to five minutes, do them immediately. Completing even the smallest tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and free your mind when working on bigger tasks.

Many of us believe that taking breaks mid-task breaks our concentration and ability to finish it. However, research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance.

Meetings can be time-consuming, and often not essential to your position. Do not be afraid to say no to meetings when working towards a deadline. Outline your reasons why you cannot go to your manager, and ask for minutes from it so you are abreast with all issues discussed.

If you do have to attend, ask can they be standing meetings. Research has shown that standing meetings require less time and improved group performance.

Take advantage of your commute by answering emails, drawing up to-do lists and brainstorming.