5 Ways to Stay Productive in Your Workday
Updated: Oct 14
I have worked many years as an Administrative Assistant. So, I know a thing or two about getting things done in a timely manner. Throughout the years, I've come up with a system that works perfectly for me to stay productive. With that, I've decided to share some with you!
1. Write Down Your Tasks
This one is major. There's nothing like getting a bunch of things thrown at you, and when you go to do the work you've forgotten what you're doing exactly. So I say, always write down what you know you're supposed to be doing. As an administrator, tasks are always being thrown at me, whether they're large or small. So it is important that you keep a notebook, planner, or piece of paper near you so that you can keep track.
2. Prioritize Your Tasks
With all of the things that you have to do, there are some that you can push off to a later date. Take my advice: do not try and complete everything in one day. But, we'll get to that later. It helps if you use the numbering system. For example, you use the number one as the most important to finish, and label the rest from there.
Usually, the short projects get labeled with number one for me. Mostly because they have a shorter deadline and need to be finished. But, if there is a task that will take a lot of time, I will set a timer (more on that later) so that I can work on it specifically for a set amount of time.
3. Take Breaks & Eat Snacks
A lot of businesses frown on this, but it is so important to take breaks. Wracking your brain for hours on end without a break will leave you seriously burned out. By the end of your work day, you'll be so mentally exhausted you can't think straight! It is very important to give your brain some rest time so that you can come back to the task with a fresh view. So, set some time aside just to break. Maybe it's 15 minutes, 10 minutes, or even 5 minutes. Whatever helps you come back to focus, do it.
Snacks! I love snacks, but eating snacks full of artificial sugar can slow down your brain productivity. Try opting for something like nuts, fruit, nutritional bars, or veggies. These snacks can help you feel energized enough to get your brain working. My favorite snack while I work is almonds with 1/2 a banana and nut butter. Sometimes I opt out of the nut butter because it can get a little messy, but you get the gist.
4. Set Timers/ Limits
As mentioned earlier, it is important to set times on what you want to accomplish. If your task requires lots of time (and you know the deadline), set timers on how long you will work on it in one day. For example, if my task needs to be finished by Friday at 3pm and it requires a lot of attention to detail, then I will set aside 1-2 hours per day to work on just that.
If you spend too much time on one thing while having a bunch of other tasks to do in the same week, it'll be near impossible to get the others finished. Plus, setting times for your task will help you stop trying to multitask by finishing a bunch of tasks within the same hour. This way, you are able to focus on one thing at a time and get your best work done.
5. Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
I know, as an Administrator, it was hard for me to say no. Mainly because it is my job to assist others in their work. But, you have to be honest with yourself and your team. If you know you have deadlines that are more important, and you're swamped with high priority tasks, make that very clear with the person you are working with. If you must take on the task, let them know that the turnaround time may be delayed because of your other projects. The number one key is to communicate.
What are some things you do to stay productive during the work day? Share below!