Productive employees often receive higher pay, more respect and better opportunities for advancement. However, a line exists between working hard and working too hard.
Here are six tips for achieving high performance and avoiding burnout.
Of course, “productivity” equals “getting more done,” but your definition may vary depending on what you ultimately are hoping to achieve. Would you like to use your time more efficiently and work fewer hours? Do you need to eliminate distractions and focus on more challenging projects? Begin by clarifying your exact goal.
Track Your Time
Replace your “to-do” list with a calendar. Lists can quickly balloon into far more than can be reasonably accomplished in one day. Prioritize your top tasks, decide how long each will take, and block off the time on your calendar. Things will not always go as planned, but at least you will have a more realistic and less overwhelming starting point.
Your calendar system should help you identify stumbling blocks. If tasks are taking more time than you anticipated, ask why. Does a job simply require more resources than you originally thought? Or, are outside forces at play? Do you find yourself constantly interrupted by your email, your cell phone and/or your co-workers? Do you work more effectively in the morning and slow down in the afternoon or vice versa? Use these insights to address distractions and create a better plan.
Although working as much as you can without any downtime sounds like a great recipe for high productivity, scientific research shows that brief mental pauses help humans stay focused, retain information and make connections. (Fast Company, 2014) If the idea of taking breaks is new to you, try the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes followed by 5 minutes of downtime. After four sessions, take a 15- to 30-minute break.
Embrace Good Habits
Sometimes small adjustments start a chain reaction. (The Power of Habit, 2014) Find one thing you would like to improve: pack healthy lunches, exercise three times a week, go to bed on time or save more money from your paycheck. You may be surprised how a simple change can transform much more… including your overall productivity.
Evaluate Your Current Situation
Unfortunately, some jobs ask too much. Although you may be able to maintain an overly demanding schedule in the short term, long-term stress can be hazardous to your health. (U.S. News & World Report, 2015) If burnout seems unavoidable, consider a conversation with your manager or possibly a job change. These options sound scary, but your overall well-being may be at stake.
Maybe you have been thinking about looking for a new job, but you don’t know where to start. Or, you cannot possibly add job hunting to your overbooked schedule. A staffing agency can do the searching for you. At Aventure Staffing, our Employment Specialists will provide you with a custom-tailored list of potential opportunities. Complete our Online Application to get started today!