3 Ways To Stay Super Productive at Work

So I've held this full time job for nearly a year now and I have something to say: work is hard! Where I work is super hard because we are always super busy.  I mean literally can't stop to pee busy.   My day to day work is exhausting & very demanding.  I do quite a lot in a day & I used to feel very downtrodden when I'd reached the end of it.  There were many days I just felt I couldn't do the job anymore & really thought about quitting.  I was asked too much of, I couldn't do it all, and wasn't feeling successful at what I was doing.  There was just too much to do & I couldn't do it all - end of story!  But eventually I got better - well, it's still not 100% my favorite thing I could do with 8 hours of my day, but now I am able to feel like I'm productive & completing tasks.  I feel less overwhelmed & more in control.  I think this first year has helped me develop better organization skills & really know my limits.  I guess I was never asked to do this much before & now I know how much I can handle.  I started to implement these 3 things during my day to keep myself productive:

keep a running list
This is sorta like a to-do list but for me it's a notebook of things that have to happen in order.  A little bit about my job: There are time sensitive things that I have to do that take precedence over everything else anyone asks of me.  So these things go in my notebook in order so I can take care of them in order.  Also any notes or any quick 'hey do this real quick' sort of things go in there though I try to keep it reserved for the time sensitive things.  A running list allows you to keep everything in order & allows you to go back to verify information - for me this keeps me accountable for what I need to be accountable for.  I write down all the relevant info when things are getting tossed back & forth so I don't miss something.  This makes it easier to go back & confirm or deny anything I'm questioned about.  I don't want to be held accountable for something not told to me!  As you can see, I take things very seriously!

Prepare for the next task
If there is a never ending flow of things coming through your inbox & you have about 6 piles of things on your desk at any given time, believe me when I say it's hard to keep track of what needs to be done!  I also have people handing me papers & explaining things to me all the time.  Instead of nodding then putting the paper in my inbox, I prepare for the next task by taking the 5 seconds from my current task to take notes on what needs to be done for this task.  That way when I get to it I know what's going on & don't feel stressed about having to get up & ask questions.  It also doesn't help that 90% of the time the person that gave me the task is on the phone when I have questions.  If they are on the phone then the task gets delayed even more, which leads to more stress on me!  Taking the 5 seconds from my current task to take notes for the next task saves 10 minutes of running around.  Also, this tells people that I want to complete this task correctly.  I expect to be given all relative information & I let others know this which means they learn to come to me prepared with all their ducks in a row.  I also take 5 seconds from my current task to complete a 5 second task because it only takes 5 seconds.  I think this is the best thing I do that makes me feel productive!

Learn to say no
When I first started my job I didn't know when I could say no.  I mean that I didn't know if or when I was allowed to say no.  Eventually my boss had a meeting with me & told me I was doing amazing at my job, he was really pleased with the hard work I was doing.  He also saw that I'd get piled high with things that needed to be done at the same time &  I would get stressed.  He told me it was ok to ask for help.  This is the best thing I'd ever heard.  I'm now much more prepared for every task because I can handle everything on my plate.  I've learned to say no by estimating how much I have to do & how much time I have to do it.  This is especially helpful with the time sensitive tasks I need to complete.  If I'm swamped with them I will tell you that I can't do your task.  I will not be responsible for something you didn't delegate properly.  Additionally, if I have free time I ask if anyone needs help.  Others help me, so I need to take time to help them.

I feel like I never stop working at all during the day.  My 1 hour lunch break is a welcomed relief from the phones & tasks!  I find myself getting out of work on time because of these three things as well.  I ask people what they need done before I leave because I get paid for 8 hours - no overtime - if it can't be done in 8 hours, it can wait until tomorrow.  Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I wasn't such a hard worker.  There's hasn't ever been a time where I didn't get overwhelmed with work.  I just can't be a slacker!  I don't know what it is about me but if you give it to me I will get it done.  Always have, always will.  Character flaw?  We'll see.

How do you stay productive at work?  Any organization tips to offer?

xoxo, Moe

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