MOST workers probably think they spend their time in the office being highly productive. Well, they need to think again.

Did you know that on average, a person working an eight-hour day is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes? Read that again – that’s only three hours out of eight that they are doing any real work. So, what do the other five hours of the working day get spent on? According to Inc. magazine, the biggest time-wasters, in order of importance, are: Reading news websites, checking social media, discussing non-work related issues with colleagues, searching for new jobs, smoke breaks, making calls, making hot drinks, texting or instant messaging, eating snacks and preparing food.

Now you can see where the time disappears. Imagine how much more you could achieve if you claimed even one of those five hours back? Here are top four tips for becoming more productive in your working day:

  1. Put the phone on airplane mode

    Yes, will-power isn’t enough. You have to take extreme steps to avoid this major distraction and disrupter.
    Many a good idea or urgent task has been derailed by a WhatsApp notification or “urgent” telephone call. Believe it or not, the rest of the world can wait while you pay attention to the task at hand.

  2. Tackle the big tasks of the day first

    Often one gets into a pattern of checking news websites or scanning through emails first thing in the morning, with the plan of working on the more demanding projects later. Before you know it, a few hours have passed and you haven’t got any closer to the more important work. It is more effective to start with the big things first, before being distracted by tasks that can wait.

  3. Use the Pomodoro time-management technique

    Developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, it involves working in short bursts using a timer, generally for 25 minutes with a five-minute break. It is a simple method that can be integrated into your work life and allows you to work in manageable time slots that create a sense of urgency.

  4. Don’t force yourself to be a morning person if you’re not

    We’re all different. Person A’s most productive times of working won’t necessarily be the same as Person B’s. Know that just because you’re not a morning person doesn’t mean you’re unproductive, but use your energy more effectively by working when you are most efficient.

Yumna Aysen is a motivational speaker and life coach. For more information, visit Oh Yes It’s Yumi

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