According to a spate of recent studies, Americans are working harder and longer hours than ever, with less vacation and paid overtime available. Blame it on technology making workers accessible 24 hours a day, blame it on an economy that makes most workers just happy to have a job, blame it on a host of other factors — this is the reality of the American workplace. But as we all know, just sitting behind your desk, trying to keep your eyes focused on the screen doesn’t actually mean you’re being very productive — all the more so if those long hours have depleted your energy reserves. So how can you actually stay productive while pulling overtime?
1. Focus On Just One Thing at a Time
No matter how much is on your plate. Countless studies have show that multitasking simply doesn’t work. In fact, doing so only elongates the amount of time each task takes, and lowers the quality of your work. Yes, you’re overwhelmed, but you’ll find yourself doing your work more quickly and producing even better results if you make a priority list and choose one task at a time.
2. If You Can, Try Silencing Your Phone and Disconnecting Your Internet
If you can’t do this, try at least blocking selective sites with an app like Self Control, even if it’s just for thirty minutes at a time. You’ll be amazed how much more you can get done when you’re not checking Facebook every thirty seconds. What’s more, you’ll even speed through all of that “urgent” email much more quickly if you set aside a time to check and respond, rather than doing it throughout your workday. This goes hand in hand with the “do one thing at a time” mentality, which can really revolutionize your workday.
Of course, there are many more ways you can keep on track throughout those lengthy days. We highly recommend giving this excellent LifeHack article, 10 Simple Ways To Maximize Productivity And Stop Working Long Hours, for more easy and effective ways to do just that.
How do you stay productive throughout working long hours? Let us know your most creative techniques in the comments below.