We have all heard the turn of phrase, work smarter, not harder. What we have to recognize is that “working smarter” does not just mean eliminating distractions and planning tasks; it can help give you back valuable time in your day.

So what steps should you take to increase productivity in your day to day. You can start with making lists, and then using those lists to prioritize and set deadlines. Also, don’t forget to take a break, when you need to and take a moment to disconnect. Most of all focus on one task at a time, studies show that attempting to complete several tasks at once proves to be slower. Multi-tasking is a myth.

Step by step:

  1. Plan your day ahead of time— Dedicate a minimum of five minutes at the end of each day to plan tasks that need to be accomplished the next day. This can be done by creating a to-do list and prioritize the most important tasks. When you enter the office, in the morning you can start working with focus.
  2. Create deadlines — Creating deadlines will help to increase productivity and ensure projects are completed on time. Focus often tends to go to what is urgent instead of what is important, by putting deadlines on important tasks, they will not get pushed to the back burner.
  3. Take a break — If you feel mentally fatigued take a short stroll around the block, get up from your chair to stretch, or even grab a quick snack. Taking a break allows you to refresh your mind, increasing productivity for the rest of the day.
  4. Quit multitasking — Many people think that multitasking is an important skill for increasing productivity and efficiency. However, it’s not the case, especially in engineering. Studies show that attempting to complete several tasks at once proves to be slower.