Illustration: Maxim Evseev,

Make the most of your working hours by being more efficient and productive.

Ms Heng Teng Teng, a career coach, said: “Productivity means being able to get more done within a shorter time, and making do with lesser resources at your disposal.” 


Adopt these tips to be more productive at work


1. Begin with the end in mind
Be clear on what you want to achieve at the end of the day. It is important to be aware of your tasks and deadlines. Put aside 10 minutes to 15 minutes at the start of each day to plan your day ahead. List down all the tasks you have to complete, and tackle those that are high priority. Be flexible and adaptable to cope with competing deadlines and rapidly changing priorities.

Read more: How stress can cause a heart attack or sudden death

2. Have a sense of purpose
Ms Heng suggested having goals in mind when you create your to-do list. She said: “For example, you could aim to get better at handling customer complaints. And then create your task lists to hone this skill.”
Having a clear idea of the skills you wish to improve on can spur you to work harder and achieve better standards of performance. This added sense of motivation can also help you to think of new ways to look at your work processes, brainstorm for new ideas, or speed up problem-solving procedures.


3. Use your time wisely
Be focused and minimise distractions during working hours. Devote your full attention to your work and limit small talk with colleagues, as well as the time spent on checking your mobile devices. You can make use of pockets of time available in between appointments or events , to work on plans for the next day, answering e-mails, or reading self- improvement books. Ms Heng pointed out that working longer hours does not equate to productivity. 

Allocate breaks strategically. When you work non-stop, your levels of focus and mental sharpness will decrease. Take breaks periodically so that you can return to your tasks feeling alert and focused.


This article was originally published in The Straits Times.