6 Productivity Hacks All Millennials Should Know
You could be starting your first job, or maybe you’ve been promoted to your third. You might be setting off on a new business venture or beginning a telecommuting career.
Perhaps you’re even going back to school to reset your career path. No matter how or where you work, you’re a millennial in the workforce — and you mean business.
Millennials have a bad rap when it comes to their work ethic, but time and time again, they’ve disproven those stereotypes. Older, more seasoned employees see their younger colleagues as lazy and entitled. But here you are, seeking out tricks for becoming even more productive at work. Needless to say, those people are wrong.
Even better news is how easy it is to become the best, most professional version of yourself every day.
The following are six tips for bossing your workload, boosting your productivity and making yourself an even more invaluable part of the team. Let’s get cracking!
Figure out How You're Wasting Time
To correct unproductive behaviors, start by figuring out where you’re wasting all your time. For a week or so, log how much time you spend doing everything. You could also use an app like Rescue Time, which records how much time you spend on websites and other apps. If your work isn’t computer-centric, though, you’ll have to look at the clock and write down how long every task, phone call and break takes.
Having recorded your stats, you can figure out what tends to derail you. Do you lose steam after eating lunch? Do you spend too long chatting with colleagues? Do you sneak onto social media? Do meetings last too long? No matter what inefficient habit you need to break, a close look at your schedule will help you figure out which productivity hacks you’ll have to put into practice.
First Has to Be the Worst
Another outstanding productivity hack is simply biting the bullet and doing the most daunting task on your to-do list first thing in the morning. Once you accomplish the biggest challenge, the rest of your tasks will seem simple in comparison. Plus, your brain is at its freshest in the morning. By arranging your schedule to knock out your most challenging task at the beginning of the day, you can take advantage of your peak productivity.
Listen to Music
It may not sound like good advice to turn up the tunes to be more productive, but research shows 90 percent of people perform better at work when listening to music. Of course, not just any song will do — loud, lyrical tracks can actually distract you, especially if you’re trying to learn new information. But ambient music with a good beat and without words can help you work faster and more accurately.
Work With Your Brain
As a millennial, you’re likely new-ish to the workforce. As such, you’re still in touch with your college days and work ethic there. When did you find yourself the most creative? The most focused? Figure out the times of day when you work your best and work your schedule around these bursts of energy, creativity and focus.
Optimizing your schedule is an especially solid tip for those who telecommute, as well as for those who are in creative jobs where work doesn’t always come easily. Once you’ve figured out your prime times to get stuff done, prioritize your most pressing tasks during these windows, as I’ve already suggested.
Your older colleagues seem to stay at their desks all day long, but you long for something a little bit more exciting. Perhaps you stare out of your window as the sun beats down on the sidewalk and wish you could take a walk. Then, you realize you’ve wasted 10 minutes people-watching instead of working — you could have gone on that walk, after all.
In most cases, it’s worth your time to give into the urge to take a break, especially when you’re feeling unfocused and out of energy. A quick break with a time limit can be just the mental rest you need to re-focus and power through what’s left on your to-do list.
Do One Thing at a Time
Take a moment to appreciate your smartphone. It’s a camera, it’s a phone and it’s a tiny computer. It can do all those tasks at once, and it does so with ease.
You, on the other hand, are not wired this way. Rather than efficiently taking on a handful of tasks at once, you start one, lose focus, flip to another and leave it behind when you’re bored, too. At the end of the day, you’re staring down a stack of unfinished projects — even though you’ve been working all day long.
Even though it seems smart, multi-tasking is no friend of productivity. You’re better off tackling one thing at a time, giving it your full attention and then — and only then — moving onto another project. Leave the over-working for your smartphone.
Now, Time to Hack It
These are just six of the many, many ways you can enhance your productivity on the job.
You’ll find most of them are simple to implement and have a huge payoff in the end: You’ll be more productive at work, while simultaneously putting those “lazy millennial” rumors to shame.
I promise, there’s no better feeling than that.
This article was written by Kayla Matthews, a writer for The Daily Muse, Houzz and The Odyssey. To read more posts by Kayla, follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog.