Have you ever left work feeling like you didn’t get much done during the day? Are you routinely beating yourself up for missing a deadline or not finishing a task that you really wanted to get done?
Leaving your desk without feeling accomplished and confident in the work that you’ve completed can leave you feeling depleted and lacking self-esteem. While we can all use our time more effectively throughout the day, chances are that you accomplished much more than you think, so don’t be so hard on yourself!
Check out these tips so that you can feel more accomplished at the end of each workday.
Set Attainable Goals
Often times we set goals for ourselves that are much too big to complete in a single work day. You only get eight hours a day, and you’re only one person. Don’t set yourself up to fail by having lofty goals that just aren’t attainable or realistic.
When you have large tasks to tackle, it’s best to break them down into smaller goals. This way as you complete sub-goals, you can see that you’ve made progress and feel accomplished. Smaller goals allow you to track your progress and see how you’re spending your work hours.
Track Your Time
Whether you work eight hours or ten, there never seems to be enough time in the day to complete everything that you plan to get done. One of the biggest culprits that can leave you feeling unproductive is poor time management. Emails, social media, and personal phone calls all take up precious minutes that should be devoted to completing actual work.
One of the first things you’ll want to do to boost your productivity at work is to track your time with a tool. Time tracker apps provide insight into how and where you spend your time. These tools can be used to identify:
- Process bottlenecks
- Long periods of idle time
- Which tasks take the longest
With a time tracker tool, you can see how much time you spend checking emails or how much time you’ve committed to a certain project. With these numbers, you can figure out what needs to change so that you can best use your work time.
Write Down Your Accomplishments
It’s much easier to focus on what you didn’t do versus what you did do, especially in the workplace. One reason why you may leave work feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day is that you forget about all the great work that you did.
Write down everything you’ve completed throughout the day. Check tasks off of your to-do list and note which performance goals you’ve met. You’ll also want to write down anything new that you’ve learned. It’s always worth noting that you’re leaving smarter than you were then you got to your desk!
Coming up with a plan is easy. What’s hard is sticking to it. Distractions and excuses are everywhere, but the fact is that it’s up to you to be disciplined and focused once you arrive at your desk.
In practicing discipline, be sure that you have a crystal clear picture of what steps you need to take in order to complete a task on your list. You then want to set deadlines and hold yourself accountable for meeting them.
To be disciplined you’ll need to avoid distractions. Put your phone away while you work. Let others know that you’re working on a task that’s due soon.
Help Someone on Your Team
If you really want to feel accomplished and good about yourself, extend a helping hand. Maybe there’s a new colleague in your office that’s struggling with a project. Or maybe your coworker is behind on their tasks and you’ve got the expertise that’s needed to quickly knock a few of them out.
Volunteering and helping others will not only make you feel accomplished, but it will also make you feel like you’re able to make a difference in the overall bigger picture. Teamwork makes the dream work!
When you feel behind or are struggling to meet a deadline, you may be reluctant to leave your desk until the task at hand is complete. But, not taking breaks throughout the day can actually impact your productivity. If you want to be successful, give yourself a few 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day.
Getting away from your desk will actually improve your ability to focus. Being able to clear your mind and get fresh thoughts can have a huge impact.
So get up and walk or stretch a little bit to give your brain the break it needs.
Don’t head out of work feeling unproductive and down on yourself. Using these tips and tricks not only will you feel more accomplished at the end of your workday, but you’ll also find that you’re actually able to get more work done.