You’ve got two projects on your desk and your project manager calls you last minute to tack on another “urgent assignment.” Yikes!
In this hyper-paced globalized world, everything comes down to productivity and efficiency. How fast you complete a project, make a sale, or translate a 4,000-word document directly affects how much money you will make at the end of the month. Here are some quick tips to increase your productivity and take some of the stress out of your work environment.
1. Get adequate rest between projects
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Research shows that your brain and body both work better when you are well rested. Spending more time at work often leads to less time for sleep, which takes a substantial toll on your performance. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, insomnia cost Americans $63 billion. Yes, that ‘illion’ is following a ‘B.’ Adequate rest is defined as a minimum of 6 hours a night. Though, 8 hours are probably optimal if you are looking to increase productivity.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
Think of all the things you’re doing at this very moment. You’re obviously reading this article, but you’re probably also doing a number of things all at once: listening to music, eating a meal, or checking your email. While multitasking may seem alluring, research shows multitasking is one of the fastest ways to kill productivity. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review article claims multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. If you want to increase your overall productivity, cut down on your multitasking.
3. Love what you do
This may seem obvious, but you can increase your productivity simply by focusing on tasks that you find appealing. Think back to why you got into the translating business… Was translating a hobby or interest, or did you get into the field simply for the money? Business News Daily suggests that employees who love what they do have higher levels of self-esteem, are more motivated, and earn more money. While we are not suggesting you chose a different career path (the world could probably use more translators, not less, in my opinion), it may be time you focused on taking on jobs that make you happy. Do you really like one type of translation job? Why not specialize? You may find you are happier and more productive taking on the types of assignments you enjoy.
4. Learn to say NO
You can never be productive if you consistently take on too many assignments. Tough requests come your way all the time, and sometimes, we feel like we have to say yes to our bosses or clients. If we decline work, it’ll look as if we can’t handle it – right? In fact, the opposite is true; you will be offered poor opportunities every day and it is your job to decide which jobs are worth your time and effort. Value your time. Understand the responsibilities you’ve already taken, and consider those when asked to take on another commitment. There is no shame in saying “I just have too much on my plate right now.” Know your priorities. Is this new commitment really worth what little free time you may have?
5. Reward yourself for completing large tasks
Did you finish a big project early? Instead of moving on to the next task on your list, take some time to reward yourself for a job well done. Relax, go watch a movie, go to the park, or read a book. Take some time to let your mind know that you appreciate all the work it’s putting in. You’ll find it makes you feel better and increases your productivity in the long run.
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