If you’ve ever fallen behind on a deadline, tackled a seemingly insurmountable project, or simply struggled to get everything done in a workday, you’ve probably wondered how to boost your productivity. This article looks at four ways to do just that. 

Take Breaks

Counterintuitively, taking breaks can lead to getting more done. Per Forbes.com, even a seemingly unproductive lunch break can highly boost workers’ productivity when they return. Breaks have the added bonus of raising creativity and fighting off stress and burnout. 

Focus Meetings

Some meetings are important, but others are a drain on productivity. Before organizing or attending a meeting, ask yourself: Is this meeting necessary? Is my presence necessary? Is there an agenda, and are all the items on it critical? Avoid unnecessary meetings, and make meetings you do go to count.

Focus on Single Tasks

Many people brag about their ability to multitask, but they may not be getting as much done as they seem. People who work on more than one task at a time become more prone to mistakes. To avoid the temptation to multitask, try setting off certain sections of your workday—even chunks as short as 10 minutes—where you hone in on one, specific task. Focus your time one doing one task well rather than two tasks poorly.

Learn to Say No

Your work, not others’, should come first. Sometimes, that means uncomfortable conversations with coworkers or supervisors, but those conversations are necessary. If someone asks for your help—or attempts to assign you a project—ask yourself: Does this person have the authority to make me do this? How will taking this assignment on affect my current workload? Can I do this and still meet my important deadlines? It is fine—even advisable—to help coworkers in need from time to time, but be careful to not let their problems and responsibilities damage your productivity.

For more tips on getting the most out of your workday and your professional life in general, take a look at Flex Capital’s other blog posts.