Many workers wish they could be more productive at work. Ever hear the old saying “work smarter, not harder?” Because there are limited hours in a workday, people are always looking for tips to be more productive. The basic rule to follow is that you need to be deliberate about how you manage your time. We have some tricks to help you be more productive during your workday.

Tasks

Many workers underestimate the time they are spending on daily tasks. They may think a task is going to take them only a minute, but this time adds up during your day. If you are aiming to be productive the whole day, this can limit the time you spend working on large projects. If you aren’t sure how much time is going toward these tasks, you can download apps that track your daily tasks.

Multitasking

Though multitasking seems to get more work done, the opposite is actually true. Psychologists have researched multitasking. They have found that it is actually less productive. It works better to work on one task at a time. Once you complete this task, you can then move onto the next. If you are working on multiple tasks at the same time, you aren’t able to fully concentrate and it takes you much longer.

Breaks

Taking small breaks when you are working on a project is actually another way to be more productive. It may sound like it will waste time, but it doesn’t. A small break will hep your mind focused so you can actually complete the project in less time. Setting up a schedule for small breaks can help you stay on task. If you know you only have an hour to work on something, you will push yourself harder to complete it.

Meetings

One of the ways to kill a productive day is to schedule pointless meetings. The average office worker spends at least 31 hours a month in meetings. This is almost a full week of work. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if the same goals can be accomplished with an email, phone call or even a web based meeting. These all will save time. If a face to face meeting is needed, write out a schedule of the tasks to accomplish before the meeting starts. Having a schedule in advance will help your team stay on task.

Interruptions

Being interrupted in the office is a huge part of why you can’t be productive at work. Whether it is a coworker stopping by your office or a text message, losing concentration makes it harder to get your work completed. If you are working on a time sensitive project, it may be better to work from home until it is completed. If this isn’t possible, keep your office door closed to keep you focused. Also, turn off your notifications for email, voicemail and your cell phone until your project is done. You can then stay completely focused on the task at hand.

Office Decor

It may sound like a tiny detail, but studies have shown that office décor does make a difference in how productive you are at work. Having a nicely decorated office can boost how productive you are about 15%. You can start small like a plant or some photos of your family.