The coronavirus outbreak is forcing most professionals to rethink the way they work. With working from home, or #WFH, slowly becoming the norm as countries fight to slow the spread of the virus, you’ll probably be scrambling to find ways to remain productive. 

How can you stay focused? How can you ensure that all your tasks are completed on time? How can you check yourself from giving in to the temptation that Netflix and your comfy couch offer? In other words, how will you keep progressing in your path to excellence? These are questions you will have to navigate every morning while logging in to work. 

We have just the tools for you to make sure you complete your work tasks in a timely fashion. First up is the Eisenhower Matrix.

The Eisenhower Matrix was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former US president. This matrix will help you identify and prioritize tasks by their urgency and importance so that you can set aside trivial and unimportant tasks that you need not tackle.

The matrix has four quadrants. The first quadrant is the ‘Do First’ one where you record tasks that are vital for your life and career and need to be done immediately. The second quadrant is ‘Schedule’ which contains tasks that are important and need to be scheduled, but not urgent. The third quadrant is ‘Delegate’. It is for those tasks that are not a priority or for which you don’t have the expertise. These need to be done but not necessarily by you. Finally, the fourth quadrant is ‘Don’t Do’. This is to help you identify the tasks that are unnecessary or can be put off for much later. 

Putting your tasks down in the Eisenhower Matrix is very valuable as it clears your mind and helps you prioritize your tasks.

Another technique for increasing your productivity is the Pomodoro Technique used for efficient time management. This technique was developed by Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, and it gets its name from a kitchen timer shaped like a ‘pomodoro’ or ‘tomato’ in Italian. Cute, right? The method is also simple to follow as you rush to meet deadlines. 

For every project you need to do, split it up into many tasks and decide which ones you need to tackle first. Then divide the time you have into short intervals, or Pomodoros, in which each of these tasks needs to be done. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and start working. Once the timer rings, break for five minutes and tick the job that you’ve just completed. 

The key here is to avoid distractions while focusing on the task. Close your email and shut down all websites that are not related to the task at hand. Once you’ve done four Pomodoro sessions, take a break of 15-30 minutes before returning to work. 

In fact, if you want to up your productivity even on the personal front, you could finish your household chores during these breaks! This way you will be highly productive both professionally and personally.

You can enroll now for our Practicing Excellence course from Harappa Education to demonstrate integrity and agility at your workplace. Learn how to achieve workplace success from our Online Learning Courses.

Suha Gangopadhyay is Specialist, Curriculum at Harappa Education.

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