Getting More Done with Less Time in the Office

Staying focused and accomplishing your to-do list can be tough on any day, but it’s especially challenging during the holidays. While many of us take time off to observe holidays and spend time with family and friends, there are still work deadlines that must be met, and your coworkers and clients count on your contributions to keep business moving. If you’re planning to take time off this season, use the following tips from Boise Paper for getting more done with less time in the office.

Get organized – With limited hours in the office, organization is key – don’t spend precious time combing through files or searching for materials. Write out to-do lists for all the tasks you must accomplish, and keep the necessary files and materials needed to complete them handy – while filing away extraneous documents, materials or emails that can distract you from your focus. In addition, if there’s a chance coworkers will need to access your work while you’re out, be sure to clearly label and save your work in the appropriate locations so that no one is wasting time searching for files in your absence. This small step will not only earn the consideration of your colleagues, but provide you with peace-of-mind should something critical arise while you’re out.

Plan ahead – Most work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Coworkers need to provide input, internal reviews and approvals have to be given, clients and customers need to respond – you get the point. If coworkers are holding down the office while you’re out – or vice-versa – it can be difficult to meet deadlines and keep things moving along. If you are involved with tasks that have a particular due date, such as a client report that always goes over on the 15th of the month, adjust the typical timeline to accommodate both your and your coworkers’ out-of-office schedules. This way, tasks can keep moving regardless of who is in the office, and everyone will be able to enjoy time off without looming assignments.

Separate work time and home time – Work-life balance can get trickier during the holiday season. While you may be tempted to browse for holiday gifts online or rush out during a lunch break, this type of multi-tasking cuts down on productivity and only adds to your stress levels, with personal and professional commitments both weighing on your mind. Instead, block out your schedule so that your time is spent with a singular focus. While at the office, keep your focus on the work tasks at hand, and you’ll be amazed how quickly your to-do list shrinks. If holiday commitments have you stressed, consider taking an afternoon off to finish your holiday errands. You’ll be able to finish your shopping, baking, shipping and wrapping without the hurry (or traffic), and the next day, you’ll be able to devote your full attention to work.

Do some housekeeping – Office equipment always seems to malfunction at the most inconvenient times, so to ensure you can keep working smoothly during your limited time in the office, take a few moments to clean printers and copiers, removing dust and debris that can lead to performance problems that keep you from being productive. Take time now to purchase paper and restock office essentials such as Boise ASPEN® Multi-Use Recycled Copy paper, which has a 99 percent jam-free guarantee. More than slowing down print jobs, jammed office paper can cause paper fibers to build up and cause equipment failure – and during the holidays, technicians and suppliers may be difficult to reach.

Be aware of productivity killers – Everyone needs a break now and then, but certain activities, such as checking social media or chatting with coworkers in the break room, can easily snowball into significant time-wasters. Whether it is texting friends, surfing the web or engaging in office gossip, identify which of these productivity killers is your kryptonite and take steps to avoid it as much as possible. For example, if social media is your weakness, disable automatic alerts, and consider blocking certain sites during times when you need to buckle down on your assignments. Likewise, if your cell phone is the source of distraction, simply silence it or put it in bedtime mode while working.

Let yourself enjoy some holiday cheer (in doses) – ‘Tis the season for celebration, and by all means, make the most of the holidays by joining in on office parties with coworkers and gatherings with family and friends. However, overindulging in the sugar cookies or eggnog may leave you feeling less than 100 percent the next day. When it comes to your office productivity, though, just remember that there’s no substitute for healthy eating and a good night’s sleep!