If you find yourself consistently facing a deluge of data, with several payroll reports due in a short amount of time, there’s a better strategy than wishing for more time or habitually working overtime. The optimal approach is to boost your productivity at work.
Doing so will alleviate your anxiety and help prevent the dreaded working-while-tired syndrome. As an added bonus, learning how to become more efficient in your job may result in increased satisfaction with your payroll career and personal life.
Here are six tips for improving your productivity at work:
1. Plan ahead
Having a list of priorities for the week will help you improve your productivity at work. Every Monday morning, review your calendar and create your weekly to-do list, but keep it realistic. Don’t overestimate what you can accomplish in a given week — that can lead to frustration at work and, ultimately, be counterproductive.
Take it a step further by outlining shorter- and longer-term goals, giving priority to the most im-portant tasks.
2. Stay organized
Ever lost valuable minutes and hours searching for misplaced timesheets or W-4 forms, or missed a reporting deadline because it wasn’t on your radar? If so, it’s time to get more organized. Create visible folders — on your computer and physical desktops — for important files and documents.
As for to-do lists, some people are partial to paper planners, while others prefer software and apps. Finding the best method that works for you will take some trial and error.
3. Get proper training
If your manager asks you to handle multi-state payroll using Ceridian HPL, and your expertise is with just one state or if you’re a Ceridian novice, then much of your workday might be con-sumed with figuring out how to do your job. To improve productivity at work, seek out educa-tion on the platforms and processes you encounter daily.
4. Minimize distractions
We’ve all fallen down the social media rabbit hole or spent more time on e-commerce than we should. These and other diversions run contrary to our productivity at work.
If this sounds like you, the answer is better discipline. Tame workplace email by turning off pop-up notifications, and then check it only at set times. If necessary, turn off WiFi so you won’t be distracted.
When it comes to personal issues and errands, reserve them for your breaks. Stow your personal phone where your attention won’t be constantly drawn to its pings and buzzes.
5. Know your peak periods
Some of us are more alert in the morning, while others don’t hit our stride until the afternoon. You may also find yourself sharper and more motivated on certain days: In an Accountemps survey, human resources managers said Tuesdays are generally when employees are most produc-tive. Figure out when you work best, and reserve those times for your most challenging projects.
6. Take a break
You may think you’re more productive when working non-stop, but you’re actually sabotaging your long-term effectiveness when you don’t give yourself regular breaks. Stepping away from your desk can be reinvigorating and beneficial to your health; you might even discover solutions to complex problems when you’re not intently focused on work.
Try pausing every hour or so to stretch your legs, fill your water bottle and, at midday, eat a proper lunch and leave your office. Whether your take a walk across campus to catch up on cur-rent events or read a chapter in your favorite novel, your body and brain will thank you.
Your company and career rely on you to maintain productivity at work. And when you get more done in less time, you’ll also enjoy increased satisfaction with your payroll job.
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 325 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.