You Can Improve Your Memory and Productivity

Nancy Anderson
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You have plenty to remember at work, particularly if you spend 40 hours a week at a busy office. Learn how to improve productivity by enhancing your memory while potentially avoiding fatigue, burn-out and anxiety. These six tips can help you prevent chaotic moments and create a manageable routine that benefits you and your team.

1. Simplify To-Do Lists

Create a simple and concise to-do list of your most important tasks that you must accomplish on one particular day. Do not make this list lengthy. Manage your high-priority tasks first when you're fresh in the morning when you arrive at the office. You reach goals faster because you improve productivity on a day-to-day basis by only focusing on what you need to do one day at a time. Eventually, when string enough of these days together, you achieve a 90-day goal, 180-day goal, or a one-year goal, depending on the length of your project.

2. Delegate Smartly

No one can do it all. If you're a manager or supervisor, delegate tasks wisely and to the right people. Even if you're not a manager, you can improve productivity by asking for help from your co-workers. Delegation does not just happen at the office. You can ask people at home to do the dishes, help the kids with homework or shop for groceries if you feel swamped at the office.

3. Focus on One Task at a Time

Busy people may rely on multitasking to accomplish tasks during the day, but that does not do anything to improve productivity. In fact, interrupting your main task to handle another causes you to lose 10 to 15 minutes per task when you have to re-focus. Rather than multitask, recognize that you have a single task to finish and do not do anything else until you complete that single task. Over the course of a day, week or month, you could save a lot of time.

4. Eschew Constant Communications

Take times out of your day to turn off the email chatter or even unplug your phone. Responding to emails throughout the day or picking up the phone every 30 minutes distracts you from your tasks and to-do lists. Instead, manage your emails at the beginning, middle and end of your day. If anyone has a high-priority message in an absolute emergency, let your supervisor know to come to your cubicle or office rather than sending an email.

5. Control Interruptions

When someone interrupts you, ask if it can wait. If the person says no, then limit the interruption to a certain time frame, such as 5 or 10 minutes. If you receive constant interruptions from the same source over and over, then that might be a sign you need to stop what you're doing and take care of the issue.

6. Try Daydreaming

Take time out for daydreaming, because that can actually enhance your memory and improve productivity. Neuroscientists determined that daydreaming happens in your brain's default network, where you dwell on internal thoughts and merely stop to think. Daydreaming increases brain activity for short-term memory in this default network, which can increase your ability to work.

When you improve productivity, you increase your value at work. Try some of these six techniques to see what happens and start wowing your boss more often.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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