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Drafters can experience very long hours

Has this ever happened to you?  You show up to work again, review your to-do list, and get ready for the day.  You decide to check your email real quick and see some notes on a shop drawing you sent for finalization.  It looks like a quick task so you reply. Four hours, two phone calls, and three emails later, you finish that “quick” response. Where did the time go? Although halfway through your day, you haven’t completed a single item on your to-do list.

Too often, we have developed bad habits at work that hinder our productivity.  Other times, we are spending too much time responding to and putting out fires that we probably could have avoided in the first place.  Being productive at work is not about working harder, it’s also about working smarter. 

Being in this line of work, you need to be able to not only wear several hats, but you need to juggle lines, angles, numbers, and be able to produce creative and accurate designs for your customers.  Having stellar time-management skills will be able to ensure you are meeting your deadlines, responding to your customers in a timely manner, and will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.

These five strategies will aid you in that sense of accomplishment.

Plan your day

Use a planner and prioritize your day

Spend the first 10 minutes of your day mapping out your course of action.  Proper planning of your day helps to eliminate stress.  When creating your list, make sure you put your most important tasks and the ones you are most likely to procrastinate on first. 

Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.  And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”  What did he mean by this?  The frog is the one thing you have on your to do list that you are most likely to procrastinate on.  Once you get that one task done, you’ll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment, give yourself momentum, and set the tone for the rest of your day.

Eliminate distractions

Silence your phone and unnecessary distractions

Distractions are everywhere!  Being able to focus on one single task can be hard in today’s world.  It’s so tempting to click on that Kitchen Trends email or that new blog from Superior Shop Drawings that pops up. Rather than checking your email every time you hear that sound, schedule some time throughout the day to check and answer your emails. 

Silence your cell phone and stay off of non-work websites and apps that hinder your production.  Also, be sure to schedule yourself some “do not disturb time” during the day when you really need to focus on a particular task! 

Listen to music

Turn on music and avoid distraction

Music has the power to sharpen your focus, improve your mood, and improve your performance at work.  Studies show that listening to music while you are working causes the brain to release dopamine.  This important chemical makes you feel good, eases stress, and helps decrease anxiety. 

A study performed by the Journal of American Medical Association shows that those who listen to music during repetitive tasks have fewer errors, have decreased stress levels, and are less bored while completing them.  Ever have that one customer who is nitpicking every draft you send?  Maybe you have sent a final shop drawing several times, and they just do not seem satisfied. Help bring your stress level some tunes?

Take breaks

Enjoy a hot beverages and a few minutes of silence.

How many times a week do you actually take a lunch break?  A break where you shut down your work and step away from your day?  How many times a day do you get up and go for a walk or grab a coffee and just unplug for a few minutes?  Even though we want to, it can be hard to unplug for a few minutes, let alone for a half hour. 

Face it, it this industry, we work long hours every single day.  Working for long stretches without a break can lead to exhaustion and burnout.  Taking a break helps to restore your motivation, helps with problem solving and increases your creativity.  Grab yourself a coffee , eat a healthy snack, or go outside for a 15 minute walk.  Again, getting away from your work environment, if only for a few minutes will help your brain rest and recharge your mind.


Pass work off to save time

If there is one thing that hinders productivity and time management, it’s having to spend the time either on-boarding a new employee to handle tasks that could be outsourced.  Hiring an outside shop drawing company not only will allow you to increase your own productivity, but you will also save time not having to worry that your drawings are of substandard quality.   

Here at Superior Shop Drawings, we enter every job with an honest approach.  Doing this ensures that our customers receive usable documents, in a timely fashion, that we are proud of.  Contact us today and we will happy to discuss your needs with you and answer any questions that you may have.

Steve Newett
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