There are only 24 hours in a day. For companies and businesses, it is absolutely critical to have a productive workforce. Scurrying to meet deadlines and having too many tasks in hand may adversely affect your productivity.
Improving productivity isn’t really hard, but you will need to dedicate yourself to understanding how to manage time. Productivity can be increased predominantly by two approaches. Either you will need to work more hours, or you can work smarter. Obviously, I prefer working smarter rather than longer.
Research suggests that in the US, only approximately 34 percent of employees feel engaged with their work. Disengaged employees are absent from work more often, and their work turnover rate is lower, which can adversely affect the net profit of a company.
In this article, I have compiled the best practices that you can adopt today to increase workplace productivity.
HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AT WORK
1. UTILIZE TIME APTLY
Time is always of the essence when you are aiming at improving productivity. Spend your valuable time on making the business flow more smoothly by effectively completing tasks on time.
Focus on the things which will help in the cognitive growth of the company. Avoid unwanted task which will consume a lot of your valuable time and does not give the desired output. So, make sure to utilize your time aptly on tasks that will uplift the company.
2. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Doing the same monotonous work for hours in a single sitting can hamper your productivity. Take walks after every extended session and shift your focus away from work for a few minutes.
It’ll help you collect your dispersed focus and utilize it together for full optimality for your next task. Refresh your thought process by having a good talk with your colleagues in your break to keep you away from the worries about work.
3. CREATE NOTES OF YOUR DAILY WORK
This is one of the most important things that you must apply to your planning to reach the heights of success. Creating notes of your work every day will help you to keep track of your efficiency each day. Then you can challenge yourself to do better than yesterday’s version of you.
Each day knocks your door with a new challenge which reveals your level of patience and thinking to overcome it. Once you have reached that extreme level, no problem can shake you from your path.
Every single day when you stand to take a step just apply this simple trick to keep track of your daily work. Create notes which you have to complete on that particular day.
4. AVOID MULTITASKING
Arrange your tasks for the day in order of preference and do it sequentially. Each task requires a different level of focus. An attempt at doing multiple tasks together will degrade the overall quality of work done.
Never ever try to be overconfident about your work. It doesn’t matter that you are entirely done with your work, just try to be focused on that particular chore only. Don’t try to put hands on the different tasks as this may lead to catastrophic effects and may ultimately lead to your downfall.
So whatever work you have undertaken, just stick to that only until you are completely done with it.
5. DO YOUR TASKS IN 90 MINUTE SESSIONS
Florida State University conducted research on high performing subjects, and they made an astonishing discovery. People who work for no more than 90 minutes at a time were way more productive than their counterparts who worked for more than 90 minutes at a time.
Furthermore, the research indicates that the people who have the highest productivity worked no more than 4.5hours a day. This leads to the conclusion that fewer work hours boost productive work hours, bringing about higher overall productivity.
Once you are back from the busy schedule of your work, just take proper rest to prepare yourself for a battle with a new challenge. Inadequate sleep makes you unprepared for a new day at work, which will hamper your performance for the day.
So, it is imperative to take proper rest without which you can’t even imagine taking a single step towards your goal.
7. TAKING A PROPER DIET
We all have heard this common saying that a healthy mind is the home of healthy thoughts and ideas. Therefore to think more productively for the work, we must take a proper diet.
These diets enrich our brain with the essential nutrients that help us think better according to the situation.
Also Read, BENEFITS OF HEALTHY EATING AND EXERCISE
8. KEEP YOUR DESKS CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
A clean work desk can help you give an overall mood boost before starting work and will provide a good feeling about work despite the pressure. It is advisable to make separate sections for the different files.
The files which have been completed and those requiring special attention can be created into separate sections. Having at least a clean and organized desk can make you going even after a rough day at work.
9. STICK INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON THE WALL
An inspirational quote can inspire your soul and make you more energetic towards any type of task.
10. PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
Once you have completed your daily goal, which you have set in your mind, reward yourself for the completion and think of the works you have to complete the next day. Set a goal and prepare yourself for the next upcoming challenge.
11. STAY AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
While you are at your office doing productive work, the sounds of the messages and notifications divert your attention and tempt you to see the messages you have received.
Tapping on notifications every second or so will only impact on the tasks you do. Therefore try to keep yourself away from social media while you are at work.
12. WORK REMOTELY
Harvard Business Review conducted a study which found that remote workers had exceedingly higher productivity rates and their chances of quitting the job was decidedly diminished.
The research also found that remote workers are more engaged at work, take less sick leaves, and are in general perform better.
It is a common sight in the office to see employees interrupting other employees who are in the middle of work. Imaginably for finishing their own part or for resolving their issue, when most of the time it is not exactly urgent.
If you have a flexible job, consider working from out of office. Working at a new location can do wonders for your productivity, and if you choose to work from home, you can cut down on commuting.
13. TIME SPENT ON ONE TASK
Assign fewer time for a task than you think you’ll need to complete it. Only a trivial 17 percent of people can accurately measure the passing of time according to research. It is therefore advisable to use tools like Rescue time or a simple alarm clock to designate the time limit for a task and effectively measure it.
14. COMMIT TO SELF-IMPOSED DEADLINES
Although too much stress is counter-productive, bearing a manageable level of stress may actually help you in focusing on the tasks at hand and reaching goals sooner. It is advisable to set a self-imposed deadline and stick to it for open-ended tasks. This way, you will free up more time, which you can utilize for doing urgent tasks.
15. ADOPT THE TWO-MINUTE RULE
The two-minute rule is recommended by plenty of successful people like David Allen and Steve Olenski. According to the two-minute rule, if any task you get can be completed in two minutes or less, do it right away. Putting off this task for later might actually consume more time than if you finish it immediately.
16. ACCOMMODATE EXERCISE INTERLUDES
Exercising is known to reduce stress hormones while concurrently improving the growth factors inside the brain that are responsible for new neural connections.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine recently published a study recently which found that productivity can be vastly improved by using work hours for exercising. Exercising may also improve morale and help in recovering the focus of your mind at work.
Exercising improves morale and assists in recovering the focus of mind at work.
17. MAKE A CHECKLIST OF CRITICAL TASKS EVERYDAY
Write down a checklist of all the critical tasks that you have to finish that day. Enlist the three most vital tasks to be completed on the night before itself. This releases you to focus on those tasks as soon as you wake up the next day. This technique can help you ensure that you finish all the essential tasks that day itself.
18. PRIORITIZE TASKS ACCORDING TO IMPORTANCE
An excellent way to promoting a great time management policy at work is listing out the tasks according to their importance on a calendar. Completing crucial tasks earlier in the day makes perfect use of your most productive hours. This leaves you free of stress while completing the menial tasks during the rest of the day.
Next up, we will look into some of the tools that help in increasing productivity.
TOOLS FOR BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY
1. TIME DOCTOR
Time doctor is a tool that can be used to track work time. It works by taking screenshots of the monitor at regular intervals. It is used by companies to keep tabs on their remote employees.
2. RESCUE TIME
Rescue time gives insights into the time spent when you are using your computer or Android device. You will need to categorize each app or website according to their productivity on a 5-point scale. The app generates reports based on data collected from apps and websites that you use.
15five helps in understanding employee productivity based on the reviews. The reviews are done quarterly and take only 15 minutes of an employee’s time.
StayFocused is a Google Chrome browser extension that helps you eliminate distractions. It enables you to fix a pre-set time limit to using websites not crucial to work. Once the time limit ends, you will lose all access to such websites.
Todoist is a world-famous task management software. Todoist is like a calendar where you can list down all your tasks and projects. It helps in managing priorities and maintaining productivity.
Highly successful people are productivity giants. Let’s see what they do that makes them so productive and consequently successful.
5 THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK
1. FOLLOW THE 80/20 RULE
The 80/20 rule was put together by Vilfredo Pareto in his work, The Pareto Principle. It states that 80 percent of the results depend on 20 percent of the efforts. Exceptionally productive people use this rule to maximize productivity by identifying and focusing on the 20 percent of work that is most important.
Hence, they slash the time needed to perform the remaining 80 percent of the tasks and use them for other things that greater higher results.
2. SAY ‘NO’
The truly successful people understand the importance of saying ‘No’. It is easy to say ‘Yes’ to new opportunities and projects. However, you may not realize at the time that you can get bogged down by the workload.
Highly productive people are remarkably good at not doing things. Most people fill up their day with low-value work that eats up your time and energy. By saying ‘No’, productive people are able to delegate their time to critical things.
3. FOLLOW THE EISENHOWER MATRIX
The Eisenhower matrix makes it easier to visualize the things that are most important and urgent and set their priorities accordingly. Dwight Eisenhower used the Eisenhower matrix while in the US army to quickly find important work and those that deserve to be eliminated.
If something is urgent but not important, then the best thing might be to delegate it. Likewise, if a task is important but not urgent, it is better to plan the task for a time in the foreseeable future.
4. LEARN TO RELAX
Irrespective of your work, all of us need to relax as we are only human. The most successful people in the world do this by hopping on their private jets and globe-trotting. Finding the right work-life balance can be fantastic for improving productivity. After all, successful people never compromise on personal life.
5. MANAGE YOUR ENERGY
Remarkably productive people realize that, even if you have plenty of time but don’t have energy, you can’t undertake the most menial of tasks. By taking on the difficult tasks earlier in the day, you can finish off more work before getting tired. Managing energy is hence as crucial as managing time.
Also Read, What To Do To Get Your Health Back On Track
You don’t need to pay massive salaries or spend exorbitant amounts on employee perks. The steps mentioned in this article, although appear to be counterintuitive to increasing productivity at first glance, have been proven to have just the opposite effect.
Working smarter rather than longer or harder can have profound effects on your productivity. Try the solutions listed in this article and maybe one day you might become as successful as some of the highly successful people who swear by them.
Q1. WHAT IS THE WEAKEST LINK IN THE TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
The Time Mastery profile is the best technique to find out the weakest link in the time management system. Once you have sorted out your weakest link try every means to overcome it.
Q2. WHAT IS THE FAVORITE PRODUCTIVITY HACK OF THE CEO’s?
Going through the inspiring and the nail-biting stories of the successful CEO lives is always the best productivity hack. Reading the stories from different websites can be an interesting one.
Q3. WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO AVOID DISTRACTION?
When you start working, several factors distract you from your work. Distraction can be from anything like the popping sound of the message and the notification, unwanted calls, and much more. So, when you are working just keep your phone in silent mode which will definitely help you a lot.