How productive are you when you’re in the office? Regardless of how many hours you spend at your desk, are you really making the most of that time? Productivity isn’t just about trying to cram more work into your already–busy schedule. It’s about learning the natural ebbs and flows of your personal work style to prioritize and work more efficiently within the time you have. Here are 10 tips for increasing work productivity.
Track Your Time
If you want to know how productive you are versus how much time you’re wasting on the job, the best tool is a time tracker. How long does it take you to do specific tasks? And how long are you able to stay on that task without drifting.
The more your track your time, and record the results, the better position you’ll be in to adjust your productivity levels.
What ends up happening most of the time is that we force ourselves to work on a project and our mind wanders. We check our email or social media, daydream, or do other busy work to keep us from the task at hand. Instead, give yourself an actual break.
More importantly, give yourself permission to step away from the project. When you allow yourself to take breaks, you can return to the project refreshed and ready to tackle it.
Almost without exception, people work better when they know they have a deadline they need to hit. So, even if your project didn’t come with a specific deadline, take some time at the beginning to determine about how long it will take and then plan to have it completed by a certain time or day.
Just knowing you have a deadline you can’t miss will help you stay on track.
Do It Immediately
Then there are those little things you don’t really want to do, but you have to. These can be anything from replying to an email or even calling your mother. When you don’t want to do something, don’t put it off. The best way to get it done is just to do it immediately.
If you do it right now, it will be done and off your plate entirely.
Cut Back on Meetings
You may think that meetings are inevitable, but they can also be a big black hole for your time. You don’t need to be involved in every meeting, so it’s worth your time to evaluate their necessity and only attend those meetings that will actually be of value to this.
The important part of this step is to communicate with the other people to let them know your position.
Contrary to popular belief, our brains are not designed to multitask. We can’t actually think about, much less do, more than one task at a time. When you do multitask, what you’re really doing is switching quickly between projects. This can impact the quality of the work you’re doing.
The real skill to learn is how to prioritize. Knowing what needs to be done first is more important than trying to do it all at once.
We’re not saying you need to just do half the work and call it good. What we mean by this is perfection can be a trap that will draw you in and not allow you to finish a project. You’ll spend hours, days, or even weeks trying to get every last detail perfect when the end product is already just fine.
Perfection is often a way to delay the inevitable. It’s more important to let your project go and move on.
Yes, that’s right. This tip for increased productivity isn’t about the work you’re doing at all. It’s about raising your endorphins to allow you to be more engaged at work from the start. Exercise is good for our minds as well as our bodies.
Just taking 20 minutes in the morning to walk around your block or go through a yoga set is enough to start the day right.
You may think this world of constant connectivity is helpful for our productivity, but the opposite is more likely to be true. We are so inundated with information that sometimes we have trouble processing and prioritizing.
When you don’t need to be connected, put down your phone. Don’t check email. Be present in the moment.
Set a Timer
Finally, here’s a quick thing you can do every time you sit down to take on a new task, especially one you’re not excited about: Set a timer. Give yourself 30 minutes and work, heads down, until the timer goes off.
Once it does, you can decide to continue working or take a break for five minutes and start the timer again.
About Anserteam Workforce Solutions
Anserteam Workforce Solutions represents North America’s very best staffing agencies aligned together to deliver world-class workforce management solutions. We offer end-to-end talent services that can be customized for any size business, utilizing our Managed Services Provider (MSP) model and Vendor Management Solutions (VMS) technology. Is your organization seeking a WBENC-certified diversity partner to provide measurable results and substantial cost savings? Contact us today.