At the workplace, we will have many activities to do – Emails to check and respond, tasks to complete, meetings, tight deadlines, etc. An important factor that helps us achieve our goals in the workplace is our productivity. The more productive we are, the more we can accomplish, and less stressful we become. A highly productive associate becomes a valued associate of the organization because a greater level of productivity is equal to time saved, and time saved is equal to money saved.
So, how to increase productivity in the workplace? How to achieve more in less time? Here are some pointers.
15 ways to increase productivity at work:
1. Cut off distractions: When you are working, just work. Don’t check social media or browse the internet unless it is related to the work you are doing. These are distractions that drain your focus and energy. Allocate designated time for social media and browsing and use that time. But don’t check mobile for updates while working. When you give undivided attention to your work, you can accomplish more in less time.
2. Have a to-do list: Maintain a to-do list with all the tasks to accomplish. Having a to-do list makes you organized and helps you understand what needs to be accomplished in a day. It also helps you remember all the tasks and prevents you from missing something important.
3. Prioritize: There will be many activities to do in a day, out of which some tasks will be of not much value. So, prioritization of tasks is important. Prioritize all your tasks. Start your day with the prioritization of the tasks.
4. Work on high priority tasks first: When you start your day in the workplace, you start fresh and carry a lot of energy. You are at your best in the first few hours. Also, you carry a greater ability to focus and concentrate at this time. So, in the first half of your day, work on all high priority and complex tasks. As the day goes by, productivity comes down. So, keep low priority and easy tasks to the second half of the day.
5. Time-box complex and unknown tasks: Some tasks will be complex and carry unknowns. Such tasks take a lot of time. Instead of spending hours and hours on them and feeling unproductive at the end of the day, just time-box them and give your best try in the allocated time. If you cannot find a solution in this time, seek the help of others.
6. Delegate: Don’t try to do everything yourself. Wherever it is needed and possible, delegate some of the tasks to others. This frees your time and helps you focus on more important tasks.
7. Take a break: When you continuously work without breaks, your mind tends to become less productive. It loses its sharpness and becomes unproductive. Take breaks as and when needed, and use these breaks to recharge yourself. A recharged mind works better.
8. Fall in love with work: When you perceive your work as boring, it becomes challenging to become productive. You don’t feel like working, and you only work in the last minute just to meet timelines. Such kind of work will be of poor quality and will result in multiple reworks, which is a waste of time and loss of productivity. If you want to be productive in your work, find ways to fall in love with it. Think of the big picture of your work and your role in it. Think of the impact your work will create in the world and be excited about it. Be creative and find ways to perceive your work as interesting.
9. Declutter your desk: When your desk is cluttered and full of unwanted stuff, it becomes challenging to have high levels of concentration. So, declutter it and keep it clean. Keep only those things on your desk, which matter to you.
10. Leave personal issues at home: Don’t carry personal problems to the workplace and brood over them. Yes, life will have up’s and down’s and all of us go through personal issues. But learn to separate the workplace from personal life and limit personal issues to home. This frees up your mind, and you can focus better in the office.
11. Focus on one task at a time: It looks cool to do multiple tasks simultaneously, but it’s not productive. According to the research, multitasking reduces our productivity by 40%, and it causes stress and loss of focus. So, pick up only one task at a time and give your best to it.
12. Get a good night sleep: You can focus better and be productive at your workplace only when you get a good night sleep. So, sleep well and recharge yourself. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you feel drained and sleepy during your day time. Your mind does not work at its full potential without good quality sleep.
13. Sharpen your mind through meditation: When we meditate regularly, our ability to focus improves, and this helps in increase in productivity. Meditation also makes us more creative and intuitive. So, meditate regularly.
14. Take notes: When meetings or calls happen, important points are discussed. Note down these points right when the meeting is in progress. This helps in future reference, reduces the number of errors, and prevents forgetting important points. Errors lead to loss of productivity and a waste of time.
15. Stay hydrated: Our brains are 85% water, and dehydration leads to loss of focus and less productivity. So, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip water.
These are the 15 pointers to stay productive in the workplace. When we are productive, our work satisfaction improves. Our work makes sense to us, and we feel good about ourselves and our life. Our chances of success in the workplace also improve. With superior productivity, we end up doing things that matter to the organization, and we bring true value to the table.
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferris
Stay productive! Stay happy!