Life in today’s workplace is busy, busy, busy.
Did you know that the two most important components of greater work productivity are maximising your time and minimising distractions? But what can you do to manage your time efficiently and boost work productivity?
In recognition of World Productivity Day (20 June), here are 15 tips to help you get the most out of your day:
1. Trim the to-do list
Too often workers overestimate what they can accomplish and become frustrated by their lack of progress.
A shorter, more realistic to-do list that leaves room for unexpected projects and interruptions will help you be more productive.
2. Aim for quality, not quantity
Multitasking seems like a good way to increase work productivity, but repeatedly switching gears is mentally taxing and can slow you down.
Do your best to focus on one item at a time.
3. Know your prime time for productivity
Use your internal clock to your advantage by tackling critical or challenging assignments during the time of day when you’re most alert and productive.
4. Post a 'Do Not Disturb' sign
When working on important assignments, boost work productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of email and social media. Doing so allows you to give your full attention to the task at hand.
Also, don’t be afraid to occasionally post a “do not disturb” sign in your office or workspace.
5. Explore project apps
Take advantage of the wide selection of software specifically designed to help people increase productivity at work, keep track of projects, meet deadlines and be more organised.
6. Break down big projects
Intimidation can lead to procrastination. So break big, complicated projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. You’ll feel less overwhelmed.
Plus, you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment each time you reach an incremental milestone.
7. Just say 'no'
Sometimes you simply can’t take on another assignment no matter how small. Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ at times.
While you want to build a reputation as a team player, you can’t afford to become a doormat in the process.
8. Closely monitor your online reading habits
Keep your focus when online. If one second you’re reading an industry report, the next you’re scanning Facebook, and a few minutes later you’re staring at a blog post, you are most likely not very disciplined. Manage your time online wisely.
9. Take care of your health
Productivity at work can hinge on what you do off the job. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and get adequate sleep.
Being out of balance in any of those three areas can throw off your ability to concentrate.
10 Mitigate meeting mania
Rethink routine meetings that have outlived their purpose. Or prune meeting times by 25 percent to force yourself and others to stay on point.
11. Give yourself a break
It sounds counterintuitive, but taking breaks can help you get more done. Solutions to complex problems often surface when we’re not intently focused on the issue.
Likewise, getting some fresh air or engaging in office banter can help you recharge.
12. Clean up your act
If you regularly lose time because you’re scrambling to find files, come in early or stay late one day to do a clean sweep of your desk.
Then, get into the habit of investing a few minutes each day to organise and tidy up.
13. Recondition your email reflexes
Chances are you read email the instant it arrives. Fight the impulse to immediately react when you hear the pinging sound of an incoming message.
Pick specific times to check your inbox throughout the day.
14. Bring in reinforcements
If everyone is efficient and productive, yet your team is still falling behind, consider bringing in temporary reinforcements or at least mention it to your superior.
Hiring specialised temporary professionals is a cost-effective way to meet rising business demands while alleviating workloads for overworked core employees.
15. Reward yourself
When you reach a milestone or finish a project, give yourself a pat on the back — and more.
Go out to lunch or dinner, quit work early, go for a run, have some fun. Reward yourself often for performance well done.
Use these tips to turn every day into a productive day in your workplace.