Five Tips for Improving Productivity at Work
You only have so many work hours in a day – so you need to make them really count! Basically, you have two ways to increase output – you either work harder for longer, or you learn to work smarter…personally, we choose option two!
Increasing productivity isn’t rocket science, but it does require some thought as to workflows and process, along with better time management. Let’s explore five effective strategies for increasing your productivity and working smarter:
1. Set Self-Directed Deadlines – While stress is usually a bad thing, manageable, self-imposed stress can help us to focus on a task and get it done. For open-ended projects, try giving yourself a deadline and stick to it, but make it realistic. You might surprise yourself with how focused and productive you can be when you’re watching the clock!
2. Say “No” to Meetings – Meetings are some of the biggest time-wasters around, yet we’re still booking them, attending them, and inevitably complaining about it! Before booking a meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same task with a phone call, via email or a with web-based meeting, which can be more productive.
3. Stop Multi-Tasking – We think that multi-tasking is an important skill for increasing our efficiency, but usually the opposite is true. Psychologists have found that attempting to do several tasks at once can result in productivity losses. Instead, make it a habit to commit to completing a single task before moving on to your next project.
4. Use Your Commute Effectively – Many of us are stuck on the train or bus commuting to work and we spend our time playing online games or checking out Facebook. Instead, why not use that time effectively to create your daily to-do list, answer emails, or brainstorm your next big idea!
5. Give Up the Idea of Perfection – It’s common to want to perfectly complete a task but the reality is, nothing is ever truly perfect. Rather than chasing this dragon, bang out the task to the best of your ability and move on. It’s better to complete a task and move it off your to-do list. If you need to, you can always go back and tweak it later.
If you feel like you need to up your productivity, don’t immediately default to working longer hours. Take a step back and think about how you can work smarter, not harder!