July 22, 2016
Whether you’re an employer or employee, productivity should be at the forefront of your mind when at work. As an employee, the feeling of productivity can be extremely rewarding. As an employer, you’re probably aware of the damage that a lack of productivity can cause. In fact, businesses lose £250 million each year through office distractions and low productivity. Though some tips may seem obvious, the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ creates your spectrum of productivity at work.
Plan Ahead and Prioritize
If you have a spare few minutes at the end of the work day, plan your schedule for the next day with priority given to the more important tasks. Working to a schedule is a great way of being productive and minimizing possible distractions. However, it’s important to be flexible around your schedule should an unexpected email or meeting come up.
Only the Best
One of the most obvious ways to be more productive at work is to ensure that you’re using the best technology. For example, if you use the phone a lot in your job role then a headset comes strongly recommended.
The Jabra Evolve 80 has been described as the ‘number one headset for improving productivity’. In short: hands free, excellent sound quality, noise cancelling mic, 30 meter range and a whole range of impressive features that make life much easier for you.
This depends completely on your personality type, so feel free to skip this if you’re not a list person, but for me to-do lists are like manna from heaven. I need to visually see the tasks that need doing so that I can organize my thoughts and do the job efficiently and productively; the euphoria of crossing off each completed task is a happy bonus.
If you don’t like the idea of notes and papers on your desk then there are plenty of sites such as Trello which are effectively online to-do lists.
Tidy Room, Tidy Mind
Again, this is relatively selective to personality types however it’s not one that I would recommend skipping over if it’s not for you. It’s beneficial for all to keep a tidy work area. Having a clean and organized work space is an almost guaranteed way to increase productivity.
Time Management and Mindset
You may be on time for work each day but how long does it take you, subconsciously, to get in the right frame of mind to tackle the tasks of the day? Like a car, you can’t immediately be in fifth gear, you need to start in first gear and build up momentum.
At 9am most of us need to warm up before jumping straight in and paralleling this is the time it takes to load your computer, make yourself a drink or tidy your desk. Psychologically as you wait for your computer to load up you may feel as though you need to wait for your mindset to load at the same time.
Simply being aware of this phenomenon makes it easier to speed up the process of getting in the right mindset. Track the amount of time it takes to settle in and hopefully that will give you the motivation to catch up on the time you’ve missed in the first half an hour of the day.
Though some may have mastered the task of multitasking, more often than not, it results in quick and efficient work completed to a poor standard. Productivity doesn’t necessarily correlate to speed; to do the best job possible means to ensure that your work is of high quality.
If you have three or four tasks to do, complete them one at a time. For me, not only does it feel more rewarding to tick off a task one at a time but it is also far less overwhelming.
Following the multitasking point, stress and being overwhelmed is a huge problem in the working environment and more ought to be done to overcome it.
At university I was taught, when faced with a 5,000 word essay, to not try and write all 5,000 words at once but to set myself a goal of 1,000 in a day; after 5 days you have your completed essay without the stress or feeling of overwhelmingness.
Love Your Job
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then procrastination is your best friend. You’ll find any and every reason not to begin the task in hand. However, and though easier said than done, if you enjoy what you do then you won’t need to try and avoid doing it.
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