10 Tips To Boost Your Productivity In The Workplace
Whether you work in retail, a digital marketing agency or labour, every occupation looks to boost the productivity of their workers. This list will cover 10 Tips To Boost Your Productivity In The Workplace, but before you read it, remember to not be so hard on yourself. Personal goal or not, productivity is important for your work and personal life.
Everybody makes mistakes and has a few hiccups along the way, as you can be expecting results overnight. So without further ado, here is 10 Tips To Boost Your Productivity In The Workplace.
1. Problem Patterns and Prioritize
Ask yourself, why isn’t work being done at a reasonable pace? Is it because of how you’re feeling? Maybe there are internal factors affecting you. Is it due to the environment you’re in or maybe because of a chatty co-worker? Identifying these problems is important for the sake of productivity. Let’s take a step back and look further into the details of your life.
Each person has their own share of time burglars, something or someone which consumes a considerable amount of time without achieving anything productive. Is there a particular habit you get into when a task comes your way? Does scrolling through social media take up too much of your valuable time? Or maybe after completing one task you have the habit of lounging around for longer than you should because you deserve it.
It’s all about identifying patterns to get to the root of the problem to begin improving your results. So, if you’re thinking about trying different techniques or habits while ignoring your time burglars, you’ll be stuck on square 1. Instead, the aim is to change one aspect of your bad time management at a time. Take baby steps towards each individual goal you set.
Many times I’ve found myself getting distracted by a single notification during work hours. This resulted in me spending anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes staring at my phone like a zombie. The solution I found was to keep my phone a distance away. Although this doesn’t work for everyone as their lines of work have different requirements, searching for solutions to problems like these will help you change drastically for the better.
2. Make a to-do list
Not every solution has to be mind-blowing or out of the box. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. A to-do list is a great way to give yourself an idea of the tasks which need to be done and what goals need to be met. Avoid writing down every single little task that will result in a never-ending list.
A habit of product people cutting their task list to only the essentials, rather than cramming tasks which aren’t physically possible to complete within the allotted 8-9 working hours. An approach you should be following is “less is more”. Start at a time that works for you, plan out your task list and systematically take out each task one by one.
More often than not, people try their best to work relying solely on their memory. This is incredibly inefficient when you remember just how unreliable the average human brain can actually be. Information overload can happen when you try to take on too many tasks all at once. There are a handful of people who can work in this manner, but for the average worker, there are a myriad of hiccups they can experience. So what can I offer as advice? Write. Everything. Down.
Get yourself a diary and carry it around wherever you go or use sticky notes on your laptop. Important points need to be jotted down in a manner that you understand. Countless times I’ve found myself mixing points and forgetting vital bits of information while trying to recall my brief off the top of my head.
3. Plan Strategically
Let’s be honest, winging it will only get you so far in life. At some point you’re gonna have to sit down and take yourself seriously. Planning is a skill that everyone should have to some extent, for their work and personal lives.
Being swamped in the morning with an unorganized cluster of tasks is the biggest productivity killer. Dedicate the night before to plan out your next day, as the following mornings are usually too hectic to form a solid procedure.
The most productive people I’ve heard from aren’t using their mornings to get as much work done as possible. It’s quite the opposite. They dedicate their mornings to freshening up their mood and getting themselves into the zone. They emphasize getting the necessary fuel to get you through the day, be it from eating a giant breakfast, exercising, meditating or simply reading.
Personally, the intent I have while planning my day out is batching similar tasks together, as well as scheduling the most daunting tasks to be completed before lunch, whilst my brain is still fresh. Important tasks that have deadlines to be met are my priority, so I do my best to finish them off well before the given deadline to avoid unwanted stress and have ample time for any corrections or changes
4. Schedule Taxing Work During Your Peak Hours
Have you ever sat at your desk all day trying to figure out how to approach a given task? You’re unable to devise a plan, but get that productivity kick right before you clock out. Those are your peak hours and they vary between individuals. We’ve all met people who are either a morning person or a night owl. Unfortunately, businesses do not accommodate the different needs of their employees.
Find your peak hours or that period where you work the most efficiently. It may be right when you get into work, after lunch or even when everyone is packing up and leaving. As stated in an earlier point, write down your peak hours every workday to find patterns and accordingly assign taxing projects to that time slot. Fill the rest of your schedule out with simpler tasks during your least productive hours such as replying to emails or posting on social media.
Personally, my peak hours are from 7-9, even though the workday ends at 7:30. Since I’ve been unable to find any other productive hours, I find myself staying back late to complete pitches, briefs, and decks. If I finish my work for the day, I move onto the next day’s work. These are my most productive 2 hours, so I give myself the willpower to not waste a single minute.
5. Declutter Your Environment
The environment in which you work impacts your productivity. From where you sit, what items are around you as well as the people, these factors affect how well you can work efficiently. Whether it be at home or at the workplace, it’s important that you take the initiative.
Not everybody has the privilege of working in a cool office surrounded by abstract art, white walls or action figures. What is in your control is how your working space is organized. Let’s say you need a certain file or piece of paper that has been placed on your desk, but it ended up being buried underneath the mess around you. Not only is that particular work environment promoting a lazy work style, but also if you are in a productive mood, you waste precious time digging through your mess with the off chance of that productive mood fading away.
Some things I look out for to maximize my productivity in my work environment nothing around me, which includes paper, files, wires or consumables. An empty desk keeps me focused and causes fewer distractions.
6. Exercise Is Important
If you run an engine at 100% efficiency for an extended amount of time, it will fail. Similarly, if you try working non-stop without any breaks in between, you’ll crash. But before that, your productivity will see a consistent decline.
We’re not limitless machines running on a self-producing source of energy. We need to find ways to refuel. If nothing more, we need to move to avoid being stagnant.
This isn’t about losing weight or becoming fit (but that is a good idea too), it’s about your health. Sitting at your desk all day long increases your chances of numerous health concerns including obesity, irregular cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Everyone knows that serious conditions are bad news and there won’t be any productivity occurring if these problems arise.
So, find the time to walk around, stand more than sitting and most importantly, get some sun. the last thing you want is a vitamin D deficiency from staying indoors all day. In between tasks, take a short 5-10 min break, walk around and refresh your mind.
I do my best to maintain habits such as these at the workplace. I can’t set reminders and have them going off every 30 minutes disturbing the entire office, so I found a workaround, drinking plenty of water. The need to go to the bathroom is a small break I need in between tasks.
I also make sure to maintain my posture. Any feeling of pain, soreness or uncomfortably massively impacts how well I can work.
7. Batch Similar Tasks Together
There have been countless times I received similar tasks, but end up coming around to complete at a different time of the day, only to find out that they were basically the same. Switching between tasks creates friction where your concentration begins to break down. There is a fantastically written article about how switching between tasks kills your productivity here.
There are tasks that can be done in one go. Take, for instance, answering emails and or messages. Instead of stretching out, making it longer than it needs to be, take a chunk out of your day, turn off all other tasks and distractions to sit down and get this grouped task out of the way.
Similarly, brainstorming can be done in the same manner if the general concept intersects between the two accounts, such as conceptualizing campaigns for social media handles on different brands for the same holiday.
8. Avoid Multitasking
Juggling multiple and constantly shifting your attention between tasks requires decent cognitive functionality. Multitasking is a skill that not everyone can do, but when it’s done properly, you feel accomplished, or so you think.
For the people who aren’t that skilled at multitasking; being ambitious is admirable, but over-ambitiousness impairs your ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Life is all about moderation.
Most of the time, you’ll end up lagging behind tasks, mixing and matching elements, which is counterproductive. Instead, pick out single tasks and focus exclusively on them. If said task requires multiple days, delegate a fixed amount of time towards completing that task.
9. Ask for help!
People are stubborn and have an ego, that everyone can admit. But if you don’t know or understand something, speak up and ask for help! The last thing you want is work piling up due to you not knowing how to properly execute a plan of action.
Instead of spending your entire day trying to figure out how to make the correct templates for your powerpoints or excel sheets, ask for help! Not only will you move onto your next job faster, but you get a first-hand experience in the approach and execution. So this will lead to you doing it all on your own next time. In addition to that, you get to socialize amongst your colleagues, giving them the impression that they can rely on you or vice versa later on.
It’s not always about being prideful though. I, for one, have avoided asking for help and instead of trying to figure it out on my own due to fear. I’ve always felt like if I asked for immediately after a brief, I would get scolded for not paying enough attention or not having enough prior knowledge. This is untrue in almost every case (minus a hostile work environment). People around you are willing to help and want you to grow, especially at a young age.
10. Follow Jeff Bezos Two Pizza Rule
“Too many hands spoil the broth.” This is a rule for those working in teams. Jeff Bezos states that if you cannot feed a team with 2 pizzas, then it’s too big.
The thing about teams is that they are hard to control. More is not always better. Let’s take a brainstorm session as an example. A large team will have people constantly blabbering, a few quiet ones who stay silent and the rest just nodding their heads.
Instead of getting a concrete idea, then planning out the execution and strategy, you will find that bigger teams argue more, claiming their idea is better. I’ve seen even the most structured companies throwing as many people as they can at a problem when it emerges. That is the exact opposite of the procedure which should be taken.
Within a smaller team, more vibrant ideas emerg and work at a faster pace. It also feels more personal as they are more involved. This is why within a larger group, people tend to take it easy as their subconscious knows that whatever happens, there will be other people to clean up any mess or get work done.
And that concludes our list on 10 tips to boost your productivity in the workplace! Things to keep in mind is that the results will not be instant and you will need to persevere.