Accelerating Productivity At Work: Easy tips to make it happen
July 21, 2015
With heavy workloads and many distractions in the workplace, it is often hard to find a balance to actually get things done.
Full email inboxes, the constant onslaught of meetings and the pressure to prioritize every task often cause us to spin our wheels and never really get down to what needs to be accomplished to actually move our careers – and the business forward.
Here is a list of tips and tricks to increase your productivity and get your career back on the road of steady accomplishment and professional growth.
- Ask for help when needed. Quite often, organizations make it difficult to ask for help when an employee is truly stuck. Companies should instead aspire to foster a feeling of help, training and delegation. An article on increasing productivity in Forbes Magazine outlines having confidence in your colleagues is paramount in you getting your tasks done. When you are stuck in a task, don’t be afraid to escalate quickly and ask for help – there is no shame in it! In fact, studies show when a person asks for help or clarification, it improves their learning curve and overall productivity.
- Delegate. Instead of thinking of delegation as a weakness in your skill set, it could also be an opportunity for a co-worker to show what he/she can do by giving them a task that highlights their professional skills. Delegation is the true mark of a leader. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
- Set ambitious, yet realistic goals. When we get bogged down in the mire of day-to-day tasks, it is easy to forget the big picture. Setting goals, writing them down and hanging them in sight allows you to constantly remember what you are working towards. And if you finish a goal? Reward yourself!
- Streamline your workspace. Clutter, stacks of papers and folders everywhere do nothing to help you clear your mind for your daily work. Clean up your space and even incorporate some bright colors or plants to help you feel a little more at home at work. Remember – you spend most of your time in this space – make sure it makes you feel welcome and refreshed. The space is yours – spruce it up!
- Get your most dreaded tasks out of the way. An article from LifeHack.org states your most dreaded tasks should be the ones you do first thing when you arrive at work. Instead of sitting in your cubicle dreading them, get them started, completed, and off your plate.
- Prepare for your work day the night before. In an article in Entrepreneur Magazine, preparing for your work the night before is an absolute ‘game changer’ when it comes to improved productivity. The last 15-20 minutes of your workday, set your goals and tasks for the next day. Simple organization and creating a ‘to-do’ list prepares your mind for what is ahead and gives you the satisfaction of ticking off finished items each and every day.
- Limit the time you answer email. Instead of jumping over to your email every single time you see one pop in your inbox, designate times during the day where you clean out your inbox. Checking email constantly interrupts workflow and doesn’t allow you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Determine how often you need to check it – whether it is once an hour or every few hours, cutting out the back and forth while you are trying to get things done will maximize your time.
- Take a break every few hours. Now, when we say break, we don’t mean staying seated at your desk and looking at social media. Get outside! US News & World Report says a 5-15 minute break outside every two hours has been proven to increase productivity greatly but you have to actually unplug and get the blood flowing.
- Don’t get pulled into unnecessary meetings. Forbes Magazine, in an article on productivity reports some companies have implemented meeting practices internally, realizing that the unnecessary meeting is one of the largest time traps in Corporate America today. Know your responsibilities and your job well enough so you can decide when your presence is actually required. And if it is? Don’t let meetings run over their scheduled time. Your time is valuable and precious – after all, you have things to get done!
- Evaluate if what you are doing is productive and meets business goals. Business goals and objectives are thrown at us daily. Know yours well enough to decide and question whether your workload stacks up to making a difference in achieving these objectives. If they don’t? Talk to your manager.
- Listen to music. This is not a distraction. Studies have shown music can help the productivity of employees as it ‘gets them in the zone’ and blocks out the external noise of the office. Music is a motivator. Use it to your advantage.
- Keep a pen and paper handy. Don’t rely on your brain to remember that big idea or the thoughts on the next big project. Always have something handy to write down important, key thoughts.
- Get plenty of sleep. While this seems like a no-brainer, we do have to constantly be reminded to actually do this. A sleep-deprived brain and body works inefficiently and is mistake-prone. Rest up. Your professional life will thank you for it later.
These all seem like obvious, right? But it is often important to remind ourselves what we need to do to stay on track and get things done. Have more tips? Share them with us and let’s keep the conversation going.
Note: Digital Intelligence Systems, LLC (DISYS), is a global managed staffing and services company that promises to Accelerate Productivity for clients and among its employees. DISYS’ goal is not only to help the staff work more efficiently, but to pass this value on to clients through efficient processes and ‘big picture’ thinking by providing tangible and innovative solutions to a clients’ most urgent business needs.