Ten Tips to Increase Workplace Productivity
1. Do Small Tasks Immediately
If something is going to take less than three minutes to do, do it immediately. You’ll wipe it off of your To-Do List, you’ll open yourself up to follow up, and you will save time in the long run.
2. Don’t multi-task
Despite every job description ever, people aren’t good at multi-tasking. Switching rapidly between two things is ineffective- and doesn’t allow you to do anything well. Instead, focus on your task at hand, and once that is completed work on refocusing as quickly as possible (read: no down time) between tasks. If you focus your energy you’ll get things done correctly the first time- and you won’t have to waste time correcting simple mistakes.
3. Time Out Your Day
Give yourself hard times, like a 12:30 lunch and 5 o’clock end time. Working under deadlines will help you push through your final tasks- instead of letting drag out until you sloppily piece it together and head out the door at 5:20 after watching the clock tick and traffic pile up. Additionally, try breaking down your days in Outlook. If you have an allotted time for “weekly reports” just like you’d have a meeting set up you’re allowing yourself to dedicate yourself without interruption to complete your tasks.
4. Time your Breaks
Work in 90 minute blocks and take 10 minute breaks. This allows you to settle in on a project without spending enough time to find yourself distractible. On your break, get up and walk around, hydrate, and refocus yourself. Make a hard distinction between work and break times.
5. Get Up Early
This can be a hard one- but regulating your sleep with make all of the difference in the world when it comes to productivity. Getting enough restful sleep, and waking up with the time to organize your day before you start will allow you to put your best foot forward. Having the time to put yourself together, eat a full breakfast, and avoiding rush-hour traffic will leave you in a better mood and ready to work.
When you limit your media- and dedicate a time to focus on something without the distraction of e-mail, phone calls, social media, or anything that changes by the minute you allow your mind to slow down to focus on things that take more concentration.
7. Have a Running To Do List
Break your tasks down into daily, weekly, and long-term goals. After you outline your day and dedicate time to your daily responsibilities start delegating different time slots for each element of a project so that you’re not looking at a daunting 4 hour block for an project that would be impossible to complete in one sitting.
8. Pick Up the Phone
E-mail is a great tool. When you have a situation that requires any kind of exchange just pick up the phone. Sitting around waiting for a response can be maddening as well as a huge waste of time. When you need something quickly, don’t give the people that you’re working with the opportunity to delay a response.
9. Don’t be Available All of the Time
If coworkers are constantly interrupting you- in the nicest way possible let them know that you’ll be unavailable until a scheduled time that will be a better fit for you. Just like multi-tasking, you won’t be efficient or performing at your best if your attention is divided between the work in front of you and the conversations from your coworkers.
10. Pack Snacks
Instead of thinking about how hungry you are and then scrounging for change to get some junk from the vending machine- fuel yourself with things that will leave you feeling fresh and ready to go.