Having motivated and satisfied employees are key to business success. To do this, a company should maintain a happy work environment for everyone because that can increase people’s efficiency and productivity. However, these days, spending long hours in the office is not an uncommon sight. But you need to keep in mind that it’s not how long you spend in the office working that matters, it is the amount of work you’re able to finish in those hours.
Being more productive at work requires being more deliberate when it comes to managing your time. If you want to be more productive and efficient at work, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you ways to improve productivity and efficiency at work.
1. Prioritize Tasks
For a few weeks, try to keep a timesheet and figure out when you are most and least productive. You can use the information you will get to prioritize your daily tasks on your to-do list. For example, if you’re not that productive in the morning, you can use that time to answer emails and do other mindless tasks on your list. If you’re a procrastinator, you need to block off your most productive time slot for tasks that can cause you anxiety.
Another best approach to managing your tasks properly is what Mark Twain referred to as eating a live frog first thing in the morning. Eating a live frog denotes your most crucial task on the day’s schedule. Brian Tracy also based his principle for improving productivity on this ‘frog’ mentioned by Twain.
The idea is to deal with the most consuming and laborious task head-on the first thing in the morning. Your mind is ready to embark on a difficult task in the morning, and once you get done with the difficult task, the rest of the day becomes easier by completing other things.
A further explanation of this principle demands knowing what to do when you have more than one difficult task at hand. In such cases, the experts advise ‘eating the ugliest frog first thing in the morning.’ Prioritizing your tasks in this manner teaches you the discipline to venture on a task immediately and get done with it.
2. Avoid Distractions in the Office
One of the things that can be disastrous to deadlines is office politics. Therefore, if you are working on crucial tasks, don’t hesitate to close your door to be able to fend off distractions. If you want to avoid the chit-chat around if you have an open space office, you can use headphones to block out noise. You can also turn off instant messaging to avoid being drawn into a conversation.
Another essential thing to do is to minimize the digital distractions around you. We all know how digitized our work life is. If we are working on a computer, there might be a notification about work on the cell phone. However, syncing your phone messages on your computer is easy. So, keep the work notification on while tuning out all the other digital distractions, such as an update on your tablet that you can attend to after work or a new movie that you need to stream on any popular streaming network.
3. Avoid Multitasking
A lot of people believe that multitasking helps in getting many tasks done immediately. However, that is not the case for everyone. Think about it, when you jump from task to task, you will lose focus and increase the risk of error. It’s because your brain needs to reboot and switch gears, which can waste your time and energy. Therefore, working on and completing one task at a time will help improve productivity and efficiency.
Multitasking might also result in over-commitments. You might assume you can do many things at a time, but when it turns out that you cannot, it creates a significant block in your otherwise balanced work life. It is better to commit to one thing you are sure to complete in time rather than committing to doing more than your capacity and losing creativity in your work.
4. Take Regular Breaks
This tip may sound counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks at work can help you improve your focus and concentration on your work. This works well when you are doing long tasks because it helps you maintain a constant level of performance. If you work for long hours without taking short breaks, your performance might decline. Therefore, taking breaks once in a while is important to improve your productivity and efficiency.
5. Set Self-Imposed Deadlines
Stress is indeed a bad thing; however, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can be helpful if you want to become more productive and efficient at work. If you have open-ended tasks or projects at work, you can try to give yourself a deadline and then stick to it. When you do this, you might be surprised to see how focused and productive you can be when you have a deadline in your mind.
6. Minimize Your Attendance at Meetings
Meetings are one of the biggest time-sucks at work, but most of us still book them unquestioningly and attend to just complain about them later on. If you want to be more productive and efficient at work, try to minimize meetings. If you can say no, do so, and just attend with a well-planned agenda if you must go. Being more productive means less talk and more action.
If you really need to have a meeting, you can instead hold a standing meeting. This type of meeting can result in increased group arousal, decreased territoriality, and improved group performance.
7. Try to Reward Yourself
Giving yourself a little incentive can go a long way to improve your productivity and efficiency. You can choose rewards that involve an element of self-care, like an exercise class or a walk at lunch. Aside from these, you can also schedule your vacation time early for you to have something to look forward to. When you’re looking forward to a special event, it ensures that you actually use the time you have at work to be productive and efficient because it will feel like you need to finish your tasks immediately to be able to reach that event.
8. Delegate Tasks
When you have a task at work that does not require your skills, you can instead find the best people for that task and delegate the work to them. They can be in-house or a freelancer. Doing that will save a lot of time working hard on a project you don’t have any idea about, and it will also let you focus on your priorities at work.
9. Try following the “Two-Minute” Rule
The “two-minute” rule can help make the most of the small windows of time you have at work. For example, whenever you see a task or action you know you can finish in just two minutes or less, do it immediately. Completing the task right away will take less time than getting back to it later.
Tasks like checking emails and messages can also be done while commuting. It helps make use of your time and keeps you on top of your game. For instance, you can get all the work updates on your way to work. This way, you can pick up the pieces of your work life where you left them last evening.
Making use of your commute to make calls, if possible, is also an effective way of utilizing your time and enhancing your work productivity. You can then perform the best at work and deal with more time-consuming tasks once the two-minute ones are done.
10. Work in a Nice Spot or Place
According to some research, designing the office with aesthetically pleasing elements such as plants can help increase productivity by up to 15%. Therefore, if you want to be more productive and efficient at work, try to decorate your office with plants, flowers, photos, pictures, and anything that will make you smile.
Naturally soothing spots also increase your creativity. The more your mind is in a calm state without constant distractions and noise, the more you can be creative and get your work done quickly. If you are working from home, you need to pick the quietest corner in your home. Surround your home office space with plants and have direct sunlight pouring in on your desk or work area. Sunlight also lightens up the mood and helps clear mental fog.
11. Unplug at Home
To improve productivity and efficiency at work, you also need time to relax and take a break from work at your home office. Therefore, bringing your work home from the office should be the exception and not the rule. When you’re available 24/7, you’re just into the multitasking trend, but it does not help in improving your productivity and efficiency. If you are working at home, you also need to close the door to your work at the end of the day and take a rest to gain energy for the next day.
These are some of the best ways we can recommend for you to be able to improve your productivity and efficiency at work. Being more productive and efficient at work can also help you reduce the stress and pressure you feel at your workplace. If you’re also having problems when it comes to focusing on your task, you can check out our post on 10 Ways to Improve Your Focus and Concentration for more tips.