2018 Guide to Mastering Productivity
Everyone has probably heard the idiom “work smarter, not harder.” Everyday work processes can be improved upon, even slightly, to better efficiency. A continuous improvement protocol and seeking constructive feedback is a surefire way to expedite tasks and free more time for other responsibilities
Capitalize On Your Mornings
Many people have proven to be more productive during morning hours. When working on important tasks and deadlines, it’s important to take advantage of your peak productivity hours for maximum results. Whether you are more productive after a night’s sleep or are an afternoon worker bee, the message is the same: seize upon your peak hours to be your most productive.
Cut Out The Waste
Some tasks are unavoidable and some tasks are unnecessary and done out of habit. Make it a priority to take regular looks at your standard procedures. Restructure your work habits, when necessary, to eliminate outdated or unnecessary procedures. Use the extra time to enact a system that helps you reach your professional goals.
Though it may sound counter intuitive, taking regular breaks has actually been shown to improve productivity. Working yourself into the ground without giving your brain a break is good for no one. Eliminating breaks from your routine will accelerate burn out and result in less successful outcomes. Do yourself, and your career, a favor by occasionally stepping away from your desk or project.
Multitasking is a necessary aspect to many jobs. That being said, studies have shown that better productivity is associated with focusing on one task at a time. Juggling many tasks at a time can decrease efficiency and, more importantly, your results may not be reflective of your potential. Try to minimize multitasking, when possible, in order to focus on your most time-sensitive project and then move on to the next.
Allot Specific Time Slots For Email Traffic
Spending too much time fielding email traffic is time-consuming, burdensome and may negatively impact your professional performance. Instead, try allocating specific time periods to focus on responding to/sending emails so that you can fully focus on other tasks without the distraction. If the message is imperative you, most likely, will be receiving a phone call.
It’s easy to put your great idea on the back burner with well intentions of returning to it later. It’s even easier to forget about your great idea and never follow-up. Taking immediate steps toward making your idea a reality is important to guarantee it is realized. Even baby steps are better than no action. Shake off the procrastination and take immediate action to improve productivity and results.
A messy work space is distracting and can create stress. Keeping your space neat and organized will reduce distractions and allow for a methodical area for your productivity to thrive. Take the extra few moments to keep your space organized and stress-free: your productivity may benefit.
Have A Passion Project
The daily grind of an uninspiring job can catapult you into an uninventive rut and keep you there. Having a passion project, or working on ideas that motivate and stimulate you, will combat falling into this trap. Correspondingly, incorporating and pitching new ideas can result in better efficacy and better production output. When you start to feel uninspired try to conceptualize an idea of which you’re passionate or try brainwashing some new ideas.
Have Systems And Procedures
This tip might be the most obvious. Having a list of standard desk procedures and step-by-step processes for your team to incorporate will better efficiency and will also promote a collaborative environment for bettering these processes, when necessary.
Cut Out Unnecessary Meetings
Much like spending too much time fielding emails will lower productivity, having unnecessary and time-consuming meetings will do the same. Some meetings are very necessary. It’s important to communicate directives and goals with your team but if you find yourself spending too much time meeting about projects as opposed to working on them, it’s probably time to cut out some of the meetings.
Exercise And Stay Hydrated
Your health isn’t independent of your work performance. Irregular sleep and exercise has been directly linked to under performance, professionally. Making a habit of getting sufficient sleep and ample exercise will affect your productivity for the better. Similarly, staying hydrated is an important facet of remaining energized and productive.
Make A To Don’t List
No One can do everything and remain productive. Know your goals and don’t accept every opportunity if it doesn’t get you closer to reaching those goals. Make a list of common requests that you know will be time-wasters. This can be your “to-don’t list.” Having a list will make it easier to gracefully decline these requests when necessary for the sake of productivity.
Optimize Your Commute Time
A sign of very productive people is the characteristic of taking advantage of available time. Seize upon your commute time to listen to an audio book or subscribe to some professional Alexa Daily Flash Briefings, which provide short, educational anecdotes from industry leaders and popular podcasts. Not only will you have spent your time constructively but it will help ease the sometimes-stressful task of commuting.
Hand-in-hand with limiting multitasking, is making yourself unavailable for the purpose of focus. A winning recipe for maximum productivity, for many, involves full immersion into the crucial project at hand. Turning your phone off, finding a quiet space or other strategies for “getting lost” or away from daily processes and constant phone calls/emails may be the needed adjustment to improve productivity and ensure results.