Productivity is so important in today’s world. Let’s face it, you being more productive at work means you are producing more results in less amount of time. And what company wouldn’t like that? But don’t forget it also means that you are more likely to get that promotion or that raise in the salary or that extra hour with your family or to do whatever that you want to do.
If you are reading this article, then you are obviously unable to get the desired output at work or at anything that you are trying to accomplish. Remember you are not alone. I remember the days I used to be like that. Getting overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I had to get done both at work and at home. Today, I still struggle on some days as life is unpredictable and those unplanned tasks show up to give us unpleasant surprises. But I can say for sure that I have got a lot better at managing my time and at recognizing what is essential and what is not.
Here are few things that I do to be more productive at work:
- Make a list and prioritize
As soon as I get to work in the morning, the first thing I do is make a list of all the tasks that I have to get done that day before I leave. I even sometimes add them to my outlook calendar and dedicate time for each task. This does two things. First, I immediately know how much I can get done today, if I have to leave work by certain time. So that I have realistic goals and I don’t stretch myself. Secondly, since I have dedicated time for each task, I can focus on that task and utilize my time properly.
- Use online timer
At work we have Wednesdays and Thursdays dedicated to development only. What that means is that nobody can disturb us on that day and we won’t have any meetings. We are just going to put our heads down and do coding only (Don’t you just love that?? J You can discuss this idea with you manager and let him/her know that this will definitely increase the outcome).
The point of telling you all this is, I use online timers on these days as I know no one is going to disturb me today and I can challenge myself to finish a task in certain amount of time. I also use this one when I have absolute time crunch and I need to do a lot of coding and deliver something in no time.
If you work in pairs then this may or may not work. But you can ask your co-worker if they are up for a challengeJ.
- Focus, focus and focus!!
Confession time!! How many of you are guilty of checking emails every 5 minutes. How many of you keep checking WhatsApp messages every now and then. I know I keep checking my outlook email as and when I receive them.
This is the biggest time kill. Not only you are wasting time reading the emails or messages but after you are done getting back again into you original task is going to take some time right?? Close your outlook (or just disable the notification) and turn on the vibrate mode on the phone. Get rid of any distractions you might have. What I generally do is check emails/phone every half to one hour. That will also give you break as you switch between the tasks. Don’t think that you have to respond to your boss’s email immediately at it comes in. If it’s that urgent I am sure he will call you.
- Take that lunch break..
How many of you have experienced this? Till noon your energy level is super high. You are able to tackle all the difficult issues and tedious tasks better during morning hours. After lunch there is sudden drop in the energy levels. I know I do…
Nearly a year ago, I used to stay in the apartment near my workplace. And during my lunch break both me and my husband used to come home for hot lunch. Then I would read something or watch some television and then return to work. Soon I realized that I am being as productive in the second half as I was in the morning.
That’s because when I got out of the office for lunch, I truly used to leave the work behind and focus something else other than work. This is such a great refreshment that when I returned to work after that one hour break, I was able to completely focus on my work. Credit goes to my husband!! He tried it first and then encouraged me to do the same.
You also try this and let me know if that helps.
- Learn essentialism
Sometimes we (especially women) try to get everything done as soon as we can. But in effect end up biting off more than we can chew.
Basically instead getting everything done or trying to be good at everything, we should try to get the absolute essential tasks first. Again, if you use my tip #1 this can be avoided.
So, try these things guys. And please do let me know in comments if any of these helped. If you have any tricks of your own then please share.