You’ve surely heard the phrase, likely a number of times: “work smart, not hard.” This phrase is heard ad nauseam, especially in the business world, because there are only so many hours in a day. To reach your professional goals, you likely will have to either spend more hours working or improve productivity.
This article will share 11 tips for doing the latter, improving productivity, at work.
- Track and Limit Tasks
Despite what many think, most aren’t good at calculating the passage of time– only around 17 percent of people, according to some studies.
Documenting time spent on tasks, or using a browser extension such as RescueTime, can help augment you examine what you’re really doing online.
- Taking Breaks
Taking regular, short breaks during a long shift or task can refresh you. To ensure you don’t get sidetracked, systematically schedule the breaks. Working all day without stop can lead to burnout.
- Follow the “Two-Minute Rule”
The rule is simple: immediately do any tasks that you know can be completed in two minutes or less. The theory behind this is that completing a task immediately actually takes less time than having to return to it later.
- Avoid Meetings
The average office worker spends over 31 hours a week in meetings. Many meetings are unproductive, which leads to the idea that meetings should be avoided as much as possible. Alternatives to meetings include using email or the phone. Even Web-based meetings can be more productive.
- Stop Multitasking
Multi-tasking actually makes us less productive because we are not giving our full attention to what we’re doing. Practice finishing one task before moving onto the next.
- Use Downtime Effectively
During any spare moments you may have, be productive. This may mean brainstorming instead of being on Facebook while on a train.
- Don’t Obsess
Many individuals in positions of influence within an organisation look to perfect some aspect of their work or creation. Accepting that enough is enough, and coming back to something at a later time, if needed, can help improve productivity.
- Stay Focused
Have a goal in mind for each and every day that you work, and don’t let distractions get you off what you are trying to do. Checking messages and emails at a certain, consistent time is a good way to maintain focus.
Many supplements are available on the market that can boost cognitive function, which is especially important when focus is waning. Another option, and one that has been described as “the drug from the movie Limitless”, is modafinil, which promotes alertness and mindfulness. It has been claimed that none other than Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America, uses it to boost his performance.
- Pleasant Visuals
Studies have shown that designing an aesthetically pleasing space can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Pictures of family or friends, flowers, or something motivational all fall into this category.
Studies have shown that consistent exercise, whether vigorous or light, can get you reenergised and ready to get back to being productive. This goes along with the idea of taking breaks. And you don’t even need to set aside hours per day to do so. There are numerous ways to fit it in, with HIT (High Intensity Training) being an increasingly popular one because it uses your own body weight and very little equipment. In other words, there are no excuses.