7 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work
- Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks.Step 1. For two weeks keep a diary of all the items you do in a day. You can use a simple spiral bound notebook. You want to look at your “diary” and see if there were times you hopped on Facebook and ended up there for an hour. Did you look at your emails and end up in a heated discussion with a coworker that could have been resolved via a phone call?Step 2 Start setting a timer. Egg timers work best or you can use your cell phone. You can set the timer for 15 minutes if you are going to be looking at social media or chatting with a friend. Once the timer goes off, time to move on to the next task.
- Take breaks.I know this sounds counterproductive, but you need to escape every few hours to recharge. Your mind can only focus for short periods of time at a high-energy level. You can get up and walk outside, go to the breakroom for a snack. Just remember to only go for 15 minutes. (Set your trusty timer if you need to)
- Set deadlinesI often hear I work best under pressure. Sure, you might really be one of the few who does. But let’s give ourselves time to put away that project for a week and come back to it later. Set a deadline that it is due a day or two before it is. If your project is just something you want to do, well give it a deadline. Otherwise it will just keep getting put off and put off. You will just grow more and more frustrated with yourself.
- Take a stand and say noSay no to those pesky meetings. You know which ones I am talking about. The average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. What you need to do is ask yourself before booking your next meeting, can I accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting?If you say. “Yes I need that meeting”, try having a standing meeting. People will get to the point a lot faster if they are standing verses sitting in comfy seats. There’s some evidence that standing meetings can result in increased decreased territoriality, group arousal, and improved group performance.
- Quit multitaskingPsychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Our brains are not wired to do multiple items at once. How many times have you been on the phone with someone and you can tell they are not fully listening to you and often ask you to repeat yourself? Or have you been the one to be the multitasker and end up sending the wrong email out to everyone because you were not paying attention.
- Give yourself something nice to look at.Research shows outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements–like plants, pretty pictures, or motivational posters, can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Jazz up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face. You can even use multi colored folders. Check out our large selection we offer at http://shop.op247.com/7701/WSCatalog/DoSearch?query=colored+folders.
- Organize your deskStudies show that when we are organized and can easily find items, we are more productive. When you are constantly looking through piles of paper for an item you become frustrated or distracted. This is a time drain. Take a few moments before you go home to clean off your desk. Put files away, throw out any dried-out pens. Whatever is cluttering your desk will clutter your mind. Check out our next blog for more tips on organizing your office.
Remember the key is to work smarter not harder. If you feel the need to work more and more, resist the temptation to put in longer hours, to pack more into your already-full day. Instead, take a step back, take a breath, look how you can what you can do to work smarter, not harder.
Angella Luyk is CEO of One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply, her team is here to help you shop for all your office needs.