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Five Tips to Increase Productivity at Work

Oct 7, 2021    
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Businesses continually seek productivity, and employees strive for it, but what does being productive mean?Firstly, we need to understand two related words, efficiency and effectiveness. When we are effective, we are achieving the expected output or result. When we are efficient, we are completing our tasks to the highest possible levels, without time-wasting and loss of energy. When we combine efficiency and effectiveness, it equals productivity.

When we dive deeper, it’s the responsibility of each one of us to produce the intended work results most efficiently. Taking too long to complete tasks, missing deadlines, and rushing to complete work will not only put our jobs on the line, but it’s also just not good for our health. Then add the stress of client expectations, managing resources, work from home distractions, and management reporting, our productivity levels drop.

Why do we struggle with productivity? Simply, there are two main reasons why we are not productive:

  1. We are getting easily distracted through bad habits that interfere with our productivity, such as checking social media and procrastinating.
  2. We are reactive, not proactive. We wait for the fire to spread before attempting to put it out.

So how can we be more productive whilst adapting to the new way of working? It’s simple but perhaps not always easy to implement and stay on top. Replace bad habits and reactive working with good habits that will increase productivity, and then we can start to take control of our workdays. Follow the following five tips on how to increase productivity during work and when working on projects.

Tip 1: Prioritise your tasks

When putting together your to-do list, avoid procrastination and start working on the three most important and urgent tasks for the day. Make sure to prioritise them before you start working, categorising them, and then listing the crucial and most urgent tasks as a high priority.

Tip 2: Turn off notifications

Firstly, start with your email notifications, and decide on times during the day when you will check your email and respond. Perhaps putting on an out of office, so others know not to expect a reply straight away.

Shut down social media browsing, allow yourself some time during the day after completing X number of tasks. Then shut it off again and continue working.

Tip 3: Automate repetitive tasks

Suppose you are stuck spending hours entering data into spreadsheets, reconciling bank statements or moving data from one application to another. With technology readily available today, why not use AI or automation software to help free up time, improve accuracy, and eliminate mundane, repetitive tasks. You will be thankful for all those hours saved that can now be used to focus on more rewarding and engaging work.

Tip 4: Track time against each task

Time tracking is essential for gaining insight into how you and your team are spending time on tasks, whether that is office-based tasks or personal. Time-tracking software provides an effective way to measure the number of hours worked on projects and tasks. It is used for payroll and managers to understand how much time it takes to complete specific tasks. Often, the most time-consuming tasks don’t bring the most value to a business.

Tip 5: Restrict the number of meetings you attend

Firstly, if you don’t need to be part of a meeting, don’t attend. When you do need to schedule one, make sure that you schedule it first thing, have an agenda that you circulate beforehand and limit the meeting time to a maximum of 45 minutes. 20-30 is ideal. Make sure that all attendees leave the meeting with the next steps.

To conclude, the healthier you are, the more productive you will become. The more productive you become, the more time you will spend on more enjoyable and personal tasks and hobbies.

Once you have reviewed your working habits, don’t stop there! Continue optimising; productivity is a constant process. And always keep a lookout for technology that can help you to empower greater productivity during work and at home.

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