Are you lagging behind in the workplace and not getting the job done? If YES, here are 15 best easy-to-do tips to increase your work productivity in the office.
There are always two types of people in any organization – people who actually achieve their goals, and those ones who keep wondering if other people have some kind of magic trick they use to get more work done because they can’t seem to keep up with the speed and productivity levels of other people.
If you fall within the latter category, then yes, you’re right, there are some magic tips and tricks that you can use to become a more productive person at work.
15 Easy-to-Do Tips to Increase your Work Productivity in the Office
1. Set Deadlines: It is only normal that if you feel like you have all the time in the world to complete a task, there would be no sense of urgency, and you can easily drag the task for as long as possible. But when you set self-imposed deadlines, it helps you to be more productive because you would always have it at the back of your mind that the clock is ticking, and you need to focus on achieving your goals.
2. Avoid Meetings: Meetings can be counterproductive sometimes. They can drag on for longer than planned, and leave you less time to attend to work tasks. In fact, according to a recent research carried out by Atlassian, the average worker spends more than 31 hours attending unproductive meetings.
Before you schedule or attend any meeting, ask yourself if it’s possible to accomplish the goals of the meeting via email, web-based meetings, or telephone calls. Try to take advantage of standing meetings too; a meeting where all the parties are on their feet is unlikely to drag on for as long as a meeting where everyone is seated and relaxed.
3. Avoid Multitasking: Multitasking is supposed to be able to help you complete more tasks at once but several studies carried out on the subject has made us to understand that multitasking can limit your productivity. A recent study carried out by neuroscientists revealed that only about 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively.
So when the rest of us think that we are multitasking, we are not; we are simply performing individual actions in rapid succession. It’s more productive to focus on one task at a time, complete it, and then move on to the next task on your to-do list. You would get more tasks completed this way than trying to do too many things at a time.
4. Take Short, Frequent Breaks: It might sounder counter-intuitive but it can help you increase your productivity. Instead of spending several hours at a stretch working on your tasks, it helps to take frequent breaks in between tasks.
When you spend too much time working on a job, you may experience diminishing returns in productivity due to increasing levels of stress. But if you take short breaks in between work, it helps you to relax so that when you get back to work, your performance would increase.
If your job involves sitting for several hours, blood and oxygen flow to your brain may reduce after some hours of sitting in the same spot. It helps to get up when you are taking those short breaks from work; walk around for a bit so that the oxygen flow to your brain can improve, and your mental performance can increase.
5. Stop trying to be perfect: Perfection is only an illusion- an illusion which you have to give up because it limits your productivity. If you are always trying to be make sure all tasks are completed to perfection before you turn them in, you would end up spending too much extra time on them – time that you would have invested in completing more tasks.
You have to understand that perfection is a very tough feat to achieve- it’s almost impossible to be perfect so give all your projects your best, and move on to other tasks without wasting too much time.
6. Turn off Notifications: Whether it’s phone calls, emails, or messages; they are capable of hijacking your day and steering you off course.
You could have had the entire day planned out but a phone call or email can change everything. It’s better to turn off all potential sources of distraction while at work, and attend to your phone calls, emails, and other messages after you have completed important work tasks.
7. Learn How to Delegate Tasks: Sometimes, you want to handle all tasks yourself because you’re not sure that other people would be able to handle the tasks as well as you would. Well, there should be some tasks that you can delegate- tasks that are not as difficult, and don’t have major impact on the achievement of your goals.
Learn how to delegate these tasks to other people. For instance, do you really have to be the one typing out letters to send to your clients? You can assign tasks like that to other people so that you can concentrate on important tasks.
8. Declutter Your Work Space: Physical clutter can easily lead to mental clutter. Psychologists have revealed that physical clutter can be very distracting, and limit productivity plus work space clutter can lead you to spend valuable time that you would have spent completing tasks, looking for documents, files, and work tools.
It helps to keep an organized workspace so that you can concentrate better at work, and maintain strong mental focus.
9. Block out the Noise: Sometimes, the noise and activities of the people around you can distract you and limit your productivity. One way to prevent this is to use an earpiece to block out the noise. You can play music while you work so that you can block out the disturbances from the people around you.
10. Use a Vision Board: Sometimes when you have your goals and desires staring back at you, you’ll need no further motivation to work harder and be more productive at work.
You can print out small photos of the things you are trying to achieve- that dream car, the dream house, the luxury vacation, stick the photos in a strategic location where you can easily see it during work. Each time you see the photo, you would be encouraged to put in more efforts into your work so that you can achieve those goals.
11. Take Advantage of Your Most Productive Hours: We all have hours when we are most productive, and those hours when we can’t seem to get much done no matter how hard we try.
Find out the hours when you are most productive, and take advantage of those hours.
One way to do this is to schedule your most challenging work tasks to these hours so that you can handle less difficult tasks when you are at the peak of your performance.
12. Plan Your Day: You should always plan your day- get to work at least 15 minutes before your day is scheduled to start, and spend those 15 minutes planning your day. Planning your day helps you to stay on track, and keep your daily goals in mind. It also helps to reduce mental clutter, and helps to improve your focus and concentration levels.
13. Have Off Days: Yes, you should have some days where you don’t really work as hard as you work on other days.
This can serve as a form of reward and motivation to get you through a busy week.
You don’t have to be idle on your off days; you can just spend the day doing simple tasks that do not require much mental input. Subconsciously, you would always look forward to your off days, and the mere thought that you would soon have a day to rest can help to encourage you, and get you through the busiest days.
14. Keep Water Close to You: It’s important to stay hydrated but sometimes, a simple water break can expose you to avoidable distractions.
You could get up to drink water and then on your way back, you see your colleagues gathered around discussing something, and then you’re tempted to join in the discussion and completely forget that you have deadlines and tasks to complete.
It helps to keep a bottle of water, and basically all the tools and resources that you need to complete tasks close to you so as to prevent distractions that may occur from taking breaks to source for these tools and resources.
15. Prioritize Work Tasks: Prioritization can be the only thing that would help you avoid feeling like a total screw up at the end of a work day on those days when you are still unable to complete all the tasks on your to-do list even after giving it your best.
When you prioritize your work tasks, you already know which ones are the most important, so that you can start with them. Even if you are unable to complete all your tasks at the end of the day, you would have at least completed some of the most important ones.
Lastly, learn how to celebrate small wins and goals that you are able to achieve. The human brain thrives on rewards and pleasant feelings. When you are happy or celebrating, your brain releases testosterone hormones which make you feel good. Testosterone is a healthy stimulant for the brain so when you celebrate the little achievements, goals, and deadlines met; you would be giving your brain more reasons to support you to achieve more goals.