The focus in today’s world has shifted from counting the number of tasks completed to the productivity levels in a day. If the productivity is high, the number of tasks achieved is automatically high and the work quality is as per industry standards or higher as well. If the productivity is low, the rate of procrastination is high and the work produced is less in number and lower in quality, i.e. barely meeting the standards.
One cannot be productive 100% of the time during the work hours. However, there are some habits that if adopted by people, can help them become more active and productive in a day.
Many people are of the view that productivity is not something that can be controlled. Whereas, we believe that one can be highly productive or not productive at all based on their work demeanours and habits. Here are a few ways to master productivity in the workplace.
10. Discipline yourself to increase productivity.
There lies an incredible power in discipline.
Human body is an intelligent machine that learns quickly and expects (and even works on) a routine. Our body functions in a circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle. If that’s disturbed, our body starts to retaliate as its something that goes against the nature.
When you discipline yourself, and schedule your daily activities, you can train your mind and body to be highly productive during work. Here’s what you can do:
- Wake up on a set time
- Regularly exercise
- Have a healthy breakfast
- Go to work
- Check off all work tasks in order
- Leave work on time
- Go to bed on a fixed time
All this will help you be more active during work hours, helping you put your best foot forward.
9. Make a plan before you have to implement it.
Plan for the day ahead, a day before.
Schedule the work to be done on Monday on the Friday of previous week, so you don’t have to spend time on figuring out where to start on a Monday.
This would save you a lot of time. You can just dive in and start completing the work that’s already in queue. This will save you invisible minutes – namely the time that just ‘flies by’ and you don’t even know where it went and what you achieved in it.
Make the schedule for Tuesday on Monday, and Wednesday on Tuesday, and so on. This way you will have tasks planned, have deadlines for yourself and you will get things done much faster and right on schedule.
8. “Think you can do it, and you’re halfway there!”
Mindset is everything!
When you’re assigned a task by your team lead, and it is a big, important task, don’t freak out. If you panic and think that the task is well above your position and will take up a lot of time, or is difficult and beyond your skill set, then there is no way that you’ll be able to complete it.
If you approach every task with a ‘can do’ attitude, learn new things in the process, expand and improve your skill set and deliver the task, then you’ll be successful. Taking every task as a challenge you can beat is something that will result in your success within the company as well as wherever you go beyond that.
7. Prioritise tasks according to importance and relevance.
Prioritise tasks to stay productive!
It is highly important to know which tasks are important and which can be delayed for a while and it will not matter much.
For example, if there is are two tasks: first, to post a social media update and second, deliver the monthly performance report to your supervisor; it is obvious which task holds more importance, definitely the latter. It varies from situation to situation, but being able to judge that for every situation is a skill that will allow you to be more productive.
Similarly, one must be able to judge the likelihood of completion of tasks throughout the day. If a task requires you to liaise with other departments to complete it, and they are busy, then it is better to complete the tasks that you can complete independently, in the meanwhile.
This will save the ‘waiting’ time and helps you achieve more in the same time.
6. Divide one task into small chunks to achieve it.
A mountain cannot be crossed with one step or a huge jump.
It is impossible. However, if that mountain is crossed by travelling small distances at a time and with rests in between, it is completely doable.
Same is the case with being assigned large projects. You are not expected to deliver results in a day. The way to excel at those projects is by dividing the tasks into smaller chunks and working on those chunks, one at a time.
Soon, you will see that the project is reaching its milestones and the small chunks are coming together to form a complete solution for the project.
When you cut down the work pressure into chunks and deal with one thing at a time, you can get more work done, than if you have this huge ball of pressure on you for completing one huge task.
In the latter case, most of your time will be spent worrying about the things that are yet to be done and you’ll end up achieving little to nothing.
5. Multitask to get things done on schedule.
Work on multiple things at a time.
It is a common myth that women are better at multitasking than men. However, there is no evidence to prove that. This means, men and women, both can multitask and achieve higher levels of productivity.
How to work on multiple tasks at a time? It is fairly simple. For example, you are asked to maintain an excel sheet for records and work on say, marketing tasks simultaneously. So you can go ahead with marketing tasks and switch tabs to enter records, and then switch back. Allocate 15 minutes to each task, alternating regularly.
This will improve your skills of thinking on-spot and switching between multiple tasks at a time.
4. Keep the goals in sight and work accordingly.
Can you throw a dart without the target in sight? NO!
Always make sure that you know what you are working for and what you have to achieve through a certain task. Once you have a goal in sight, you will plan accordingly, set your schedule accordingly, and work harder and in the right direction to achieve that.
Once you know how the end-product should look, you will work on tasks to get that end-product, instead of working blindly and without any idea of what and why you’re doing.
3. Technology is your friend, use it to excel.
Work smart, not hard.
Technology, in this day and age is your friend and you can use it to make tasks and projects easier for yourself. You can use a time tracking software like StaffTimerApp, to log your tasks, keep a track of where your time goes with written logs, image and video proofs.
This will help you save invisible minutes, know what took up most of your time and know where the most unproductive time was spent. Using these insights, you can manage your time better, remove wasted minutes from your work day and ensure that maximum productivity is achieved.
Automate the tasks that take up a lot of time in manual entries and extra, unnecessary work and redistribute your resources so as to fully utilise them.
2. Have the cushion time period in your schedule.
“Always keep room for dessert!”
Many a times, it happens so that priority tasks come up and urgent work is required on those. These aren’t the tasks that you can place on the back burner while you work on your routine tasks.
To ensure that your schedule can accommodate such tasks and still be on schedule, completing your routine tasks, you always need to keep a cushion time period on your schedule.
These are few minutes of ‘free time’ in each hour so even if you are working on side tasks, your own schedule isn’t disturbed.
1. Allow your brain to rest periodically.
Work using the Pomodoro technique.
Work uninterrupted for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break. If you work like that, you will have higher productivity, with an active mind throughout the day.
That essential period of rest after 50 minutes will allow you to reassess your task plate and reorganise to include any change required in the schedule. It will be like a reset period for your brain before getting to work again.
Remember, your brain is like any other machine as well. If it gets overworked, and overheated, you will face a burnout and hence, reduced productivity due to exhaustion.