Everyone wants to be the best at work, but talk is cheap. Following an effective time management plan can be difficult. This is because most people dislike following the rules—bending the rules is the new normal. Increasing productivity at work entails one major thing—make sure you work smart.
Working smart calls for time management and a positive approach to work. In this post, you’ll find out everything you need to know to get the best employee award of the year. Read on and discover how to increase your productivity at work.
Decorate Your Desk
Decorating your desk or your office to suit your taste increases productivity at the workplace by over 10%. You can place memorable pictures, plants, awards received, or certificates on your desk or other suitable spots in your office to offer the needed comfort for productivity.
Decorating your desk or office doesn’t only offer you comfort for productivity; it also makes you feel relaxed at the workplace, forgetting the stress faced outside work, and puts you in a position for a productive work style.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle while working boosts your work productivity by over 20%. Eat healthy, at least before and while at work. Some foods cause stomach upset, which may lead to slow productivity at work.
Take fresh fruits in the mornings, lots of water to stay hydrated, and stay away from snacks or other high-calorie foods; this would increase your productivity at work.
Always exercise every morning before going to work. Taking a run around your neighborhood is a good way to stay healthy. Exercises give you the mental preparedness required for work, which in turn boosts productivity.
Avoid Being Interrupted
Avoiding interruptions is an essential factor to consider if you intend to increase work productivity. It’s nice to keep friends at work; it helps to slack off things a bit, increasing work productivity. But there should be limits to the interactions with friends during the job. If you have a friend who appears for that big gist or the latest gossip while you are at work, this habit can slow productivity.
Set up a time for interactions with friends at the workplace; when you do this, you make ample use of your time and increase productivity at work.
Also, aside from friends in the workplace, you should stay away from friends or family while at work. You can turn off notifications, emails, messages, and so on—that way, you wouldn’t be distracted by a message pop up from Facebook or other social media. Take some time when on a break to reply to every email, message, and notification- this puts you in charge of your time and boosts your work productivity.
Track Your Tasks
You were given a task at 9:00 a.m; you surveyed the work and concluded you would be done with it before noon. The problem is you underestimated the work. It’s 3 pm, and you aren’t even close to finishing it!
The habit of setting self-imposed deadlines could be dangerous sometimes, especially when we haven’t yet started the work. Research has shown less than 10% of the entire world population set realistic deadlines for themselves and meet those deadlines.
It’s good to set deadlines, but not putting a track on yourself could have your time stolen without your knowledge. Tools like Sling Time Clock can assist by allowing you to track your work, letting you know how much time you’ve spent in the last hours on your task, email, social media, and other activities. Tracking your tasks certainly allows you to be productive at work.
Take a Break
Take a break? How does this sound? What’s running through your mind right now? “I thought we were talking about productivity?” Yes, we are. But taking breaks has been shown to boost work productivity by over 70%.
Findings from experts reveal that working on a long task and taking short breaks in between can help maintain a balance, thereby increasing productivity. On the other hand, performing long tasks without having short break intervals reduces work pace, thereby reducing work productivity.
Research conducted by the Florida State University’s Department of Psychology revealed that celebrities (athletes, musicians, and actors) who have a 90-minute work time and a 15-minute break time interruption are more productive, achieving more tasks than other celebrities who have more than 90-minute work at a time.
Multitasking has been appreciated as a vital skill every good worker should possess. However, the theory held on multitasking over the years can be misleading. Research has shown multitasking tends to reduce work productivity and also wastes time. Having several tasks done at the same time can also be confusing to you. Instead of multitasking, it’s advisable to take one task at a time, completing one before moving to the next.
You could adopt the two-minute rule by Steve Olenski, an entrepreneur, influencer, and Forbes contributor, who recommended workers to improve work productivity by adopting this effective rule. This rule states that while you’re working on a large task, if a smaller task that could be accomplished in two minutes pops up subsequently, ensure to deal with the two-minute task before continuing with the larger task. This method allows you to accomplish more work in a day. Besides, it is quicker and easier to have the two-minute work done now than to leave it till later.
Set Small and Realistic Goals
Setting small goals makes working easier; it follows the principle—less is more. Having several large projects on your desk can be quite overwhelming and has been shown to slow people’s productivity at their workplace. You should know the projects aren’t going to complete themselves, and they would just keep piling up.
Create a strategy to break large uncompleted projects into small tasks. Make sure these smaller portions are realistic and can be completed within a given time. This action would speed up the completion of large projects and make you productive at the workplace.
Perform Your Big Tasks When Alert
There’s no doubt; big tasks can be a bit demanding and scary. So, you tend to keep them aside for the principal time of the day. It gets worse if the big task is one you do not like to do. Keeping such tasks away to complete them in the latter part of the day would slow your work productivity.
According to research conducted by the Pennsylvania State University, people are less active from 12 pm to 5 pm every day. This means you become more productive either at the early hours or the late hours of the day. That is when you should complete big tasks.
Keeping big tasks to be completed at the mid-day where you’d likely be less productive would slow your work productivity. Try to understand which time works for you; are you the early morning guy or the nightcrawler? Whichever you choose, ensure to finish larger tasks within this time, of course, after breaking them into small task portions.
Be realistic always, and don’t overstress yourself as not every day is bound to be productive. Instead, encourage yourself by looking back at the larger and smaller tasks you’ve accomplished in the past days.
Take steps by setting out a detailed work plan to achieve targets daily, and use tools that help you track your productivity per day. Take up big tasks when you’re in the right frame of mind.
Eat healthy because your productivity at work is dependent on the sanity of your mind and body—workouts can also complement in this regard. Once all these and more are accomplished, you would be on your way to becoming more productive at work.