The advent of technology and the internet has made it much easier to start a company. As a result, more and more companies and job opportunities are being created every day, resulting in an oversaturated job market, thereby increasing competition amongst companies in the same niche. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how well-prepared and effective your brand is in order to build and serve a large consumer base. To do this well, you should always be looking for ways to increase productivity and make your efforts more effective. This is the case whether you are a manager or a worker.
Behind every successful brand is a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals, eager to break the glass ceiling at every level. So how do you achieve what most successful brands have achieved with a dedicated workforce? The solution is to maximize efficiency and increase productivity. Consider these 10 strategies and find ways to incorporate some (or all) of them into your daily routines.
- Break down difficult tasks
- Reduce the number of distractions
- Take intermittent breaks
- Set deadlines
- Organize your work station
- Start the day early
- Do one thing at a time
- Have the right working tools
- Avoid procrastination
- Train focus
1. Go for Smaller Tasks
When you have a large task ahead, you might procrastinate rather than tackle the project. It’s a fact, and millions of people around the world suffer from constant procrastination at the worst timing. Gather all your planning skills, and get the following info:
- The scale of the project
- The time you have
- How much work is OK for you in one sitting
Next, break down a large task into smaller ones and do them conveniently. Thus, you’ll increase productivity. Following this easy technique, you’ll meet every deadline without frustration and exhaustion. The tip is suitable for both stay-at-home and office employees.
It’s been proven that our brain doesn’t get as tired if we switch from one activity to another from time to time. For example, many people choose to work for 2 hours and then have a 30-minute rest. While in the office this might be an issue, you can balance projects.
2. The Less Distracted You Are, The Better
According to a recent survey, about 70% or workers; that’s 3 out of 4 people, admitted to feeling distracted at their jobs on a regular basis. It goes to show that getting distracted is one of the most common happenings in the workplace; however, it differs from person to person. In order words, what might distract you might not work on the next person. The most common distractions in the workplace include movies, games, the occasional chit-chats, social media (Instagram, Snapchat), and Youtube videos, just to mention a few.
So, in order to increase productivity, identify your major distractions and make a conscious effort to put them away once working hours begin. It’s essential that you start the initiative because while distractions are entertaining at best, they eat into your working time, and before you know it, you’ve barely done anything productive at the day’s end. Worse yet, you might even get fired if it continues for an extended period of time.
3. Take Intermittent Breaks
Unlike machines, the human body can only function effectively for only a limited period of time. After that, it’s advisable to take a break. That’s because, as easy as it may look, taking breaks is an excellent means to let your mental faculties recover from the prior stress. It’ll also prevent you from making unintentional errors.
This is achievable both at home and the office. Besides, many companies have realized the importance of breaks due to the quarantine and working from home. The new age is coming, and it’s aimed at your productivity!
4. Set and Meet Deadlines
Setting a deadline is a great way to accomplish your tasks by working within an allowable time frame. It also has merits psychologically as it helps you to stay focused on your task. So start creating and meeting long and short-term deadlines today.
Most projects at work will have a deadline already, but you can adjust it to spice things up and be more motivated to finish!
5. Organize Your Work Station
Are you that one person in the office who’s always borrowing or buying accessories like pens, staplers, markers, etc? Then it’s time you took notice and started organizing your work station. It’ll not only save you from misplacing important documents but also help you save money and valuable time as well, especially if you work in your capacity as a secretary.
If you’re working from home, do the same. Make your workplace:
- Full of necessary tools
The coziness will make you anticipate working days. Fresh air will keep your brain healthy and active all day long. And necessary tools will keep you focused on the task.
6. Start Your Day Early
As the old adage goes, the early bird catches the worm. Starting your working hours ahead of your peers is a smart way to increase productivity. You get to meet your deadlines much faster which will increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of your boss, thereby positioning you in line for a promotion.
Moreover, it’s even more effective if you are in a leadership position as it’ll give the sense of normalcy, thus encouraging others to equally start their working hours much earlier. Afterall, we lead by setting an example.
If you’re working from home, waking up early may be a struggle. To make it easier, think of a special self-care morning ritual that will help you set the tone for the day. For example:
- Contrast shower
- A mask
- Light jogging
7. Do One Thing At a Time
Oftentimes, taken at face value it seems like a great idea to multi-task due to the false sense that it’ll save time. But upon closer inspection, you realize that it actually does the opposite. Moreover, in doing so, you sacrifice the quality of the task at hand. So, not only do you spend twice as much time as you would, if you performed the tasks independently, but the quality of the work done becomes questionable as well. It goes to show that you are better off doing your office tasks one at a time.
Follow the same rule if working from home. The only thing that is changed is that you (hopefully) can work in your pajamas and have multiple lunch breaks. Multitasking won’t help cut the work time. Find the balance.
8. Have the Right Tools
This is a no brainer because it’s literally impossible for employees to do their job effectively with faulty or subpar working tools which adversely affect their productivity. For instance, if your office is filled with old and slow computers, it’ll definitely take much longer to complete tasks. Not to mention the psychological effect it’ll have on the morale of employees. To that end, refer to the office manager if you are experiencing any issues with the office equipment and make sure that such unfortunate working conditions are eliminated.
If you’re working from home, the tools are usually your own responsibility, but it depends on the company. Don’t hesitate to contact your manager and ask if the business provides tools. If so, you’re the winner. If not, it’s recommended to invest in a set, because you’re going to need it anyway.
9. Avoid Procrastination
Procrastination: this by-product of laziness is one of the least desirable qualities in a serious working environment. According to a recent study conducted amongst 10,000 employees in the United States, it was discovered that the average worker wastes approximately 2 hours per day doing things that are not related to their jobs. To put things in perspective, procrastinating employees cost their companies a little over $10,000 annually, given that the salary of the average worker is around $39,800 per year.
Hence, the detrimental consequences of procrastination to the overall productivity of a company are obvious. As Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of The United States, rightfully said: “You may delay but time will not”. The time spent procrastinating at the workplace could have been spent doing something worthy of your time. And, although it might seem far-fetched, procrastination could indirectly make a significant contribution to the downfall of a company, so just consider the risks of getting your employment terminated.
10. Train Your Focus
Training your focus will make wonders with your productivity, both in the office and at home. Most of the time, it’s not that you don’t like your job or love to procrastinate. It’s just that your attention span is suffering due to the crazy life rhythm the world is leading.
You see, every piece of news, blogger, etc. wants your attention online, there are millions of videos and pictures. All the information just loads the brain so much that it can’t focus on something. Thoughts always rush in your head. And even while you think you work with maximum focus, somewhere in the corner of your brain, you’re thinking about the ad you have seen on Instagram.
Regain your focus, regain your attention to yourself and your job, and you’ll see wonders coming.
Here’s an easy meditation practice to get your focus back:
- Sit with your back straight and close your eyes;
- Take 3 deep breaths, as deep as you can;
- Try to notice everything about how you’re breathing: the temperature of the air coming in and out, how it moves in your body, how your chest moves with it, etc.;
- Go back to your normal breath, and just focus on it;
- Follow it for at least 5 minutes;
- When thoughts grab your attention and you’re distracted, don’t blame yourself. Just calmly go back to the breathing as soon as you notice you’re carried away.
Bonus: Encourage and Engage in Professional Communication Culture
Communication within an organization is a key element of effectiveness. If used reasonably and professionally, communication is an excellent way to resolve an existing problem. In any single piece of literature on leadership, excellent communication skills rank the first place in the list of competencies of an effective leader.
An effective leader can use communication to build more trustful relationships with the employees and make them perform more effectively at their positions. Everyone wants to be noticed, heard, and appreciated. By addressing these basic needs of their team, leaders can increase their level of job satisfaction since they would feel that their work and their individualities are significant and valued.
A strong worker should feel empowered to raise their voice to express their triumphs and struggles. By bringing their needs to light, strong workers can ensure that every part of the team is functioning at its best so group goals can be achieved.
About the Author: James Baxter is a professional ghostwriter, editor and blogger, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.