10 Tips To Improve Productivity At Work
Between constant meetings, phone calls, and emails, staying productive at work can be a challenge. However, the odds of staying productive can be greatly improved by taking some simple steps to lighten your load. Here are 10 steps to improve your productivity at work.
1. Act immediately on phone messages.
Act immediately on phone messages. If you accomplish a task in just a few minutes, to do it is one less thing on your list and you will have that immediate sense of accomplishment. If you let too many small activities pile up, you will be playing catch up the rest of the day.
2. Get a head start on tomorrow
Get a head start on tomorrow by preparing before you leave the office today. The simple task of writing a to-do list is one of the most efficient ways of keeping track of your daily work requirements. By writing out a list for tomorrow before you leave the office at night, you will have an immediate head start on your next day and be ready for your new priorities.
3. Don’t sit at your desk all day
Don’t sit at your desk all day. It is important to get up, walk around the office, and take a few minutes for a mental break. These short breaks will reinvigorate you and help you be more productive in the long term.
4. Organize your tasks
Organize your tasks by arranging your work day so that you tackle your most important priorities together. You will also save time, be more efficient, and ultimately produce higher quality work. In addition, by starting your day with the most important tasks you will increase your productivity and get your day off to a good start.
5. Stand up for your phone calls.
Stand up for your phone calls. It is amazing that the simple act of standing during a phone call will actually help shorten the call, thus saving you time. If you are standing, you are less likely to be involved in idle chatting and you will get to the point of the conversation much faster.
6. Stick to a schedule
Stick to a schedule. If a meeting is scheduled for an hour, do everything possible to keep it at an hour. Once meetings start running long, it directly impacts the rest of your schedule for the day, while also impacting your coworkers. A series of meetings that run long will have a snowball effect throughout the day. Also, if you are not required to be at a meeting and you have a more pressing deadline, do not feel guilty about missing the meeting.
7. Learn to say no
Learn to say no. While everyone wants to be a good team player at work, saying no is sometimes the right thing to do. If you are not the best person for an activity or project, or if you have other pending deadlines, it is okay to turn down a project. However, it is always beneficial to have an alternate solution or suggestion so that your coworkers have a clear vision of what they will need to do to help move their projects forward.
8. Don’t let email take over your day
Don’t let email take over your day. We are all so accustomed to email that as soon as we see a new email in our inbox we instinctively click on it, respond, and focus on the content of the email. This seemingly tiny activity during the day can quickly add up to large amounts of time that not only cause your day to slip away, but also distract you from completing your current task. If you are focused on a project, tell yourself that you will not check your email for a set amount of time so that you get through your activity.
9. Don’t take advantage of Facebook in the office
Don’t take advantage of Facebook in the office. Social media is a part of all of our daily lives. However, to save time you must have the discipline to not spend large parts of your day seeing what your friends thought of the latest movie releases or what they had for dinner last night. Many companies are moving toward banning Facebook in the office, as it is becoming a drain on the work day. If you are allowed on Facebook during the day, be sure to use it as a break for just a few minutes, because if it becomes a regular habit it can easily take over your day and impact the work needed to get done.
10. Use technology
Use technology. These are amazing tools that you can use in the office to make you more productive and ultimately save time during the work day. Use Google Docs to collaborate with colleagues on documents. Use calendar planning tools to sync up your schedules with colleagues. Use Skype for video conversing so that you can potentially reduce the need for traveling to meetings. Also, work with your IT team to see if they have suggestions on which new technologies can be used to save time. They can be a tremendous resource not only to you, but to the entire organization.
The Character Principles Of Productivity
Here is a principle to take with you this week. “The lazy man won’t even dress the game he gets while hunting, but the productive man makes good use of everything he finds.”
The root word of productivity is to produce or be fertile. It is the result of an activity. To be fertile is to be able to produce or reproduce. We say “good land is fertile land.” This means the land is valuable because it has an ability to produce. However, land without managed activity does not make us wealthy.
It is the activity or productivity that we do on the land that develops the land’s potential.
In every man and woman there is also potential. You have to make good use of everything you have in order to develop it. Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
If everyone is productive, we build a prosperous society. Lack of productive activities is what creates poverty. If we consume more than we produce, we will go bankrupt. That is true for our nation and that is also true for our business and it is also true for our personal life.
One thing that takes away from the productivity of many organizations and individuals is that a lot of time and resources are wasted. Once those things are lost, they can never be recovered. Time wasters at work include engaging in personal emails, Facebook, unnecessary phone conversations, and making non-work related stops if you work on the road.
These activities keep us from being productive and accomplish what we could. Resources lost could be tangible items like wasted parts and supplies or intangibles like not taking an opportunity to learn an important skill.
As a productive person, your goal is to increase your value by learning whenever you can, using resources wisely, developing new ideas, and staying on task. Productivity is the way towards progress, growth, and positive future.
Here is a list of benefits of productivity. You will reap many benefits from being a productive person.
- You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you get things done. You will feel good about yourself.
- You will be valued and respected by others for the contributions that you make.
- You will be trusted because you are conscious of time and use your resources wisely.
- Your work will have purpose because you are not just doing a job, you are developing your potential. Ultimately, you will grow both in ability and as a person. This growth will benefit you in every area of your life.
Here are some characteristics of a productive person.
- They desire to get things done. They don’t allow distractions to pull their focus from what they want to accomplish. They keep working, creating, and developing.
- They value ideas and are motivated to work to achieve them.
- They consistently look for opportunities to develop their potential.
- They are inspired to influence others to work towards a common purpose.
I have here some steps to follow.
- Earn your way through life. Use your abilities. Life is a gift and what you do with it is in your hands. Things do not just happen, you must make them happen.
- Actively participate in developing concepts, ideas, and resources with the goal of transforming them into something greater. You will add value to what you are involved with and that will in turn add value to you.
- Be efficient. Manage your time and resources. Find the balance between quality and quantity. For example, you are more efficient when you do things right the first time, even if it takes a little bit longer.
- Learn to be organized. Many people simply do not know how to organize and they lose productivity. A craftsman knows how to keep his tools in order. Do not waste a lot of time looking for things that you have misplaced.
- Develop your potential. Embrace opportunities to add to your skill set. Learn from others who have successfully accomplished what you aspire to. This could come in the form of books, lectures, or just a person you know who would make a good mentor. Remember, thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become our destiny.
Let’s spend a little bit of time reflecting in response to what we have heard. Here are a few questions.
- If somebody would ask 5 people you know to rate your productivity on a scale of 1 to 10, what would their answer be?
- Do you take the time and opportunity to develop your potential? Can you name one thing that you have done in the past month that has caused you to grow.
- Think of the most productive person you know. What are the habits that make them productive?
- Which one of the steps to follow will you commit to this week?
This week your challenge is to be more productive. Tell me in the comments below the one thing for the 10 listed that you will do this week to be more productive.