There are 24 hours in the day, hence making the most out of your time is crucial. There are 2 ways to increase your outcome; either work harder or do smart work.
It isn't rocket science to be more productive at any phase of your life , but it does need you to be more dedicated and steadfast about how to manage time. This blog right here will take you through some simple yet effective steps for increased productivity at work.
1. Put a limit and keep a track on how much time you are spending on tasks-
You might think you are quite good at understanding how much time you are spending on different tasks. However, several research shows that only around 17% of the population is capable of accurately estimating the usage of time. There are several tools that can help you by informing you exactly how much time is being spent on daily chores, which include social media like Instagram and facebook, emails like gmail and yahoo, word processing like working on Microsoft word and Google sheets, and various other apps.
2. Take consistent breaks-
It sounds contradictory to orthodox beliefs, but taking regular breaks can indeed help in improving concentration. Several research shows that little breaks during long tasks helps maintain an optimum level of performance; while if you work without breaks, it can result in a steady reduction in performance.
3. Set self-made deadlines-
While we quite often judge stress as a bad effect, a controllable level of self-made stress can quite surprisingly be helpful in terms of providing us focus and helping us reach our goals. For certain tasks or projects which do not have fixed deadlines, try giving yourself one, and then follow it. You might be astonished to come across the fact that how focused and productive you can be when you are keeping a watch on the clock.
4. Try following the "two-minute rule." -
A well reputed entrepreneur named Steve Olenski has recommended trying the "two-minute rule" to make the most of small gaps of time that you have at work. The idea is fairly simple and it goes like this: If you chance upon an action or task that you think can be completed in 2 minutes or less, do it then and there. According to Steve, completion of the task right away is actually less time consuming than having to do it later. He has become one of the most influential and well-known online content strategists by implementing this rule.
5. Just assess offline meetings beforehand-
Offline meetings are one of the most unnecessary time consumers around, yet suprisingly most people continue to book them regularly, also attend them and, of course, complain. According to a study, unproductive meetings causes an average office worker to waste 31 hours each month. Before you book the next meeting, just ask yourself whether the meeting can accomplish the same agendas or goals via mails, phone calls, or web-based virtual conferences (which might be a little more productive).
6. Stop multitasking-
While we usually think that the ability of multitasking is an important skill in increased efficiency, the reverse might suprisingly be true. According to psychologists, trying to do several tasks at one time can lead to lost time and low productivity. Instead, try making a habit to commit to one task before proceeding to the next project.
7. Turn your free time into your advantage-
You might have some "free" time on your hands. According to the suggestion of the famous author Miranda Marquit, instead of playing games on mobiles or spending time on social media, use the free time to sort out emails, create your own to-do list, or do brainstorming.
8. Stop trying to work till perfection-
It's natural for budding entrepreneurs to get stuck while trying to perfect a task. The truth is nothing is perfect. Instead of wasting time in chasing perfection, do your task to the best and carry on. It is better to finish the task and move it out of your 'to-do' list. If it requires, you can always return and alter or improve the task later.
9. Take breaks for your exercise -
Taking out some time for exercise during weekends is quite good and it does help in improving productivity in the long run. Find some time for walking, jogging or going to the gym, if possible. Keeping your blood pumped can clear your head and regain your focus.
10. Being proactive is good, being reactive is not -
You might get phone calls and emails at work which you need to look after. But just looking after them might not get you to accomplish anything. Rather, have an agenda or plan daily and try sticking to it more often. Keep your notifications turned off during work hours and set some time aside for phone calls and emails.
11. Keep your work schedule in intervals of 90-minutes -
Top-notch performers in various fields such as athletics, chess, music, etc. who work in no more than 90 minute intervals, tend to be more productive than those who work beyond the 90 minute mark as stated by researchers at Florida State University. They also discovered that top performing people are likely to work for not more than 4 to 5 hours per day. Sounds exactly like what everyone wants!
12. Give an aesthetic feel to your workplace -
It souns quite foolish, but research actually shows that fitting an office with aesthetically pleasing objects such as plants, portraits, perfumed candles, scented flowers, or anything that lifts up your mood, can raise your productivity by up to 15 percent.
13. Reduce interruptions as best as you can -
Many times a fellow colleague might pop his/her head in your office to have a chat. While this may not seem much of a problem, but sometimes even small interruptions can affect a change in work pattern and thus a corresponding decline in productivity. Keeping interactions minimised might need you to set up office hours or keeping a closed door while at work. Time- sensitive tasks can require 'work from home'.
Whenever you feel the irresistible need that your productivity at work needs to be increased, do not put in greater hours or put load onto your already loaded calendar. Rather, take back a step, and give some time in thinking about ways you can implement smart work, not hard work.