How to Be More Productive
In today’s office environment, employees face an overwhelming amount of distractions—phone calls, emails, meetings, texts—which can easily derail pending deadlines.
Fortunately, several tools and tactics can help you and your team members stay focused, get things done quickly, and be more efficient at work.
Set Goals: Annual, monthly, weekly, and especially daily goals can help you manage your time to produce achievable results.
Quick tip: To remain on track, come up with a visual reminder for your workspace. For example, if your end goal is to enjoy vacation time and not worry about work, put a photo of your vacation spot or a loved one on your desk. Every time you feel tempted to procrastinate or waste time, look at the picture and remind yourself why you need to stay focused.
Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate: Make a list of things that would be more productive for someone else to do because they’re too time-consuming, conflict with other responsibilities, and/or are simple enough others can handle them without much training. Then identify which colleagues have the bandwidth to take those tasks on.
Quick Tip: Don’t forgo splitting up your work because you feel like it’d be quicker just to do everything yourself. In the short term, delegating redundant and repetitive tasks to others may take some time; but long-term, once everyone is familiar with the process, the investment will be worth it.
Stop Procrastination Before it Begins: Placing the tasks or projects you typically put off into your schedule or calendar and assigning a time limit can help you be more productive. (Setting an actual timer might help.) Work on those tasks first thing in the morning, and commit to having them done by lunch.
Quick Tip: Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions, according to the American Psychological Association. Schedule accountability or status meetings with your manager or team members to help you focus on project progress.
Avoid Common Distractions. If you’re tempted to browse the Internet or engage in a lengthy conversation with a co-worker about non-related work issues, think about what you may have to sacrifice to do that—such as leaving on time.
Quick Tip: Did you know that it takes more than 23 minutes to completely re-engage in work after being distracted—even if the original task was only going to take five minutes? When you’re working on a project, turn off your phone ringer and email notifications. If possible, only check your emails at certain times during the day.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Learn more about how to be more productive, manage your time, and maximize your work during a one-day productivity workshop.