Whether you are an employee or a business owner, understanding how to be more productive at work should be a priority. Everyone, whatever their position within the company, can feel pressure if things are not going to plan. Thankfully, there are a few tips which can make the workplace a happier and more comfortable environment.
Prioritising tasks which need to be completed can improve productivity and make your job so much easier. This can even mean ensuring that you have planned the day ahead before leaving work. A little office “housekeeping” of the paperwork on your desk or on your computer desktop means that you are not worrying about the next day’s tasks when you should be switching off and relaxing.
Even if you are faced with unexpected issues when you arrive at work, you will have a clear idea as to what tasks need to be addressed when you return to your desk. A schedule helps you to remain focused and there is no greater satisfaction than ticking off items on your to-do list. An organised work space helps motivation and thus productivity.
Take a break
If you are suffering from mental fatigue, take a short break, chat to colleagues at the water cooler or get a coffee and re-assess the problem you are tackling. You will return to the issue with a fresh set of eyes and be far more likely to find the solution to the issue at hand.
Although interruptions to the working day are inevitable, try to minimise them. Try to keep your workspace private and avoid chatter amongst colleagues if you are hard at work on a project. Unfortunately, in most workplaces, electronic distractions are playing an ever greater role. Set your phone to vibrate and turn off your email alerts. Instead, check emails within a timeframe that suits the task upon which you are focused. The work-home balance is also important for your health, so remember to keep the two separate and your friends and family will benefit just as much as your workplace.
Trying to carry out more than one task simultaneously can impact efficiency. Focus on one task at a time to move the project forward within the timeframe you have been set. You have your day planned, so stick to the most important tasks you have prioritised. Studies suggest that trying to run tasks alongside one another reduces your ability to hit deadlines. Try to stick to your plan for the day, when one task is completed move onto the next. When you have completed a part of your schedule, reward yourself with that break. You will go back to your desk refreshed and energised.
Whether they are imposed from above or you choose to plan-ahead, deadlines can be key to an efficient working day. If you have followed the four guidelines above, you will be setting yourself automatic times to complete the work you face during the day. By prioritising and ordering your work day, including time-sensitive issues, and placing them in the order of importance, you will improve your efficiency and thus your output.
The five tips outlined above can go a long way towards understanding how to be more productive at work.