Time is the most valuable asset. You cannot increase the time you gave in a day but you can, however, increase the amount of work done in the limited time that you do have. Just designating more hours to work isn’t always the best solution.
So how do you improve your productivity at work? Here are a few tips that will help you get most out of your time.
Don’t try to do everything yourself
Being independent is a good thing, being shy might not be. While it is admirable to be able to do all the tasks you are given on your own, sometimes you will get more work done if you ask for help from a colleague. Don’t be afraid to ask for little favors once in a while from your colleagues. If you try to do everything yourself you will often stress yourself too much and that can reduce your productivity.
Set self-imposed deadlines
Stress might be considered a bad thing but in little doses it can act as a motivator. Self-imposed deadlines can offer you the push you need to boost your productivity. Deadlines create a sense of urgency and that helps you achieve your goals with better time efficiency. These are especially useful for projects that have no set deadlines.
Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are necessary if you intend to maintain your level of performance. While this may seem counterintuitive it does work. Working for long hours without breaks will result in decrease in your performance level over time. It will be more productive if you take short breaks at regular intervals.
Maintain a to-do list
This is probably the most overstated tip in increasing productivity. That is because it is an effective tip. Having a list of tasks that you have to complete by the day helps you keep organized and motivated. Striking off an item from the to-do list can lift your mood up. You will be better prepared to tackle the next task in the list.
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, etc. are the worst distractions of today’s life. If you have an account on any of these sites it is more than likely that you will be constantly checking for updates from your friends or followers. You are constantly distracted by these and that will make you lose focus on whatever you’re working on. Scattered focus means reduced productivity. Mute all notifications from these sites when you are working to keep your focus at peak levels.
Another distraction can be checking emails. You don’t have to check every email you get immediately. Designate some time that you will use to read and reply to email. As emails are usually not sent for urgent work, you are safe in delaying to reply to them. If it’s urgent, they can call you.
The “two-minute rule”
The two minute rule is a way to make most out of the little windows of time you get at work. The main idea is: If you notice a task that can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. According Steve Olenski, and entrepreneur, completing a task right away will take less time than if you delay it to a later time.
Be smart with meetings
Meetings take up a lot of time from your work day. Most of the meetings are not even relevant to you. They are just a waste of time. So only attend those meetings that you think are important for you. If you have to organize a meeting, only invite those who will be directly affected by the meeting. Others can be informed about the key points in emails or memos.
Another tip is that if you have something short to discuss then have a standing meeting. This is because people are more responsive when they are standing. They will not linger with useless points, if they are standing. You will save a lot of time like this.
Set harder goals
If you are able to complete all you tasks within the set time limit then you can try to add some more items to your to-do list. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you have extra potential until you push yourself further. Try to squeeze in additional goals into your agenda so that you can realize your full potential.
Reward yourself with food or shopping every time you complete a crucial task. Keep yourself happy and your productivity will automatically increase. If you complete a very important task, take a holiday, pamper yourself a little. You deserve it.