Regardless of what you do and where you work, everybody is looking for a way to increase productivity at work. However, some of the things you do, like drinking coffee, may not work all the time no matter how hard you try.
It is time for you to start changing those techniques, but you need to understand that it will not happen overnight. You must be patient and be kind to yourself and your mistakes.
Here are some of the new ways you can use to increase productivity at work.
1) Have a reasonable to-do-list
When making your to-do list, do not overwhelm yourself. Most of the time, to-do lists fail because you make them very complex or have unequal tasks. When you create unequal tasks, some tasks are shorter, easier, and take up less time than others.
That encourages procrastination because you are more motivated to do the easy tasks first, and when it comes to the more complex ones, you get bored and hardly finish them.
You should also not struggle to fit many activities in one list because then you will feel pressured and stressed, which reduces your productivity.
2) Break down your tasks to manageable goals
Looking at one project may look too overwhelming because it may be a 5-hour project. That will make you feel pressured and may discourage you from starting that project. The best way to do such long projects is to break them down into small and achievable goals.
The brain tends to gravitate towards smaller tasks than big ones, and you will also feel more motivated after completing one task.
For every goal, ensure that you have a list of resources you need to accomplish it. Between one goal and the next, try to take a break and get ready to start the next one. What may have taken you 5 hours may end up taking only 4, and you will do it perfectly.
3) Focus on one thing at a time
In your to-do list, some tasks are more important than others. Identify those tasks and complete them first before moving on to the other less important and easy tasks.
That enables you to complete those tasks better because the first hours of your day are the most productive. It also helps you deal with procrastination because sometimes the most important tasks are the most difficult.
Also, do not multitask. You might have the belief that you get more done by multitasking. However, multitasking reduces your productivity because it exhausts your brain to switch from one activity to another all the time.
It might also get you mixed up, or you might end up focusing on one of the tasks more than the others.
4) Delegate and follow up
Delegating work to your team members or employees is one of the best ways to increase productivity at work. However, sometimes that may not work as well as you want it because you may not have a system to measure your employees’ productivity.
After delegating the duties, come up with a way to follow up and evaluate what each person is doing. Some project management software and collaboration tools may help you follow up and evaluate all your team members at the same time.
You could also improve their productivity by offering incentives to the individual who performs the most tasks efficiently.
5) Take a break and breathe
Doing the same thing and being in the same position for a long time is boring, and it may affect your productivity. Between tasks, you should stop and take a break. Walk around the office, fix yourself something to eat, or chat with a friend.
6) Identify your peak hours
Everybody has different times when they are most active and when they are most alert. Most people are active in the morning, but for some, it may be the afternoon or evening. Identify what time of the day is usually your most productive.
Assign the tasks that need the most concentration to that time, and do not leave them incomplete because that opens a window for procrastination. When you are least active, that is the time to do the shorter and less involving tasks.
7) Assign similar tasks together
Similar to multi-tasking, assigning different tasks together will confuse your brain and make it work harder than it normally would, reducing your productivity. Having similar tasks together brings about consistency and ensures that nothing breaks your concentration between the tasks.
For example, if you are replying to emails and you have another task to review certain businesses, reply to all the emails first before reviewing the businesses.
8) Have a proactive dashboard
This is a measurable to-do list. It lists the goals and how many times it has to be done for maximum productivity. For example, if you are a marketer looking to promote a cleaning product and have to post something on your social media four times a week, have it on your dashboard and mark it off every time you do that.
You can also use it to track the progress of a certain task or project by indicating how much is done on the dashboard.
9) Ask for help
Sometimes you might want to prove how good you are at your job, but there are some things you may not be familiar with. Instead of struggling with them and taking too much time, ask for a colleague to help you.
Trying to do it on your own will take up a lot of time, and you might also feel demotivated when you can’t figure it out, affecting your whole day’s productivity.
10) Declutter your workspace
Having things all over your desk will reduce your concentration and affect your productivity. You will also spend a lot of time trying to tidy up the place, which will leave you feeling tired. Before you start working, ensure that your workspace is always neat and organized.
11) Brighten the room
Nothing lifts someone’s spirits, mood, and energy like working in a bright room. You can paint the room with a bright color or try having a lot of windows to let natural light in. Bright colors can improve your mood and make the room feel airy, increasing your productivity.
Also, letting natural sunlight into the room increases how alert you are as your work and increases your concentration. It also helps you feel more relaxed.