How to increase productivity in the workplace?
We’ve all been there – You’ve made your coffee, checked your calendar, and scanned the news, and now you’re ready to start working. You’re in the zone and can feel the cogs of work productivity churning away. You are a powerhouse of efficiency.
But, before you know it, you’re sidelined with office chatter, morning meetings, Slack chats, an inbox that won’t quit, social media, and a growing list of to-dos. We can’t change the number of hours in a day, but we can manage how we use those hours. Increasing employee productivity in the workplace means ruthlessly organizing your time and energy. Read our top productivity tips below and learn ways on how to improve employee productivity at work today!
Work in Sprints and Blocks of Time
Do you want to be more productive at work? Work in sprint sessions!
Renowned work performance researcher Dr. K. Anders Erickson found that top experts work similarly in uninterrupted 90-minute sessions. He and his team at Florida State University studied athletes, musicians, and chess players, among others. During this study, it was found that these elite performers shared the tendency for intense bursts of working, also known as “sprint sessions.” Adapted for the modern workplace, sprint sessions could translate to blocking off your calendar through 10:30 a.m. or setting a timer for 45 minutes of distraction-less work. However, the key is just that – eliminating distractions and interruptions while you work. This helps increase productivity.
One other great time management tip is the Pomodoro Technique. This technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length. Work for 25 minutes, take a 3-5-minute break. Start the timer again for another 25 minutes and work on the task at hand. Once you have completed four sets of 25 minutes work sessions, take a 30-minute break. You will notice an increase in work performance and a decrease in wasted time.
Are you a morning person, or someone who thrives in the early afternoon? When are you the most productive?
By understanding your best work habits, you can organize tasks, meetings, and work sessions to make the most of your natural efficiency. For some, this means accomplishing your most important tasks bright and early; for others, it means collaborative team meetings are best reserved for 2:00 p.m. when you’re at your most creative. By understanding when you are the most productive, you actually increase productivity without adding more work.
Reading emails while eating lunch during a conference call—does this sound familiar?
The bad news is that unless you’re part of the 2.5% of the population referred to as Supertaskers, you’re not wired to focus on more than one task at a time. And yet, we all still do it. The digital economy creates the opportunity for a barrage of intrusions and plenty of distractions. However, here’s the problem – by attempting to complete more than one task at the same time, we’re doing a worse job at both. Allocate the time to accomplish one task thoroughly and create a daily to-do list before moving on to the next and watch your productivity soar! This is great for time management!
Limit Email Read & Response Time
It is estimated that the modern office employee spends up to 50% of their day reading and responding to emails, that is 20 hours per week!
Imagine the productivity gains possible for employees and employers if this number were reduced by half or even a third. But how do you do this? The ever-connected world we live in makes it hard to imagine stalled responses from colleagues, but that may be the answer. Productivity maven and maverick Tim Ferris advocates for severely reducing the time spent in your inbox. By doing so, he challenges readers and supporters to limit checking email to once or twice a day, once at 11:00 a.m. and again at 4:00 p.m. He recommends setting an auto-response and reminding team members that they can always pick up the phone. While this radical approach isn’t feasible for all, a healthy compromise is closing Outlook or Gmail while working in one of your sprint sessions. You will be able to focus on the tasks at hand and tackle that daily to-do list.
Set Micro-Goals to Increase Productivity at Work
Distill larger and more complex long-term goals and tasks into actionable pieces, or micro-goals, to become more productive in the work environment.
For example, the “finish editorial calendar for Q2” may not be a helpful goal. It’s too broad and shapeless, which makes pushing it to the bottom of your to-do list while checking off more manageable tasks a reality. Instead, break the project into parts like “check subject matter experts’ availability for Q2 whitepapers” and “cement paid media placements for the first half of Q2.” These more feasible tasks will enable you methodically to chip away at a formerly overwhelming goal. And, it improves efficiency as well!
Increase work productivity and time management is a skill and behavior that can be improved over time with the right tools and with lots of practice. We all know those people who manage to “do it all.” Their secret is no secret at all, but instead a well-informed and well-practiced approach to boost productivity.
Incorporate the productivity tips above and learn how to use productivity tools into your daily routine and kickstart your productivity and motivate employees today and work performance!