Are you performing at your full potential every day? Do you feel like improving your productivity could lead to better results and new opportunities? We’ve got you covered! Below are nine sure-fire tips to improve your productivity at work, whether you’re a business owner or an employee.
1. Take care of small tasks immediately.
Those slightly annoying phone messages or emails from co-workers and clients asking for little things are the tasks that pile up. If a task at work takes you less than a few minutes, make it a priority and finish it immediately. This gives you a much-needed psychological boost and it helps clear your schedule of clutter.
2. Prepare yourself for tomorrow today.
Your last task before leaving the office should be to prepare yourself for the day ahead. Simply writing a to-do list for the next day will help you keep track of your immediate obligations.
3. Make a move.
Sitting at your desk all day long breeds lethargy. Taking a short break every now and then will increase your productivity. Try standing up every 20 minutes for a good stretch and see how it improves your overall performance. If your eyes feel tired and itchy from looking at the computer for a long period of time, try these exercises to promote better eye health.
4. Be a task organizing champion.
You will save time by arranging your workday according to your job’s priorities. Organizing your tasks in this way will help you produce work of higher quality as well as increase your efficiency. Always start your day with your most important task.
5. Use ordinary tasks to create movement in your day.
When you take a phone call, use it as an excuse to stand up and get your blood flowing. Also, there is evidence that the quality of your call will be improved by standing!
6. Stick to the schedule that you set.
Keep meetings to the time period that they are scheduled for. If you have a series of meetings, do your best to make it to every meeting on time. Prioritize. If you have to miss a meeting to meet a more important deadline, make no apologies.
7. Say no when you need to.
Everyone wants to be liked by their co-workers; however, do not put aside your own priorities to help someone who is out of their depth or not pulling his or her own weight. Keep in mind that you were hired for a certain purpose. If you are not the best person to assist a co-worker, lead them quickly to the person who is. Don’t introduce inefficiencies through trying to prove your worth.
8. Organize your mailbox.
Email is one of the biggest time wasters in the office. Most people have a cluttered mailbox full of disorganized mail. This makes it hard to find specific emails later on, or to retrieve a document that someone sent you at some point.
Most email software (as well as browser-based email like Gmail and Hotmail, etc.) give you the ability to create folders, set rules/labels and prioritize your mail. Do this: after you read an email, immediately put it in the appropriate folder. If you get a junk email, don’t just delete it! Flag it, so that your email program learns to discard such messages in the future.
9. Stay ahead of the game.
Business and technology is always shifting and evolving. If you want to stay competitive in your industry, you have to be aware of trends as well as the latest tools and software. Spend an hour or so per week to browse business and tech blogs in your niche. If you discover a new software, tool or app that can help you more efficiently achieve one of your goals, don’t be afraid to ask your IT department to install it for you. Many other employees could benefit from your discovery!
Do you have any other suggestions for improving productivity? Comment below!
Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.