Companies are always trying to boost productivity and efficiency of their employees. If you love your job, why not try to do it yourself?
Is it really a big deal?
The bottom line is yes. Nearly 90% of people admit to slacking off for at least half an hour a day.
Employees now admit to spending at least 5 hours a week messing around on their phones while at work. The 5 hours on their cell phones is costing companies $15 billion a year, and that’s just for phones. It doesn’t include other forms of slacking off.
For the few of us who are committed to our employers and want to do the best we can, here are some tips for increasing your productivity.
1. Track Yourself
When you first get to work or even before you leave the day before, make a list of everything you need to do with your workday. Ideally, you should also have a deadline for each task.
The key here is to challenge and reward yourself. When you meet these self-imposed deadlines, treat yo’ self to a short break and then get back to it. Getting up and moving around for a few minutes, taking your eyes off your computer screen, grabbing a coffee or a water, will all help to recharge your batteries and get you geared up for the next task.
2. Avoid Meetings
Sometimes this isn’t an option, but sometimes it is. If you can find an excuse to skip out on occasional meetings, this will greatly improve your productivity. Every second you spend in a meeting listening to information that doesn’t help you or your department is a second you could be productive and working.
3. Multitasking is Overrated
When you try to do more than one thing at a time, you take focus away from each individual task. This is going to make each job on your list take a little longer.
Some people feel they’re more productive while multitasking. The most efficient way to work is on one task at a time, putting in all of your effort and energy into getting it done.
4. Be proactive; B-E Proactive
Don’t wait for the work to come to you.
Go find the work.
I could insert some cliches here like “grab the bull by the horns,” but…well I guess I just did.
Replying to emails, texts, and slack chat should be placed into your to-do list whenever possible. Once every two hours, three hours, whatever you can get away with doing. Like meetings and multi-tasking, these seemingly productive distractions are still distractions. While in some cases, communication is key to getting a project done, this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be kept to a minimum.
Want to give someone a reason to leave you alone? Put on some headphones. People don’t mind interrupting you on the clock, but if they think you’re taking a break or doing something important, they’re more likely to leave you alone.
Organize your office space. Make sure everything is within arms reach so you can find the things you need quickly. Having to sort through stacks of papers and emails to find the one document you need is the ultimate productivity killer.
Most of us who spend time doing as little as possible on the job do so because we don’t like our careers. The best way to remedy this is to find something you love doing. Once you start down the path of doing something you love for a living, you’ll want to work better and harder for the company.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to love what you do, becoming productive for the first time in your life is going to feel like an impossible job. What you need to remember the most is to take your time and learn from your mistakes.
For one last cliche, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Build a routine that works for you, work hard, and success will eventually follow.