How to be more productive at work: Once you’ve been employed, it is required of you to be productive. Even in your own business, you ought to be productive for you to achieve your goals.
So what does being productive mean?
The Cambridge dictionary defines productivity as “ yielding results, benefits, or profits”. However, before you yield results, benefits, and maximize profit, you need to be efficient and effective.
Before we continue, productivity should not be confused with being busy all the time. It goes far beyond that. Let us modify the definition of productivity above. We may say productivity is looking for ways to be more efficient and effective. It means achieving results of specific and measured work with the shortest execution time with little or no waste.
Productivity entails looking for ways to speed up workflows while reducing waste and mistakes. In other words, productivity means refinement of processes, identifying hindrances, flaws, and bottlenecks to improve work performances. It does not necessarily mean working harder but working smarter.
Now let’s come back to the main topic, how to be more productive at work, how do you do this? See these tips and techniques on how to be more productive at work.
1. Focus On Most Important Tasks First
On the list of how to be more productive at work is focusing on the most important task first. You have workloads so it is advisable to scrutinize quickly through the list and prioritize your work.
You may ask yourself the following questions; “which of them is needed most at this moment” or “which one will you be asked to send a report on first” or “which one is the most urgent” or “which one is playing the major role” or “which one is critical.”
List them in order of priority, executing the most important ones first that way downwards. Don’t jump to task performance just because it is work to be done otherwise you may end up doing less important things leaving those that matter for the day. This is important, as you will not rush to do critical works when you are being asked to send a report on it.
2. Identify Your Distractions And Handle Them Maturely
Another point on how to be more productive at work is identifying and handling distracters or distractions, to put it well? Distracters can be anything; from your coworkers to your cell phones to personal challenges like marriage and relationships. It is anything that breaks your workflows and shifts your attention from the task being executed.
Distraction is one of the things that prevent us from being productive. When you come to work, try to deal with work-related issues, and when you get home deal with its challenges. It’s quite difficult sometimes but it’s worth making the sacrifice.
Ask your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, or husband not to call or text you in the middle of a task, your break period could be used to do that. Aside from your office lines and phones, consider putting your cell phones in silent mode to avoid distractions from ring and text message tones.
You can also list down some things that pop up in your mind while you work, to examine them later, perhaps you might forget them. If you are finding ways on how to be more productive at work, then carry yourself in a certain way for coworkers and people, in general, to know when you are in a work activation mode and when you are less busy.
3. Break “Hard” Tasks Down
Next on how to be more productive at work is breaking “hard task” down, making things easy. We tagged some works as “hard” so we don’t like them. We keep pushing them down, but will eventually catch up with us.
To be productive and stop delaying those “hard” tasks, you need to bread it down to make things easier for you. Examine what is making it “hard” or “difficult” and see how you can break it down and eliminate that “hard” element in the task.
In reality, the tasks that we tagged as “hard” are not as difficult as we think, it’s just that we don’t know how to go about it. Once you make easy the hard element in the task, workflows speedily to your amazement.
4. Have Alternative Plans Always
Remember, we are still on how to be productive at work. To be productive and avoid disappointments, always have alternative plans, say Plan B and Plan C. You have a plan A right, what if plan A fails what will you fall on? Get it at the back of your mind that anything can happen at any time.
Have backups of your works and do not rely on people and things too much. By planning for interruptions and creating contingency plans, you can adapt quickly when unplanned problems present themselves instead of crying over things and blaming people.
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5. Execute Tasks One after the other
To add up on how to be more productive at work is to say that execute tasks one after the other. In other words, do not multitask!
Multitasking is not doing two or multiple things at the same time but switching focus between multiple tasks. This slows workflow because each time you switch between tasks; you need to refocus on the new one you jump into. It takes time and energy to set the ball rolling but once the ball is in motion, less effort is needed to push it.
It is worth noting that some tasks align well with another, so are some that do not pair well. It is up to you to distinguish between them to make things easier for you.
6. Eat Well, Rest Well And Be Healthy
Being healthy is critical to work productivity, so it surely appears on the list on how to be productive at work! You cannot trade in anything for a healthy mind. Eat a balanced diet always and drink a lot of water. Avoid junk foods and caffeinated drinks. Work, but know how to rest well. With a healthy mind, you can be more efficient and effective.
7. Take Breaks
Take breaks intermittently between tasks. Sitting down or standing for long has its health-related issues. For instance, if your work requires you to sit for long, consider taking a break every 55 minutes or any deliberate time good for you.
This will help your blood flows well in your body. Aside from helping you stay healthy, taking breaks is also the time for you to revitalize, recharge, and come up with new ideas. Research shows that taking breaks makes people more productive.
8. Learn Both From Your Mistakes And From Successes
We all make mistakes especially when we are in haste. Instead of letting your mistakes get over you, learn from them. Consider to know the cause of the mistake and think of measures and cautions to be taken when something like that pops up again.
If possible, develop a way of preventing that mistake from occurring. Personally, my mistakes make me efficient and effective. Each time I make mistakes, I quickly make analyses of what happens and find ideas on how to deal with such tasks subsequently.
Learn from your success too, not your mistakes alone. You may ask, “What makes me excel in this, how can I even make it better?”
9. Do Not Stop Developing Yourself
When learning how to be more productive at work is to continue developing yourself always. Read a lot even if it does not relate to your field. Learn from your superiors and subordinates from both their mistakes and successes.
Try to find new ways of doing things easier and faster. Keep yourself abreast of things. Ask questions to the state of things and take the pain to find answers. Be of helping hand to others. Seek help if need be. Learn how to do things in groups and when alone.
10. Track And Limit How Much Time You Spend On Tasks
Everything revolves around time in this world. So time management plays a major role in how to be more productive at work. See the time you use to execute tasks and find ways to limit the amount of time spent on each task. This takes a conscious effort though but it’s worth doing it to be more productive.
You may think you’re pretty good at gauging how much time you’re spending on various tasks. However, some research suggests that only a few people can accurately estimate the passage of time.
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