Productivity is something that either happens or it doesn’t, but it’s important to keep in mind that nobody can work at optimal efficiency at all times. This doesn’t mean you can’t leverage some best practices to make better use of your time, though. Today we’ll examine three general ways to improve your productivity, including examples of how to make them happen.
The main tenet of more productive work is to work smarter rather than harder. You can do this by identifying what needs to happen first, then moving forward with other tasks. In other words, establishing priority will help you better manage your tasks and increase productivity. Here are some ways you can stay on track with your task management.
- Ignore inspiration: Procrastination can often come from waiting around for the right time to approach a project. Simply put, waiting for inspiration is not the way to get things done. If you find yourself falling back on this excuse, reconsider the way you approach the project. Don’t wait to be inspired--inspire yourself through the accomplishment.
- Consider prioritization strategies: You might not know which part of a project you want to tackle first, leading to unwanted procrastination. This is a common issue, but it’s easily rectified by choosing the most pressing task to complete first. One way to effectively identify the most important task of the bunch is using the Eisenhower Matrix, which involves sorting tasks based on urgency and importance, then creating a plan to approach them in a way that is most effective to getting them done. The Pareto Principle, or 80-20 Rule, is a method of better spending your time, delegating 20 percent of tasks as the most important and spending the most time on them, and minimize spending time on the remaining 80 percent. In this way, you effectively spend most of your time on tasks that will reap the most rewards.
- Save distractions for later: Distractions are all over the office, and it can be tempting to just take a short break and interrupt your engagement with your tasks for just a little while. This can be disruptive and troublesome for your productivity. Instead, write down the distraction and keep it in mind for after your current task is complete.
Once you’ve determined the proper organization of your tasks, you need to make sure you’re prepared to carry them out. Some of these preparations might sound counter-productive, but we assure you that they are quite critical to your success.
- Make sure you are in order: If you’re not ready to be productive, no amount of trying will make it so. Self-care is incredibly important to your professional existence. Be sure to keep yourself healthy and rested. If you find yourself having a low amount of energy in the morning, then it’s better to save the most important tasks for when you can devote your undivided attention. Be aware of how your tasks must be done, and remember--knowledge is power. The more you arm yourself with, the easier the task becomes.
- Expect to be interrupted: Even the best plans fall apart when they aren’t executed properly. Therefore, you should plan for this happening so that tasks can still be accomplished on-schedule. If nothing interrupts the task, then the best-case scenario is that you’re a little ahead of yourself.
- Learn from everything: Even mistakes can be enlightening. They can be used to figure out what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how to avoid things going wrong in the future. However, it’s also important to identify successes and learn from them. Examine the process and see how you can streamline it.
Cheating for More Productivity
In other, cleaner words, you want to work smarter. This can be accomplished through a variety of means without throwing away time and energy.
- Subdivide your tasks: Grouping tasks together into related fields can help you figure out when and how to get them done. To this end, you can plan out a work event. This might seem overwhelming, but if you go about it piece by piece, it will seem much more manageable. In these situations, being more specific is better, as it encourages you to focus on the individual tasks rather than the broad overall task.
- Leverage shortcuts: Technology is a great way to make shortcuts for yourself, and so is automation. If you don’t have to worry about certain tasks, then you can free up more time for other ones.
- Eliminate inefficiencies: If you worry too much about inconsequential things, then you’re wasting time. Eliminating choices that don’t make any difference in the day can make it easier to make decisions. Email is a great example of this. Keep them brief and to the point, as more important correspondence could warrant in-person discussions or phone calls. Keep in mind that you should also include specifics as needed.
Find Your Groove
There are a lot of different methods to consider, but only certain tactics will work for you. Computerware can help by providing the solutions that enable some of these methods. To really benefit your business. Reach out by calling (703) 821-8200 to learn more about these solutions.