Everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work, no matter the job title or position. The secret to a more productive workday is not just about checking off your to do list.
Productivity is about focusing on the important tasks and actually doing fewer things.
Here are our Top 10 Tips to increase productivity in your workday:
1. Cut down that to-do list.
Focus on the tasks that matter most during your workday – tasks that will move the needle forward on your goals and complete those first. Then review your list and remove those tasks that have minimal effect on your productivity.
2. Follow the 80/20 rule + don’t be afraid to say “no”.
The Pareto Principle indicates that you should focus 20% of your effort to produce 80% of your daily tasks. Most of us find it easier to say yes when asked to take on a task; do not be afraid to say no to tasks that bring low results.
There are times when we cannot do everything ourselves. Allow others to step in and take some of the workload, especially tasks you don’t enjoy or are not good at. This allows you to focus your time on the most important tasks where you excel.
4. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day.
You are most productive in the morning; your brain is most fresh so tackle the most challenging work first and save your busy work for the afternoon.
5. Step back and take a break.
Make it a point to clear your head and take breaks throughout the day. When you are too focused on something your productivity can decrease and mistakes can occur. Step back and give your brain a rest and find a way to optimize your energy. This will allow for a more successful and happy work life.
6. Pick up the phone.
It is easy to get lost in the world of digital communication. Email reduces productivity because it distracts from tasks that matter most, particularly when multiple people are copied onto an email. If your email chain goes beyond two replies increase productivity by scheduling a phone call.
7. Create a system.
If certain things detract from your daily productivity take charge and create a system for managing them. Checking your email constantly will reduce productivity, so plan a morning, afternoon and evening slot time for this task.
8. Back up your decisions.
Make sure you have the facts before stepping into a task. Having the correct information from the beginning will save you time from second guessing your decisions. Being efficient is part of being well informed.
9. Limit overtime hours.
The more you work the less effective and productive you will be. It is important to not overwork and get enough sleep in order to maintain a higher level of productivity.
10. Learn that perfectionism is counterproductive.
The more of a perfectionist you are the less productive the day. Being too focused and spending more time than required on a task will distract you from the big picture. Opportunities can be missed when you are striving for perfection.
Hopefully these tips will help to improve your productivity during the workday and allow you to accomplish more by doing less!