Boosting productivity has never seemed more difficult than it is in today’s highly connected world. While everyone would like to be efficient and productive, the number of distractions that people face at work is constantly rising. Salesforce has recently shared statistics revealing around 90% of adult Americans spend between 15-18 hours per month on social media channels like Facebook.
Just like most growing businesses, we understand that time management is a critical stepping block that cannot be ignored. Our in-house productivity scheduling consultant often has these same discussions with our clients who are looking for ways to make their business more productive. Here are her top 10 productivity hacks to help you ace your game this year.
Most of us have tasks on our lists that we just don’t to get around to. Procrastination is the number one reason for poor productivity. Experts unanimously agree that you should always tackle the hardest task first. You might not like it, but once the pressure eases from that task, you will find the rest of your day much easier to handle.
Learning to say ‘no’ is a skill that everyone should learn in order to be successful. Taking on more than you can handle will affect not only your productivity but also your relationships with your colleagues. In addition, sometimes the easiest way to get things done is to delegate. You do not have to be personally involved in every task assigned to you. them. Delegation not only frees up time but also helps to foster an atmosphere of sharing and teamwork as everyone is in it together and collectively responsible for outcomes.
Productivity does not equal nonstop work schedules. Grilling schedules often result in poor productivity in the long run. Scheduling time off every 60 to 90 minutes will help rejuvenate you and sometimes help you arrive at a solution once you return to the problem with a fresh mind.
Consider using the Pomodoro technique that breaks down your work hours into bite-sized 30-minute slices. The idea is to work continuously for 25 minutes and take a break of 5 minutes in between. After every four Pomodoros, reward yourself with a longer break.
Ever spend sleepless nights worrying about the pending or critical tasks you will need to work on first thing in the morning? It does not take a genius to figure out that poor sleep and rest drains productivity levels drastically. While early morning to-do lists are helpful, emptying your thoughts, action points and accomplishments at the end of the day will prove rewarding and give you a much-deserved peaceful night’s sleep.
Evaluating personal team member goals with respect to the organizational objectives is a great way to boost team spirit and productivity
It is no surprise that most people consider meetings to be the biggest barrier to productivity. 47% of employees feel that meetings are the largest time-wasters at work. It is important to schedule timebound and structured meetings to achieve the maximum benefit from them. Try and carve a day free from meetings to help boost your productivity. It’s quite surprising h read more
It is no surprise that most people consider meetings to be the biggest barrier to productivity. 47% of employees feel that meetings are the largest time-wasters at work. It is important to schedule timebound and structured meetings to achieve the maximum benefit from them. Try and carve a day free from meetings to help boost your productivity. It’s quite surprising how many emails and minor pending tasks can get cleared out when you have the ‘free time’ at your desk.
As mentioned earlier, I cannot stress the importance of a good night’s rest to see your productivity levels soar. On the same lines, try scheduling a ‘deep work time’ where you disconnect from your phones and colleagues and dedicate time to an activity. I have found that my most creative and productive work happens in these distraction-free zones when I can focus all my energy on a single task. Most of our clients have found this leads to higher productivity and better results.
Do you find yourself lost in the fine print sometimes? I normally advise clients to set out the main goal for a project clearly on a whiteboard or anything similar where everyone can see it. This helps you to re-align to your secondary tasks and make sure they are all leading to the final goal in mind. Productivity can be seriously affected if your team members get sidetracked on supplementary activities that do contribute to the final picture.
Allow yourself time to step back and relax from work. Constantly working on a problem often clouds your vision. Research shows that most productivity boosts happen after a break when people take time off to relax and pursue a hobby or even spend time with loved ones. You will find that problems that seemed insurmountable the day before might have quite an obvious solution when you step back.
Elon Musk and several other professionals swear by timeboxing. Parkinson’s law states ‘Work expands to fill in the time available for its completion.’ This would mean that if you set aside 4 hours to complete a task, you will find yourself involuntarily prolonging the task to fit in the time allocated.
Timeboxing is a simple time management tool that aims at setting specific deadlines and goals to achieve in that time frame. This is an effective way to avoid procrastination and dividing tasks into bite-sized pieces that make it manageable.
All said and done, don’t hesitate to try out your own techniques and make this year a truly productive one to remember. And check out these 30 real quotes on productivity you can relate to- courtesy Salesforce for more inspiration.