How To Boost Productivity
We all know time is money, but not all of us take that to heart. There are a finite number of hours in a workday, and spending that time constructively can only benefit you and your business. Greater productivity usually leads to more efficient operations, greater quality of work, and more satisfied employees and customers.
Productivity increases when you work more hours, or when you work more efficiently. Since most people lead busy lives and would prefer fewer hours of work, and since the quality of work is more important than the number of hours worked, improving work performance should be your focus.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve the productivity of your business:
1. Get an early morning start
Getting up early in the morning can be a chore, but once you develop the habit, you’ll find you have more energy and time to do the things you need to. Feeling grounded about the work ahead allows you to calmly enter your workday.
If you need a little motivation to get up, start exercising earlier. Get your blood pumping and sweat out the stress. At the start and end of each day, make a list of everything that needs to get done. It’s much easier to look at tasks written out rather than picking them out of some jumble inside your head.
2. Stop multitasking
Now that smartphones and devices can run multiple tabs, apps, and programs at once, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing too many things at once. A walk through any office shows it’s not unusual for employees to get distracted by their email inbox, a client phone call, a Facebook notification on their phone, or an endless list of websites to waste time on.
You don’t need to have twelve tabs open, and you don’t need to handle two projects at the same time. Learn to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. That may mean putting some headphones on to block out distractions, finishing a task before starting a new one or turning off social media notifications.
3. Prioritize your tasks
The best way to combat multitasking is to learn how to organize your tasks and assignments by importance. There are a few ways to do this. Ask yourself these questions:
– Which tasks can you do tomorrow or the day after, and which ones need to be done ASAP?
– Which tasks are other team members or clients waiting on before they can start working?
– Which tasks only take a few minutes to complete, and which tasks require additional planning and input?
– Which tasks are important, and which ones are urgent?
Solid focus leads to efficient work. Choose what’s most important; it’s helpful to schedule out times to first tackle big issues, and then move on to smaller ones. Prioritize and see the job through to the end before moving on to the next one. The work will be accomplished faster and more effectively, yielding a significantly better output.
4. Track your time and set deadlines
There’s a saying that goes: “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” You can spend hours, even days polishing your website or cleaning up a presentation, but there comes a time when you have to declare it complete and move on to the next task. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a whole lot of time on tiny details.
Consider getting a time-tracking tool, like MyHours or Harvest. You’ll find that when you’re being timed, you’re less likely to get distracted. Schedule out your weekly tasks, events, and deadlines on a calendar. When a date is set for a particular assignment, you can prioritize by due dates and set milestones towards completion.
5. Limit Your Social Media Usage
Unless you’re managing a social media account, there’s no reason you should be on Facebook or Twitter during work. Try cutting down on the time spent flicking through your feeds. Of course, easier said than done. Once the picture stalking commences, it’s hard to stop. Plus, who doesn’t love midday Instagram scroll?
Luckily, there are apps that can help block our favorite social platforms while we work. Anti-Social allows users to block websites and social networks that distract them. Rescue Time tracks where users spend their time throughout the day, shaming them into spending their time the right way. To accomplish best results, test what makes you personally work smarter.
6. Find the perfect work environment
Sometimes, a change of scenery is all that’s needed to spark a flow of ideas. A more comfortable chair, better lighting, or a cleaner space can make all the difference. Other times, those around you are a major disturbance. It may be fun to chat with your friends during the workday, but it isn’t fun to be forced into working late because nothing was finished.
Find a workspace that encourages collaboration but also offers some privacy if you need it. It can be refreshing to have a floor or common area to share with other people, to bounce ideas off of or to chat with someone after a long day. Novel Coworking offers private offices as well as coworking spaces, catering to those who need their own space, and to those who would rather be around others.
Healthier habits lead to increased motivation. Productivity is its own feedback loop – the more you set your team up to be productive, the happier and more motivated they will be, making them even more productive.
Learn more about Novel Coworking’s coworking spaces and private offices to find out how a simple change of environment can make a world of difference in motivation, health, and happiness.