There’s an enormous amount of distraction in the modern workplace. Between multitasking and overworking, productivity can diminish quickly. Today’s Friday Five shares 5 simple ways to increase productivity for yourself and your team.
1) Avoid Multitasking
Many of us are extremely busy! This is especially true for those who own businesses, run teams or are entrepreneurs. Because there are only so many hours in a day, it’s tempting to take on multiple tasks at the same time. While multitasking may help you get through your long to-do list, it can actually get in the way of what could be a productive day.
When your focus is split between tasks, it can take more time to complete each task. In addition, quality of work can decline and exhaustion increase. Instead, dedicate all your time and energy to one task at a time. At first this might be difficult, but give it at least one week. Here are few simple tips for better managing your time:
• Set dedicated times to check emails. Then only check emails during those times.
• Give yourself a strict schedule and follow it. Each block of time should have only one task assigned to it.
• Learn to say “No”. If your schedule does not have any openings don’t take on additional work.
2) Manage Your Meetings
Meetings are a must for most of us. While they serve a purpose, and can be extremely useful, meetings can also be a productivity black hole. If you have more than one meeting a week it’s imperative you start managing them. Ask for or create detailed agendas, then follow them. Set start and end times, and follow them. Have a follow-up process so you know action items are completed, not simply discussed. If you notice meetings become unproductive then reconsider their format, timing or participants.
3) Utilize Productivity Tools
In today’s connected world there are almost endless productivity tools. These tools can drastically improve productivity and because there’s something for everyone, you’ll certainly find the right tool for your unique needs. Be sure to give yourself time to get use to your new tool(s). Also, don’t be afraid to try new tools if you feel the one you’re using isn’t the best fit.
4) Set Aside Time For Fun
All work and no play makes anyone dull. The more energetic and happy you are, the more likely you’ll face the day with excitement and high-energy. It takes a lot of energy to complete tasks, come up with creative ideas and inspire teams. If you’re burnt out with low energy, it will almost impossible to stay productive. Getting a good night’s sleep, taking lunch and setting aside time for fun on the weekends or after work will absolutely contribute to a more productive work day!
5) Adjust and Try Again
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for being more productive.
Each person, with their unique needs, will require different approaches for achieving productivity success. Keep trying new approaches, tools and tactics until you find the right recipe for your success.
What keeps you productive? Tell us in the comments below.
Originally published Nov 01, 2013, updated Dec 30, 2022