These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind in this household. Springtime is a good season for my business, and I can’t complain but, boy is it hard to balance life when you have so much work! A few days ago, I stumbled upon an info graphic about Productivity and I found it, not only very informative but also an useful guide to help me change some of my work habits and achieve that much needed balance.
If you are looking to increase productivity at work, these 7 tips will definitely help you get on track and have more time in your hands, and less stress in your mind.
1. Put Your Time to Good Use
Don’t think that the more hours you put in, the more work you will get done. This is not always the case. The reality is that, depending on your type of work, you are going to reach a point where you need to take a break.
Leave your work space, go for a walk, have a snack. Free your mind for a moment, go back to your task, and focus on it and not on the clock.
2. Try Working Remotely
Being present in an office every day, at the same time, for the same length of time, does not necessarily equal productivity. Most people -myself included- work faster and achieve better results in a quiet, solitary environment. If your type of work -and your boss- allows it, try suggesting working remotely and see if your productivity improves!
3. Don’t Push Yourself to The Extreme
This reminds me of my college years, when I pushed myself so hard to try to solve electric physics problems at 3 o’clock in the morning. That never ended up well.
We tend to think that to get through the hardest part, we must push even harder and be relentless. The truth of the matter is, that nothing great can be accomplished under exhaustion. The best ideas arise when your mind is rested and refreshed.
4. Eat The Frog First
Whenever possible, tackle the hardest, most time consuming -and more annoying to you- tasks first. Research shows that we are more creative and productive in the mornings, when our brains are well rested. Try to work on difficult projects first when you still haven’t added any new information to your brain and to your agenda. Later in the day, move to smaller, easier tasks.
5. Stop Multitasking
I could probably write a whole post about multitasking, and why it isn’t as good as many people tend to think. Let me keep it simple: focus on one task at a time.
Switching back and forth from one task to another just adds confusion and distractions. Write a to-do list and set your priorities straight.
6. Less Meetings, More Doing
I remember those days when we used to have a meeting at the office, every Friday morning. The first half hour was spent getting accommodated, the second half hour was trying to get to the point, the beginning of the second hour we were ready for a coffee break. And in between all of that, we thought that we were getting things done, except we weren’t.
Here’s what you should do: plan meetings on demand. That means, only plan meeting with your coworkers when all of you have enough questions to ask, and enough and important information to discuss and to exchange.
7. Break It Up
Break up in chunks those big and demanding tasks that are putting pressure on you. As much as you would like to get one particular task done in let’s say two hours or in a day, setting a rather unrealistic time frame will only pressure you and lead you to worry and get less accomplished.
Take a big task and say: ” Today I will write the contract, and tomorrow morning I can edit it and email it.” That, sounds better than: “I need to have the contract done in 24 hours.” . Chances are that you will have time to edit it that same day, because you are not putting pressure on you and working against the clock.
This system, sure does not work when you are putting out fires, but whenever possible, put it into practice.
7 Tips To Increase Productivity – Infographic
Perhaps not all of these tips can apply to you, as each person has her own perspective and own work strategies. However, it wouldn’t hurt to try putting these productivity myths to the test. Below is the very useful infographic I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Infographic by Quill
What other practices do you have to increase productivity at work? Leave me a comment below.
Hope you are having a productive week,