It’s the start of another day; another pair of business slacks and another eight hours under fluorescent lighting. Yes, it is a work day; so how do you make those eight hours count? Staying productive leads to success. Truly, no one ever became successful by doing nothing. Follow these insanely easy steps to make your work day more productive.
Limit Meeting Time
If you work at your desk, then it stands to reason that time away from your desk will limit your productivity. To help decrease the time spent in meetings, prepare before you arrive. Research the project you will be meeting about, and save everyone’s time by coming prepared with the knowledge needed to collaborate. If everyone comes prepared, you will spend the time collaborating; instead of chatting.
While catching up on the personal life of coworkers or business partners is great, it’s important to use meeting time to discuss pertinent issues. Greet the other attendees; after that get down to it. Leave the cooler talk for the cooler, and keep the meeting focused. Avoid rehashing project details that attendees are already familiar with and move forward into the present to get back to work sooner in the here and now.
Yes, activity is part of your work day. Moving increases blood flow; increased blood flow means more oxygen for your brain. Improved brain function is a definite productivity booster.
You probably work in an office; so not a lot of opportunity for going on a run or lifting weights during your eight to five.
Leaving your desk during lunch provides a much-needed break for your eyes and your brain. Shifting your focus by taking your lunch break allows for a brief respite providing renewed energy and focus. In addition, plan a ten minute break, besides lunch. Allow yourself to become distracted during this time; enjoy some fresh air or take a quick stroll by the water cooler. Providing this recess allows better clarity when you return to your tasks and allows you to feel refreshed.
Having a clutter of papers in your office is not going to help you find the latest purchase order that needs to be paid. Stacks of paper and clutter around your desk can be overwhelming; making you less productive. It is important to take some time to tidy your desk up. In addition, investing in paperless organization or project management software will help you stay organized and increase office productivity. Walking papers across the office for approval, then transferring them physically to account payable should be a thing of the past.
In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to leverage the vast selection of cost-effective apps and programs that can help make your office and your time at work more productive. In fact, studies conducted by New Zealand at Work discovered that companies who used innovative technology were more productive.
In the words of tune-whistling one-hit wonder Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy now.”
Life is not perfect. You are going to be faced with last minute projects and complex problems. Make the choice to be happy now, no matter your circumstance.
A happy workplace and positive workplace culture is important to staying productive. A stressful workplace decreases productivity. According to a Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes survey, under highly stressful conditions, workers are less productive and have a higher chance of not showing up to work.
Feeling overwhelmed or overloaded at work is an obvious cause for added stress and reduced productivity. Provide adequate time and enough manpower to complete the work that needs to be done. Ask for help if you need it. While it might seem like a good thing to be frantically working to meet deadlines, studies now show the mood of a workplace affects overall productivity. Meaning, your high-pressure, high-stress work environment is greatly affecting office productivity. Reduce stress and feelings of overwork; provide a better workplace environment and increased productivity for all.
Happier, less stressed employees are beneficial to employers too. Studies show happy employees miss work less, are more effective at working from home and have lower healthcare costs.
Be Flexible and Considerate
We often get caught up in our own existence. Your coworker, Bob asks for assistance printing forms, but that is not our job. Sure, Bob knows this. Bob has been around since the dawn of time, but he is asking for help. Be flexible.
If it is in your power, do it. Unless you are a one person business, you have a customer service position. Everyone in your office is working for the same goal: success, for both themselves and the business. If the business doesn’t achieve success, then you are out of a job. Realize that you are there to help not only clients, but also coworkers toward productivity and success.
Along those same lines it is important to remember not everyone works the same way. Bobby might be able to work in the middle of a hurricane, but Karianne needs quiet to calculate your paycheck. Be considerate.
Try not to interrupt coworkers. Cornerstone OnDemand found in a study that 43 percent of employees felt that unscheduled interruptions by coworkers are the biggest obstacle. That is nearly half of employees who stated interruptions are the biggest opposition to productivity. A balanced workplace believes in collaboration and in the importance of the individual; so be flexible in how you work.
Why Do YOU Want to Be Productive?
It boils down to this. Do you want to be more productive? Yes, it is not about the individual; but it is about personal motivation. An employee, whether high ranking or not, is not going to be very effective if they are not willing to work at it.
So what is motivating you to be productive and therefore a valued employee? Some illusive dream you would like to obtain? You have decided what is important, to you. So push yourself, because you know what you want.