Want productivity tips for the office or working from home? Structure your time for maximum efficiency! The research-backed information below can enlighten us all on how to be productive. Find out:
- How to increase productivity in the workplace: How to be productive at work yourself and how to increase employee productivity
- How to be productive at home when working remotely
- How to be more productive in life: 10 life hacks with everyday productivity tips
How to be productive at work
Wondering how to increase productivity in the workplace is probably as old as the dawn of time. Employees are hired to produce results – that’s what work is, right? Learning how to be productive not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, it also gives your employer incentive to you keep you there. These 8 methods can assist you with how to increase productivity in the workplace.
1. Manage your time well. At the end of the workday, put together the next day’s To Do List.
- You may benefit from a To Do List app. Remember the Milk is a productivity app that syncs across multiple devices and offers a free Basic version or a Pro version for a low annual fee.
- Marinara Timer has three types of productivity timers, including the Pomodoro method. Working in increments can show you how to be productive by helping you track how much time you spend on different tasks.
- RescueTime tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you a detailed picture of how you spend time on your computer. There is a free (Lite) version and a paid (Premium) version.
2. Organize your workspace. Whereas a disorganized environment can be an obstacle, a clean office can help you be productive in the task at hand.
3. Be goal-oriented. Make a list of your goals to keep with you, and picture yourself being the most productive person you know. How to be productive is directly related to your mindset.
4. Turn off your phone when you need to concentrate. Mobile phone notifications prompt your mind to wander away from the task you’re working on, and have been shown to negatively affect task performance. This is another way the short interval productivity tactics mentioned above come in handy:
- Before you begin the task that requires your absolute concentration, set up your voicemail or answering service to relay that you will be away for 25 minutes (or whatever the interval is). For clients who need hand-holding, conveyance of the specific and short window you’ll be unavailable can prevent them from panicking over being unable to reach you. Just don’t forget to change your voicemail back to normal when you finish the task.
5. Take mental breaks. Learning how to be productive involves recognizing when you need to walk away and recharge. Brief mental breaks have been shown to improve focus, whereas working at a task for a prolonged period of time without rest can result in a decrease of quality.
6. Give yourself deadlines. Stick to them and strive to meet them early. This is not only practice for being awesome at meeting deadlines for others, but it also gives you a sense of achievement and insight into budgeting your own time.
7. Exercise before work. Even if you don’t feel you have the time or motivation to do that 90 minute gym routine, try for at least a stretching routine with a brief jolt of cardio to some music before work.
- Get motivated, feel powerful
- Lasting energy throughout the workday
8. Cut down on socializing on the clock. Checking social networks or chatting with coworkers can eat up your time without you necessarily realizing it. If you want to catch up, come in early, take timed breaks, socialize during lunch, or schedule an after-work activity.
Work Remotely? How to be Productive at Home
1. Prioritize your tasks.
Source: Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People via US Geological Survey
Here is a productivity worksheet using the quadrants above.
3. Structure your day. As a longtime freelancer, I can attest to the importance of this tip on how to be productive at home: have a schedule for your workday. This not only helps you organize your time, it also gives you insight into what time of day you’re at your most productive, so that you can readjust your schedule accordingly.
4. Have a designated workspace. Preferably, one with a door you can close when you need to minimize distractions.
5. Don’t forget to take breaks. Getting engrossed in a task for a long period without any breaks can result in boredom and frustration. When you walk away and take a break, you’re shifting your brain from focused mode to diffuse mode, which can aide in brainstorming and problem-solving. Research has shown that even brief diversions can greatly improve results.
How to increase employee productivity
How to be productive at work is not insight that comes naturally to all employees, or you wouldn’t be reading this. So what can you do to boost production?
1. Employee appreciation. Take a look at these survey statistics:
- 69% of U.S. workers said they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated
- Companies who spend ≥1% of payroll on employee recognition are 79% more likely to see improved financials
- The number one reason most Americans voluntarily leave their jobs is due to lack of appreciation
2. Have employees work from home who are motivated to do so. Studies have shown that employees who were allowed to work from home were more satisfied and more productive. Having employees work remotely can benefit employers as much as employees.
3. Set measurable goals. Implement specific targets and measure how they affect your ROI. Analyze employee productivity reports similarly to the way you measure sales and marketing data. Use positive reinforcement to encourage favorable results.
4. Discourage friction between employees. Whether employees get along with each other or not makes a difference. Don’t encourage negatively competitive behavior among your staff. 89% of employees surveyed have said that work relationships affect their overall quality of life. Employees who were happy with their coworkers were less likely to leave their jobs and more likely to be engaged with their work.
5. Don’t underestimate employee training. View it as a tool for increasing revenue and/or reducing cost – good training programs should drive returns on investments. Furthermore, employees are more likely to perform better if they are confident in what they’re doing.
How to be more productive in life: 10 Life Hacks
Use these 10 Life Hacks as productivity tips to help you spend your time more effectively. Life hacks are tricks that can aide you with how to be more productive in life in general.
1. Get up early. It’s difficult to find productivity advice articles that don’t mention this important tip! Why is it so beneficial to wake up and get going early?
- Less traffic
- Quiet house, quiet office
- It can be a component of success. In a poll of 20 executives, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays
3. Learn keyboard shortcuts. Once you learn keyboard shortcuts, you won’t even be able to calculate how much time this productivity tip saves you.
4. Try an internet nanny. A free add-on for your internet browser can be the extra layer you need to prevent yourself from succumbing to online distractions.
5. Have boards that make boring things more fun. This creative tip from Lifehack can be used multiple ways: an inspiration board, a chore board, task board, etc. Of course, Pinterest is a wealth of endless ideas for this.
6. Keep colorful things around you. Color can improve brain performance: blue has been linked to increased creativity, and red has been shown to enhance attention to detail.
7. Schedule reminders to make sure you stay on task. There are various apps that can help you streamline the process of scheduling reminders, such as IFTTT (If This, Then That).
8. Work by a window…or outside. People who worked in natural light were shown to be better than average at working on a task.
9. Have a system for documenting tasks. Even if it’s as simple as writing it down, keep track of things you want to do and refer back to it. Unfinished tasks can actually make us more tired.
10. Do the hardest thing first. Mark Twain said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Accomplish the hardest thing(s) first, and the feeling of achievement can power you through the day!
How to be Productive: Conclusion
Training ourselves on how to be productive is not always fun, but there are sizable benefits to be reaped. Once you establish a good schedule and routine of behavior, you can complete tasks with a firm purpose. Having a plan can cut down the anxiety that comes with procrastination and lack of direction.
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