Just because you’re looking to increase your productivity, doesn’t mean you’re going to have to work harder. There are plenty of ways to cut your work load, increase your output, and not stress yourself out in the process. But sometimes these productivity hacks can be harder to spot than you might imagine. It could be that because you have become so rutted in your daily habits that you have lost some of your ability to see that productivity-enhancing techniques are right in front of you. If that’s the case, here are a few tips that may help you increase your efficiency while not increasing your workload.
1. Find Your Time Niche
There are typically certain parts of the day when we find ourselves most energized and effective at our work. One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to look for the time of day when you are most productive and then utilize that time to tackle the most difficult or time consuming tasks of your day.
2. Beat the Masses
Sometimes it isn’t our work habits or routine that slows us down, but those around us. Our co-workers, while they might be well intentioned, can often be quite distracting and killers of our productivity. Consider coming in early or staying late depending on what works best for your schedule. While it might seem that you are working more initially, by spending an additional quarter to half an hour of intense, uninterrupted time at work, you may be able to cut hours off your week.
3. Call Cover
Incoming calls can be annoying and incredibly distracting when it comes to your productivity. Even a short 30-second long phone call can cut into whatever you were doing and totally pull your mind away from your work. Depending on the reason for the call, it can take time to re-focus upon the task at hand or you may find yourself completely drawn away from your work to handle another situation. When you find yourself in a productivity groove and if your job allows, consider forwarding your calls directly to voicemail until a more opportune time to deal with them presents itself.
4. Ease Your Emails
Often, emails can be just as distracting, if not more so than phone calls. Similar to handling your messages and phone calls, look for slower times during the day to deal with your emails when you aren’t feeling as productive. And if you are in a job that doesn’t call for immediate action regarding emails, consider avoiding those instant alerts informing you of non-essential emails, which can be distracting and diminish your productivity.
5. Efficient and Effective Emails
When you respond to emails, look for ways to limit the amount of time and words you use to communicate on matters of lesser importance. While you don’t want to seem short with people, remember that they don’t need a novel written on matters of relative simplicity. Shortening email responses can increase productivity on both the sender and receiver’s side.
6. Take Work to Meetings
You don’t want to look bad in front of the boss or appear as if you’re not paying attention when you attend meetings, but sometimes taking work along with you can be productive. When you find yourself sitting there before the meeting begins, waiting for a late arrival or taking a 15-minute break halfway through the meeting, you can use these times to get a little work done and increase your productivity.
7. List It
Utilizing lists can be a huge time saver. All the fancy, technological gadgets in the world may not be as useful to helping you stay organized as a few sticky notes or a desktop calendar. These cheap and handy items can be your best friends when it comes to helping you stay organized, productive, and chop away those wasted minutes.
8. Know Your Limits
We all have our limits when it comes to productivity. At the end of the day, do you sometimes find yourself sitting there just staring at your computer? At times like these, it’s good to know when to call it quits. When you push yourself past reasonable limits at work, you may find that even though you are producing, your productivity is actually suffering due to critical errors you make while turning out poor work that may have to be redone.
9. Take a Break
Not working might seem like an odd way to increase productivity, but sometimes your mind needs a chance to recuperate. A short walk to get your blood pumping, a quick snack, even a change of atmosphere can help you refresh yourself when your brain doesn’t seem to be functioning at peak efficiency.
10. Ditch the Distractions
When it comes to distractions, it doesn’t have to be co-workers, emails or your office phone that can lower your productivity. Radios in the office, the internet, cell phones, even a window can take away from your work. Consider removing radios, turning cell phones off, placing user restrictions on the internet, and keeping window shades closed except during breaks. You don’t want a completely sterile environment but work is work and productivity is important.
This is a guest post written by mark Brown who works for an Australian comparison website called CreditCardCompare.com.au where you can compare credit cards and find the very best business credit cards and more. Find more of his writings at The Credit Letter.