Whether you are an employee trying to discipline yourself to make your daily routine more constructive or you are an employer seeking to motivate your staff and make them more productive, the following tips should come in handy to gain some productivity boost. This article discusses the most common ways in which employees, as well as those who are self-employed, get distracted and getting far less done as a result.
Minimise Personal Email and Social Media Use
Checking things like email and Facebook have very much become second nature, and while it usually only takes a matter of second s to see if you have any new messages, it can actually become very time-consuming overall. If you are in the habit of checking your email or social networks every few minutes, as many of us are, your productivity will most likely be down to a minimum. Instead, focus on the list of things to do for the day. In employment, many workers waste even more time on such tasks. As an employer, it can be a good idea to enforce a strict policy on when and how often staff are allowed to use the office computers for non-work-related tasks.
Clear up Your Desk
A cluttered desk is hardly very conducive to productivity. When you have to struggle to find things like important correspondence or other critical things that you need to tend to quickly, your daily work routine can become a lot more stressful and a lot less productive. Clear up your desk by throwing away or archiving documents and letters which you no longer need. Place the important things which you need to deal with in the next day or two in a paper tray in an easily accessible location. It is also important to keep your digital life organized if using the computer and Internet accounts for a considerable part of your daily routine.
A lot of people say that leaning how to multitask effectively leads to greatly improved productivity. In reality, however, multitasking tends to make people much more error-prone, and it can lead to higher levels of stress. Instead, it is far more efficient to focus on one task at a time in order to get it done quickly and accurately. Do not try to juggle multiple tasks at once, even if you are in a rush to get as much done as possible. Employers should also avoid encouraging their staff to multitask.
Improve Your Ergonomics
A comfortable workplace, and in particular, a comfortable chair, is very important for your health and productivity. On the other hand, many people can end up being too comfortable. This can increase the temptation to procrastinate when there are important things to be done. If you are a freelancer, or an employee seeking to fit out your office, be sure to invest the right amount of money on creating a comfortable, yet appropriate workspace that is conducive to productivity. Ergonomic keyboards, wrist-rests and large, clear monitors can also make a big difference towards a productive day.
Minimise Other Distractions
Aside from things like email and social media, there are plenty of other distractions which interrupt most of us during our daily routines. In the highly connected world we live in, many of us receive constant updates from everything from Facebook accounts to our news feed subscriptions on our smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. While at work, avoid these distractions by shutting off such notifications until you are done. Only keep pay heed to notifications which are relevant to your work.
Trying to Do More than You Can
We all have our limits, and many of us have unrealistic expectations or goals on occasion. While creating a to-do list to start off your work day can be very useful for effectively planning your tasks, trying to get too much done will only lead to stress and rushing work. This leads to a lower level of productivity and quality of work. Instead, keep your expectations realistic — it is much better to get less work done if it is of high quality than supposedly getting lots done with plenty of mistakes made along the way.