Productivity is important for business success. High productivity helps companies fully benefit from workforce capacity, keep employees engaged and happy with their work, and helps provide the best service to customers. A productive workforce is fully capable of providing superior customer service and creating the most favorable customer experience. This is a huge business benefit, resulting in a competitive advantage and good reputation, which all translate into business success and profit.
A highly productive business is a successful business that is able to provide incentives to its workforce in the form of good pay, advancement opportunities, and benefits. In its simplest form, productivity means more outputs from fewer inputs, or efficiency of work undertaken and completed.
Tony Robbins explains productivity as a way to measure efficiency. He uses farming as an example, saying how many pumpkins grown per acre is a measure of the farm’s productivity. He further defines productivity as getting the desired results with less time and effort.
Productivity hacks at work are designed to do just that – let you get more done during your working hours than seems possible. If you start your work day feeling overwhelmed or anxious about being able to get through many competing tasks and projects, unsure of yourself and where to begin, you need to look at ways to do things better and faster with quality results.
Robbins reminds us that simply being busy is not the same as being productive. Being productive can result in being less busy with tasks and chaos because it means having things under control and running smoothly. He says to look for those who are productive and in control and learn from them and then make productivity a habit.
If you need productivity hacks that actually work, try the following and see how much more you’ll get done in your workday.
Related Article: Stop Slacking on Your Sofa with These Productivity Hacks for Working from Home
From Emily Price’s Productivity Hacks: 500+ Ways to Accomplish More at Work – – That Actually Work!
Check in regularly with your boss and your team members, whether you work on-site or from home. Make sure you choose a time that is convenient for those you want to check in with, and schedule times to check-in weekly or bi-weekly. That way you don’t let too much time go by without getting and exchanging information you need, building rapport by showing you care about the people you work with and staying connected.
Ditch the To-Do List and Calendar It
Stop writing endless to-do lists. You don’t have to trust yourself to remember everything or write everything down when you put it in your calendar. When you get a new task or project, assign time to work on it and schedule it in your calendar. If it’s an item you don’t want to forget like making a phone call, set it as a reminder. Now not only are you untethered from a pen and paper list, you are more organized within dates and timeframes to stay on track and not forget things throughout your workday and workweek.
Get More Specific
When scheduling work in your calendar, don’t generalize. Be specific about the work you need to do and what needs to be accomplished. For example, don’t schedule time to “work on new project.” Break down the things you need to do in the project and schedule them to be done at specific times, such as “email team about roles for our new project and document it in the project plan,” and “call client contact for stats for new project and share with project team.” Breaking out specifics of a large work item keeps you more organized and allows you to work on specific items rather than just keep an overview scheduled.
The old adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” is actually a great productivity hack at work. You may think you know where everything is when it’s all over your desk or tossed in your desk drawer. But putting and keeping things in designated places not only clears your desktop for a neater, more professional appearance, it also helps you stay organized and center your thoughts about your work tools and resources. For example, keep your manuals and binders together on a shelf or far corner of your desk, your pens and pencils together in a pencil cup, and your computer and desk cleaning materials in your desk drawer.
Plan Your Emails
Don’t just type and hit send on your emails, chancing that you’ll be misunderstood or inadvertently offend someone. While it’s important to respond in a timely manner to bosses, clients, and co-workers, the quality and tone of your email responses is equally important. Instead of just dashing off responses quickly to clear incoming emails, keep a pad of paper and pen handy and take simple notes when considering your response. Jot down your main points, anyone who may need to be copied in the response, and think about how to say what you want in a friendly, professional tone. Then type and send your response.
From Kelli Smith’s 6 Better Productivity Hacks if the “Famous” Ones Never Work for You
Use Your Golden Hour
If you just can’t seem to make Brian Tracy’s “eat the frog” productivity strategy work, doing your high priority task first thing at the start of your work day, put this spin on it. Make sure you work on a high priority task or project each day, but do it in your “golden hour,” whenever that is. If you’re not a morning person, and need some time to get into your most important activities, schedule your high priority task when you are most alert and energize. That might be after lunch for some, it might be at mid-morning after routine organizational tasks are out of the way and plenty coffee has been downed.
Tweak the Technique
If you’ve tried to use the Pomodoro Technique but don’t like stopping after only 25 minutes when you may be just getting warmed up, try tweaking it. The Pomodoro Technique is working in 25 minute time slots with five-minute breaks in between. But if you need a longer stretch for complicated work that needs less interruption, set your work time slot for a longer amount that suits you, say 45 minutes on and five- minute breaks. But be sure to take breaks for clearing your head and refreshing your focus.
Batch the Two-Minute Rule Tasks
Do you use the two-minute rule? That’s taking care of anything that takes two minutes or less to complete as it comes across your desk. Do you have a ton of quick tasks that take your focus away from longer work? Then try batching your two-minute tasks instead of doing them as they come up. Keep a list of quick items that come up and then do them in a batch together at a convenient time, say just before or after lunch, or before you take your coffee break. That way you are still getting them done, just not stopping frequently during other work to do them.
Don’t Do the “Don’t Do” List – Do the “Done” List
The “don’t do” list strategy involves noting things that keep you from getting things done, so you can avoid them or stop them and to protect your productivity. Instead of a don’t do list, try flipping the strategy and keep a done list, noting things as you complete them. Doing this, you’ll more easily see how you are spending your time so you can make adjustments as needed. It also serves as a great self-motivator when you start seeing your accomplishments listed.
Flip the Matrix
If you get stressed working on urgent tasks or projects, maybe the Eisenhower Matrix isn’t right for you. That method involves classifying tasks by importance and urgency and tackling the most urgent first. If that’s too intimidating for you, or if you’re the type who needs a little busy work to get into the more important work, try flipping this strategy. Work on a few easier, less important tasks and get some wins in before digging into your more urgent items. You’ll feel more confident and accomplished and be ready for the tougher jobs.
Start using productivity hacks at work today and see how much better you feel and how much easier it is to accomplish your tasks and goals.
Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.