12 Ways to Improve Productivity at Work
The ultimate reason most of us go to work is to earn money and we often think that job is just a way to make money. However, the truth is that your job not only helps you to grow professionally but also affects your personal life. Even the worst job you ever have could teach you something valuable. It is possible for you to have fun at work and become more successful. You need to improve your confidence and get stronger by learning how to become a better and more productive individual.
Why Job Can be Boring?
The 9 to 6 office job can become monotonous and routine sooner or later. Beginners may look for jumping jobs for better salary, however this is not so easy when you are 40+ age. The good reasons are that you may not get big hike in salary with your new job and there will not be much difference between companies when you are in the same filed. When you need to go to office for doing the same work, it can be easily boring and kill your productive mind.
Other contract scenario could be that you are a workaholic always running behind the schedule to manage your stuff. This is a danger situation that in case of any problem, you are the first to get fired.
Whether you are bored or running behind schedule, here are some tips to make your mind fresh and improve productivity at work.
1. Look for Job Rotation
Are you doing the same job for many years without change? It’s time to think about the future and consider a job rotation. Remember, one of the most serious problems in the workplace is getting trapped into the same routine. This will cause stagnation and affect your productivity in daily work. Always look at six months, one year and two years ahead and plan different topics in pipeline for making you engaged. If you don’t find any new tasks, start discussing with your manager about role change.
2. Do Interested Tasks
Some managers delegate almost all the tasks to the subordinates. Are you started doing any task that your manager throws at you? Stop doing and explain him you want to have a boundary for doing interested tasks. Remember to this at earlier stage to avoid creating conflicts and reacting later.
3. Always Plan Ahead
If you are running with too many tasks, the best way is to plan things ahead. There are two ways of planning – one is at the end of the day for next day or at the start of the day. This depends on your job’s nature and schedule. At any case, write down your list of tasks and start maintaining the to-do list for tracking your schedule.
4. Create Priorities
Next step after planning is to prioritize your tasks. There are many things that you need to manage each day, so you should know how to prioritize. Make priorities and organize them properly. By having priorities, you can manage your time and energy more efficiently. Focus on the most important things and strict to your priority schedule for each day.
5. Follow To-do List
Many of us make the to-do list for few days. However, fail to follow with commitment. Try to avoid disturbances while working like attending phone calls from your friends, reading a pop-up notification, looking at phone, checking messages, etc. When you have a plan and priorities, try to strict to your plan as per the schedule.
6. Learn to Say No
Most of the time you need to work in a team to achieve tasks. The problem with a team is that too often only few people in the team works productively. Others simply delegate tasks to the working people and overload them. Make sure to accept the workload only for your capacity and say no to your colleagues and manager when overloaded. This may seem difficult when you are new at the job, however it is necessary to improve your productivity and manage tasks as per schedule. Below are some of the examples, where you can say no when you have sufficient tasks in your priority:
- Your manager or colleague tries to grab you for un ad-hoc meeting when you are running for another meeting.
- Manager asks you to do some other colleague’s work due to leave or absence.
- You are getting too much workload due to senior people in your team don’t do much.
7. Reduce Meetings, Presentations and Calls
There are three idiots in corporate jobs.
- Infinite meetings – killing your entire day without any concrete actions.
- Document work – endless PowerPoint presentations or working with Excel tables.
- Phone – calls, chats and message notifications diverting your focus.
You will have lot of time when managing these three stuffs effectively. Try to reject unnecessary ad-hoc meetings, reduce time spent on documents and put your phone in do not disturb mode when doing important tasks.
8. Maintain Work Journal
Work journal is like a diary to note down your learnings. Also, you can write down the ideas during discussions otherwise you may tend to forget. This will help you to try out new things or discuss effectively during meetings.
9. Discuss with People
Things are digital and there are very less interaction with colleagues working together. Even for a small task people send mail or chat instead of discussing face to face. Though it depends on the situation, you can always encourage discussion with people when needed. Remember to avoid unnecessary gossip discussions during office hours which will kill your time and productivity.
10. Coordinate with Your Boss
It is also good idea to fix time with your manager to have regular face to face meetings to share your ideas and opinions. Many managers are not a leader by nature, they might have gone up in the ladder due to age or political strength. They discuss with you only during appraisal time without really understanding your tasks in detail. On other hand, they will also be busy with their schedule without time to spend with you. Ensure that your manager is fully aware of your activities by setting up regular interactions weekly or monthly. It is an opportunity for you to go through your projects and priorities. Tell them where you are stuck and what you are thinking. It may not be necessary to bring you managers into the planning process, but it is essential to build up good relationships with people higher up. Show your managers that you are on top of things and you want to be more productive.
11. Take a Break
People work day and night to complete projects, especially in IT industry. However, this is not true that working many hours can solve the problem. Also, don’t try to impress your manager by doing overtime on daily basis. Remember, you can be more productivity by taking appropriate rest and doing your favorite things during leisure time. Working without breaks will degrade your productivity significantly. In fact, working too hard will make you sick and you will end up needing to rest for few days. There are many ways to take a break. You can listen to music with headphone while doing a work or go for a cup of coffee. When you are a sitting job, ensure to wake up from your seat and walk around every few hours to make your body and mind relax.
You can also check job related training if offered by your company or on your own. This will help you to learn new skills and master your work easily.
12. Appreciate You and Others
You may have many problems but remember to take time and acknowledge your achievements so far. This will make yourself happy and help you to continue focusing on the tasks. Similarly, acknowledge others hard work and appreciate them openly to have a better working environment.
You can use professional tools for time management and managing the tasks. There are also simple tools like Outlooks follow-up and sticky notes you can use for improving productivity at work. If everything goes wrong, then the last option is to look for new job in other company. Change in environment and people will inevitably make you engaged and work productively.