Productivity Hacks for the Workplace
If you’re getting home each evening stressed out by the fact you’ve not achieved much, it’s a good idea to sit back and figure out what’s going wrong.
The good news is that a few tweaks here and there could make a big difference to your working day.
Here are 7 useful hacks to get you ahead in the workplace and which you can implement right now:
Prioritise Before You Start
Pick out the most important or tricky tasks for the day and put them at the top of your list.
It’s best to get these out the way first. Why?
First, there’s the sense of achievement you get when something important is finished.
Secondly, we tend to flag a little more as the day draws on, particularly after lunch.
Mornings are when you have the most energy so it’s the best time to handle those bigger jobs. Learning to prioritise better is key to higher levels of productivity.
Do Something Simple to Start
You can turn this on it’s head, however, if it works for you.
Getting some easy wins from the outset might just give you a boost for the rest of the day – you’ve already achieved something and you’re only 15 minutes into the day.
This is not a bad idea but you should still ensure that you’ve got that big task list there in front of you and start working on it as soon as possible.
Some of the biggest dangers to good productivity in the workplace are distractions.
And they’re everywhere.
In the office environment these take many forms: emails, social media, other people with problems or looking to shoot the breeze, other jobs that mysteriously end up on your desk.
One of the main ways we tend to waste time is checking emails.
Here’s how to deal with these:
- Set aside a specific time during the day to do this, perhaps later in the afternoon when your energy levels are a little lower than at the start of the working day.
- A quick check first thing in the morning to see whether something is urgent or not is permissible but don’t spend too much time on it.
- Don’t let any email distract you from the work you need to do that day.
For many employees this can sound like a real non-starter and verge on mutiny. But if you have a lot of work on, then saying no to a new job is perfectly acceptable.
Of course, it’s a lot more difficult when your boss is asking but there are ways to make them aware of the situation without sounding too demonstrative. We advise showing them your workload and asking if they would like you to delay any equally urgent task you have on your list.
The Two Minute Job
If jobs you are given can be done in a pretty short space of time, doing it straight away makes difference. These small jobs don’t then build up into collective headaches later in the day.
The general rule is this: If it takes just a couple of minutes to do, get it out of the way immediately.
If it takes longer, add to your to-do list and schedule a time for getting it done.
What you really want to do is also reduce the amount of time it takes to do a particular task.
If you have a repetitive job that you undertake regularly, then find ways to automate it as much as possible.
This might mean, for example, developing email or document templates so you don’t have to fuss around with formatting.
Batching similar tasks together so that you get into a steady flow can also help.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Yes you need to do a good job but you don’t have to be a perfectionist.
Once a job is finished, move onto the next and don’t get hung up on the small things that actually don’t matter as much as you think.