Productivity Tips: How to Be More Productive
No matter what you do or where you work, everyone is looking for new ways to increase their productivity in their job. But taking excessive amounts of caffeine and making a daily to-do list won't bring you any closer to the highest productivity levels today.
Before you read an additional article on how to be more productive in your work, remember to be kind to yourself and embrace your mistakes. One does not become more productive overnight. A good guess would be that you have spent years cultivating your work habits, both the good and the bad. Do not expect change to happen immediately. So, buckle up and trust the process.
What is productivity?
Productivity is the measure of efficiency of an individual completing a task. It is often assumed that productivity means completing more tasks each day. Wrong assumption. Productivity is the ability to get important tasks done every day. No matter your daily tasks, there are only a couple of things that are deemed important. To be productive is to maintain a steady, average speed on a few selected things, not to attain maximum speed on everything.
How to be productive
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing your productivity in the workplace. However, the following productivity hacks can be adapted to match your personality and your style of working.
1. Come up with a reasonable to-do list
Important tip: do not overwhelm yourself. Most to-do lists fail because people make them too complicated. Only set realistic to-do lists and balance the time allocated for the various tasks. This will prevent you from turning your to-do list into a procrastination list.
2. Set small, achievable goals from your to-do list
When embarking on a new project, the scope may seem too broad. However, when you break down the larger tasks into smaller ones, you will be amazed by how much you can accomplish and how each task builds upon the next.
3. Do one task at a time
We have just highlighted the importance of breaking down big projects into small achievable tasks. We are now going to see how we can focus on one goal at a time. From your to-do list, set the goals in order of priority. But how does your company determine which tasks are most important? Ultimately, this decision rests on your team, but you can also review your KPIs to determine which tasks should be given top priority. The 90-90-1 rule works perfectly if you are in charge of a team.
4. Avoid multitasking
Working on multiple tasks at a time reduces your productivity level. The constant switching of tasks makes the brain tired. What is more, you are not being productive when multitasking; you are just skimming through the surface of every task.
5. Delegate and follow-up
While it's one thing to assign tasks to your team, it's a totally different thing to make sure that the work is done as expected. You can use collaboration tools and software such as Workzone to assist you with this. Nonetheless, it is important for you to do a personal follow-up on the assigned projects.
6. Have a proactive dashboard
This idea was initially proposed by Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo. The main goal of this approach is to record inputs. If you know that a particular task has a great impact on your business and requires to be worked on constantly, list the frequency to do the task every week.
7. Apply the 2-pizza rule for meetings
Meetings can slow down your momentum, especially if you are dealing with a large group of, say 30. The 2-pizza rule suggests that if you have to order more than two pizzas to feed the group you are meeting with, then the group is too big. Having a small group leads to the generation of better ideas, thus increasing productivity.
8. Know and understand your work patterns
This may actually be the key to being more productive. Learn from yourself. Evaluate your work patterns to know where you are or are not being more productive and improve on your weak areas.
So, how can you boost your productivity? By now, you have understood that a sure-fire way to increase productivity does not exist. Boosting productivity is a personalized exercise and most probably not all the above tips will work well for you or your team. However, the secret to increasing your productivity is to discover a system that works well for you and stick with it.