When you’re running a business or managing a team, responsibilities tend to pile up until you feel that you don’t have nearly enough time to finish everything you’ve set out to do. The last thing you want is to put in overtime during an already hectic week. This means you have to make the most of what time you do have, and to do that, you need to reevaluate your current workplace strategies.
How to Improve Productivity at Work (And Increase Efficiency)
Effective time management is your main tool toward maximizing productivity. Be it finding ways to double task or taking care not to stretch that lunch hour or properly distributing every responsibility amongst your team, making the most out of each minute is the key to getting everything on your To-Do List done and done well.
Office Productivity Tips to Help You Maintain Your Focus Throughout the Day
If you’re stuck in the same old routine with no positive gain, try a few of these strategies and discover which methods work for you.
1. Prioritize Tasks
Many businesses waste precious time by completing tasks in the order they were received rather than focusing on projects they are already prepared for. Just because a customer submitted their order first doesn’t mean it needs your immediate attention. Rush orders or tasks that you already have the materials for can be completed as you wait on whatever else you need for the first order.
2. Use the 2-Minute Rule
Similar to the first tip, the two-minute rule involves completing a task that will take you only two minutes. If you complete it when it first comes to mind, you save time later by not having to recall such a minor assignment.
3. Time Chunk
Depending on how tedious your tasks are, consider setting a specific time frame for each. This way, if one project runs a little longer than expected, you can take a break from that one and move on to something new, giving your mind a chance to refresh.
4. Monitor Your Multitasking
Multitasking can be either an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the circumstance. Some team members might work faster with more on their plate while others need to give their full attention to one task. Gauge your team’s work style and consider when it might be beneficial to broaden your team’s load or lessen it.
5. Take a Break
Sometimes, working longer does mean working harder—because you begin to lose focus on what you’re doing and strain your brain to compensate. Even if you take a five every hour, a little recuperation will do wonders for your focus.
If you’re backlogged, clear your schedule of meetings, limit your time online, and do whatever it takes to keep your full attention on your To-Do List. Hearing your email ping every time you receive a message will only distract you.
7. Download Organization Apps
Tasks such as clearing your email and organizing your stack of Post-Its can be tedious and time-consuming. Apps such as Boomerang and Evernote do just this, so that’s one less thing to keep track of yourself.
8. Maintain a Healthy Diet
No lie—what you eat affects your productivity. That fast food delivery that seems oh-so convenient during your hectic workday? Unfortunately, all that fat and grease just makes you sluggish and more ready for a nap than the next task.
9. Exercise Regularly
Health doesn’t stop at your diet. Routine exercise reduces stress and invigorates you for the day ahead. Say goodbye to that 2 o’clock crash time!
10. Escape the Office
Regular breaks and an apple a day are all well and good, but give yourself a reprieve from staring at the same four walls. Take a walk outside for your break or go to the nearest deli to eat your heart-healthy sandwich. Staying cooped up will only make you sick of the office.
11. Organize Your Space
If you have a lot to do, it’s safe to say that cleanliness falls beneath completeness in your priorities. However, an organized workspace reduces stress—and allows you to find whatever paperwork you might need that much faster. Even if you’re rushing between jobs, take a moment to tidy up; you’ll thank yourself later.
12. Listen to Music
Blocking out the rest of the world will keep you from being lured away from your project and into a co-worker’s conversation. Maybe a white noise playlist would benefit you, helping clear your mind while you work.
13. Regularly Meet with Your Team
Whether you do a group check-in early in the morning or hold a few one-on-one sessions, connecting with your team and ensuring that you’re on the same page will keep everyone set on the goal ahead.
Simply diving into the nitty-gritty of your daily routine might not be the best course of action if you have a lot on your plate. Some tasks require you to take a moment and evaluate your best strategy. If that involves putting one project on hold in favor of another, don’t be afraid to take a step back. Remind yourself: it will get done rather than I must complete it now.