In order to improve productivity at work, you don’t need to work for long hours, overtime & all those hard works.
As per Wikipedia: Productivity describes the various measures of the efficiency of production. But, let us skip this bookish definition and break it down into something more comprehensible.
Productivity in case of humans can be defined as the transformation of the entire potential of an individual into actionable activities that bears results. The word we are stressing here is RESULT! It is the vital part of being more productive.
Don’t believe in the idea that since you are putting in more hours then you are also delivering more work. This view, though very popular and highly valued by bosses is actually the complete opposite of the real meaning of the word ‘productive’.
Employees who spend more hours at the office are not efficient but inefficient. There is no way making office your home a good sign and it is definitely not a sign of more work being done.
Rather than praising these workers and using them as an example to other employees, the boss should seriously look into the matter of why the person is taking so much time?
The productive one
Do you want to know what efficiency at work looks like? Read on about Christiano.
Christiano works for a big multinational company. His office timings are from 10 am to 7 pm. He reaches a tad bit late every day but leaves the office half an hour early.
All his colleagues keep on gossiping about how he is so casual about his work and criticizes his behavior of arriving late but still leaving early from work.
This constant practice of his was annoying to other employees because they made it a point to leave the office an hour late rather than leaving at the official closing time. Brimming with curiosity on how Christiano was able to carry on this practice without being fired led some eager colleagues to inquire about it from Christiano’s boss.
Christiano’s boss Prashant laughed at their perceptions about Christiano and explained to them that an employee like Christiano is not a liability but an asset to the company because he is super efficient. In fact, Christiano is so efficient that he is able to complete multiple work assignments before the designated deadlines and as a result ends up leaving the office before everyone.
If you have become inspired by Christiano’s story and want to be more efficient and productive like him, you have to first start with self-analyzing to recognize the hurdles which are proving a hindrance in your path.
Some common productivity speed breakers are
- A huge load of emails, instant messages and phone calls: The best practice one should follow here is to unsubscribe from any unnecessary messages/emails and deleting the ones which are unimportant and pose as distractions. Being focussed is quite important in order to improve productivity at work.
- Waiting for someone else’s nod or inputs for proceeding with the project: The more intelligent thing to do in this case is to go on with the project by yourself and later fill-up the gaps which require the input of seniors. In this way, you will be able to stick to the specified deadline.
- A lack of direction: Starting an assignment and going about it smoothly requires the knowledge on the direction where you want to take the project. A lack of knowledge on how to proceed and what to work on is a major bump on the road to being productive.
- No estimation of time being spent on different tasks: If you have no idea on how much time to allow for specific tasks in a project and just going with the work without any idea on how much time it will take to complete each task, then Trust me, you are going to be seriously screwed buddy when the deadline draws closer.
Recognizing the hurdles and eliminating them is an important part of the journey to improve productivity at work. Plus, getting rid of these culprits will free up the space to be filled with good practices that make you super efficient.
Tricks to improve productivity at work
Let’s now come down to the rules that are going to give your career the much-needed boost and who knows may even help you land that dream promotion of yours!
- Have a kick-ass start to your mornings: Becoming more productive is not entirely associated with being good at work. It also includes having a good mental and physical state to deliver your best. So try to start your morning with a little exercise and healthy food which leaves you feeling energetic throughout the day.
- Develop a strategy: Remember the old days when you used to make strategies on how to pass the exam and get good marks? Put your strategy making skills to good use again and draw out a plan and system to handle the work. This will make everything so much easier for you.
- Make a priority list: An office doesn’t have the ideal scenario where the projects will come one after the other and will be given only after completion of the first one. The reality is you are going to be swarmed with work and it will serve you well if you prioritize the work on the basis of which requires your immediate attention, which is the most important and which are the tasks which you can leave for later.
- Allot a specific time for emails: Emails are a major productivity killer. Do not continuously keep on checking them. They will cause distractions and destroy your flow of doing work. Allot a specific time during the day to check them and if an email requires you to reply more than once, it’s better to continue the conversation through the phone.
- Adopt some good habits: Most of the time the barrier that separates you from being your most productive self is laziness. See to it that laziness and procrastination do not rain on your parade.
- Assign self-imposed deadlines: There should be two deadlines: The Company’s deadline and your deadline. Imposing self-assigned deadline will give you an idea on how much time to assign to different parts of the work and will help you to determine how much time you require to complete the whole project. Since a bad deadline management can hurt your business, you should be always careful about that.
- Ask questions: Always, always ask questions! Until you are clear on what your boss wants from the project and until you are absolutely sure about your role in it.
- Do not multitask: Unlike popular belief, multitasking may not speed up your work but may lead you to spend more time on it if it ends up being rejected for poor quality. Do not take this risk and adopt the approach of working on one task at a time.
- Take a break: One of the most important points for increasing productivity is taking regular breaks. Taking breaks gives your brain the much need time to relax. With a relaxed and rejuvenated mind, you will be able to handle work more efficiently.
- Do not overload on work: Do not bite off more than you can chew, this may lead to a massive failure on all the tasks you take the responsibility for.
- Learn the art of delegation: Remember it’s not always your duty to do all the work. If it can be done by your subordinates pass on the work and choose to focus on the tasks which require your personal expertise.
- Track your progress: Tracking your progress will help you to see your progress and will motivate you. It will also make you recognize which practices work for you and which you should avoid.
Hard work doesn’t necessarily lead to a better production. It is the smart work that leads to startup success. No matter How many sleepless nights you have spent on a project. If you were not productive in those sleepless nights, it’s not worth it. And that’s the reason you should focus to improve productivity at work rather than giving long hours and overtime.
So, these were some of the tricks to improve productivity at work that has worked for us.
Let us know what you do to increase your productivity at work in the comment section below.
Credit: Sujata Deb