Tips to Improve Productivity in the Workplace
Integrating productivity tips/hacks into business operations will promote employee efficiency and accountability.
What Does it Mean to be Productive?
To properly implement a productivity hack into every day business operations, we must understand the definitions of efficiency and productivity. Efficiency is defined as a system that uses the least amount of input to produce the largest amount of output. Productivity is defined as the process of being efficient, productivity is efficiency in practice.
In the workplace context, productivity is the process of optimally utilizing available resources to create the highest amount of quality products or services possible. Resources encompass a large variety of concepts, ranging from labor to inventory. Likewise, depending on your business, your product or service is defined as the items or actions that produce your profits.
In some industries, profit is obtained through a combination of services and products, for example, the restaurant industry. Service is provided by a range of employees, from hostesses to line cooks.
Your product could be anything from fried eggs to lobster bisque. With so many potential different resources, services, and products to consider in each business, it is helpful to analyze and implement universal productivity tips/hacks.
Tips/Hacks to Improve Your Workplace Productivity
Working smarter, not harder will enhance productivity for not only yourself but also your entire workforce. Below are some common workplace productivity tips/hacks-
1. Track time- Research demonstrates only about 17% of people can correctly estimate the passage of time. A productivity hack to remedy this would be investing in and utilizing a time tracking application for your business.
Time tracking apps will log employee productivity, helping you better understand how long tasks take to perform and avoid wasting time. Analyzing this data will bring to surface areas that need improvement and direct your attention to them.
2. Establish deadlines- Deadlines are an essential aspect of time management. More often than not, the length of time spent on a specific task depends on how much time we allocate to complete it.
Deadlines produce just enough stress and pressure to get work done. Remember, only realistic deadlines are effective in promoting motivation and efficiency.
3. Prioritize tasks- Categorize to-dos list by task urgency to help keep organized, accountable, and get work done. Checking off tasks when you complete them will provide a sense of accomplishment and direction.
Stay focused on one thing at a time instead of attempting to multitask or frantically jumping between tasks. Time productivity is maximized if when you get started on your to do list you focus on the first thing that is the most important task.
Time spent on goal setting and prioritizing will help you stay focused and avoid wasting time. Streamlining your to-do list will increase both your efficiency, productivity, and morale.
4. Reconsider meetings- Research estimates the average office worker spends over 31 hours a month attending unproductive meetings. If the information you need to reiterate or negotiate with your team members can be done in an email format, phone conference or video conference, consider doing so as an alternative
5. Commute consciously- Remote work is becoming more and more common. By decreasing unnecessary commutes and allowing your employees the ability to work from home when appropriate, you will save valuable resources.
Time spent commuting is wasting time everyday that could be spent on important work. If your employees do not really need to be at the office to work best, eliminating their commute is a great way to to amp work productivity and employee happiness levels.
If you insist on commuting or must do so, then use that time productively. If you take public transportation take advantage of the time to check email notification backlogs or review your calendar. If you drive, use the time for goal setting or brainstorming important task management strategies.
6. Understand biology- Ultradian rhythms are one hundred twenty minute biological intervals experienced throughout the day. During the first ninety minutes, mental energy peaks. During the remaining thirty minutes, mental energy dips. In order to take full advantage of your ultradian rhythms, you would work in ninety minute intervals, followed by thirty minutes of rest.
Many may find it challenging or not realistic to work consecutively for ninety minutes as most people only stay focused for twenty to twenty five minutes before their attention wanders. Work with your attention span instead of against it with the Pomodoro technique.
The Pomodoro technique designates twenty five minutes of work followed by five minute rests within your ninety minute sprints. Understanding and working within your biological rhythms will benefit workplace efficiency and productivity.
7. Avoid perfectionism- Perfectionism does not necessarily equate to productivity. Excessive reviewing and revising exhausts your most valuable resources- time and energy.
Produce good quality work within established deadlines rather than a more perfect product much too late. By working smarter and not harder and implementing various productivity tips and hacks, you are well on your way to improving your business's productivity!