When you’re at work, your goal is to be productive and get things done quickly and efficiently. However, distractions are everywhere and it can be incredibly hard to stay on task even when you have a to-do list that’s a mile-long. You don’t have to settle for lack of productivity or embrace the idea of working late just to catch up. You just need to know where to start making improvements. Here are a few tips to help you improve your productivity in the workplace right now.
1. Take Breaks
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually streamline your productivity and help you stay focused on the work you have. If you’re not already, take at least two 10-minute breaks during your shift.
Use this time to let your mind relax. Get up and move and work out the kinks in your shoulders. Think about anything other than work if you can. This will be enough to help you reset your focus.
When you get back to your desk, you’ll be able to approach your work with fresh eyes. Even better, those regular breaks will help you feel less fatigued at the end of the day. This can make you more excited to come back to work in the morning which can, in turn, help you stay motivated and productive throughout the workweek.
2. Invest in an Ergonomic Work Setup
When you’re uncomfortable, it can be incredibly difficult to stay focused on what you’re doing. Instead, you’ll be distracted by those annoying little aches and pains throughout the day. Those small interruptions can completely derail your concentration and keep you from being as productive as you need to be.
Invest in an ergonomic desk, chair and keyboard at a bare minimum. This will help you keep your body in proper alignment so you can stay comfortable and focus on your work rather than making micro-adjustments to accommodate your sore muscles.
If you can, consider getting an adjustable sit-stand desk for your workspace. This way, you’ll be able to change position and keep yourself from getting stiff even if you’re working for long stretches at a time.
3. Embrace Cloud Technology
One of the easiest ways to lose productivity in the workplace is to maintain paper documents and files. Anytime you need access to those files, you have to rummage through them. This takes time and it’s easy for the files you need to go missing or get misplaced.
Instead, embrace cloud technology whenever possible. Store digital copies of those documents in the cloud so you can make them searchable and easy to access whenever you need them. Invest in a high-quality print server software so you can print those documents when you need physical copies of them from your central printer.
It can take time to learn how to use those programs and resources, but be patient with yourself. Once you learn how to use cloud-based technology, it will help you stay more productive while also reducing clutter around your office.
4. Only Schedule Necessary Meetings
Meetings take a lot of time and rarely help you accomplish anything. In fact, the information you need to convey in most meetings can be handled through email. Think about what you’re wanting to accomplish in the meeting and consider whether you’d be better off sending out an email.
If you send an email, everyone will be able to access the information you need to convey quickly and you won’t have to struggle to keep the meeting on track. If a meeting is necessary, by all means, schedule it. However, if you can get away without the meeting, do it.
5. Prioritize Your Task List
When you get to work and have dozens of things that need your attention, your first instinct is to multi-task. While you can still get things done by multitasking, you’re forcing yourself to split your focus. This makes it hard to get things done quickly.
Instead of multi-tasking every day, prioritize your task list and accomplish one thing at a time. If you need to switch gears before a task is finished, that’s fine. Just make sure you focus on one task at a time.
6. Stop Checking Social Media
Unless you’re a social media manager for a client, you don’t need to be refreshing your feed over and over again. Instead of mindlessly scrolling whenever you get bored, set a time limit. Give yourself a few minutes at the beginning of your shift to check your social media feed. Then, get right to work.
You’re free to scroll through social media on your breaks, but leave it at that. If you find yourself wanting to flip back to your social media accounts when you should be working, consider installing a blocker on your browser.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll start to see a dramatic increase in your productivity and efficiency at work.
7. Supplies and Personnel Management
Keeping a record of your supplies is important so you don’t run out of necessary materials. If you don’t have a proper system in place to track these items, you may waste a lot of time and potentially lose business if you’re unable to fill orders on time.
Even if you don’t deal with making a physical product, clear organization is necessary so you can manage employees hours and work as needed. Pay attention to high profile work and urgent matters that take precedence over other jobs that are not as time-sensitive.
Have someone in charge that can see to this organization and distribute work to employees. They should also make sure employees submit the work on time to meet deadlines.
You may also want to keep records of any concerns or complaints submitted by customers so that you can improve upon worker performance and the products themselves to keep customers coming back.
8. Desk Space and Computer
Your employees should keep their desk space and computer organized and clean. A cluttered desk can lead to mistakes and misplaced work.
Computers should also be organized and updated on a regular basis. Software updates are necessary to keep errors low. Clearing out old programs and deleting old files that may be slowing your computer can also have a positive impact on your ability to work quickly.
You should also consider bookmarking important sites and adding shortcuts to the desktop home screen for ease of use.
Employees who take time off work do better work. When they return from vacation, workers feel more motivated and less stressed; therefore they produce better work, and more of it. Yet, if the company culture does not truly promote time off, many employees say the positive effects last less than a week.
To create a work environment that maximizes employee time off, give workers adequate resources to cover their tasks during their absence. Leadership should set a good example by using their own vacation time.
You cannot know every little thing that is going on, especially with a growing company. Constantly solicit honest feedback from your customers, front-line employees, managers and investors. When you change a process, evaluate the results. Did the change truly improve the situation? If so, can other processes benefit from a similar makeover? If not, should you go back to the old way of doing things, or explore a third possibility?
Evaluate your employees regularly as well. Those who consistently meet goals in a timely fashion should be rewarded; those who do not may need to be retrained or let go.