If staying productive at work is becoming a challenge, you may need to figure out how to increase efficiency in the workplace. What are you doing wrong? What should you be doing instead? Read on for six tips that will help you get over this hurdle.
Everybody needs help from time to time. In order to ask for and accept help, you need to trust other people. It’s important to find employees or co-workers who you trust to help you out with certain tasks. Delegate tasks to them so that you can focus on other responsibilities. Make sure that you give them everything they’ll need to complete the task. Also, remember that most people aren’t going to volunteer to help you with your work. You’ll need to get comfortable with asking people to take on certain tasks.
Don’t Attend Every Meeting
While some meetings will be important, others will be a big waste of time. Make sure that you’re only holding and attending necessary meetings. Desk time is highly valuable in the workplace. The next time you’re tempted to call a meeting, ask yourself if the issue is something that can be worked out one-on-one or if an e-mail blast will be just as effective (and far less time-consuming).
Take Plenty of Breaks
Taking breaks may sound counterintuitive at first, but it’s actually quite helpful. Taking breaks throughout the day can actually improve your concentration. If you have an exceptionally long task, make it a point to schedule breaks throughout. If you have several small tasks to get through, set a timer and take a break every so often. Some people like to take a five-minute break every 20 minutes, while others prefer to power through two hours of work and then take 15 minutes off. Do whatever seems to work best for you. The goal is to give your mind a breather without interrupting your work flow.
Do Small Tasks Right Away
If there’s a task that can be done in two minutes or less, get it out of the way. Answer that e-mail, listen to that voicemail, file that paper, etc. Whether you start your morning by getting all your minor tasks out of the way or you take two minutes here and there throughout your day to get tiny things done, make sure to fill up every second you have with something worthwhile. Also, if a tasks comes across your desk and it will take two minutes to handle, get it over with instead of pushing it off until later.
Manage Email and Phone Communications
One of the biggest productivity inhibitors at work is the constant stream of distractions. Put your phone on silent while working on urgent matters, turn off e-mail alerts and vow to not check your voicemail until a pre-designated time. You’ll have more time to be proactive when you’re not being reactive.
Forget about the Clock
It is important to have your day planned out to the best of your ability. If you have to take a meeting scheduled, be sure to have your scheduling software alert you when it is time for the meeting. This will enable you to go about your work day focused on your tasks without you having to check the clock. When you don’t keep checking the clock, your productivity increases and you are able to get more accomplished.