In our quest for finding ways to excel in the workplace, we ironically get bogged down. There are endless of websites, blogs and tips promising us “the best” results in helping us be more productive. How can we weed through the nonsense and find the right information to get us closer to our goals? Where’s the solid advice that truly helps us become more efficient in the workplace?
Here are some of the best ways to cut out the distractions and enhance your workplace productivity.
- The Manager Vs. The Maker
A Google employee found a revolutionary way to organize the week. People in tech often think from a managerial perspective from their years of training, but Jeremiah Dillon proves that it’s much better to be a less of a “manager” and more of a “maker”.
Instead of compartmentalizing things in 30-minute or hour increments, organize the week with absolute intention. A “maker” is a person who creates, and creating something from start to finish is the ultimate goal here. Statistics prove committing to something specific for a time and a place, regardless of how long it takes, shows more intentional effort being made.
In fact, studies prove that 30-minute increments, especially if you’re in meetings that break up your workflow, are sometimes more of a distraction than a success.
- Communication is Everything
Communicating effectively is easier said than done. Things run smoothly and quickly when everyone is on the same page, and working together feels like a well-oiled machine. However, we often take on more than we can handle, especially picking up the slack of others, and communication among co-workers isn’t flowing as it should.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but whether you’re working in a team, remotely, or one-on-one, communicating with clarity is essential for productivity. Asking questions, being open and receptive, and having the latest communication technology are just starts to creating strong ties. Communication tools only enhance workplace productivity to new levels.
- Automation is Your Friend
If you find yourself doing repetitive tasks every day around the same time, or even multiple times a day, have you considered automation? There are countless of handy automation tools that free up time in your life. If you’re a social media manager or are trying your hand at marketing a high-volume amount of content, apps like Buffer can help you organize your social media posts accordingly across multiple platforms.
Automation can be used in other ways too. If you get a daily influx of emails that ask the same questions, creating an instant-reply email with frequently asked questions already answered. Automation may seem a little uncomfortable at first as it feels out of your control, but it can be an incredibly beneficial tool towards a more productive day.
- Find Your Most Productive Time
Are you a morning person? Do find yourself excelling in the afternoon or early evening? Each person has their “prime time” for the most effective time to get things done. Once you figure out when that is for you, you can organize your tasks accordingly to best fit your energy levels. Productivity can always be improved by a good amount of sleep and eating well, but in general, people have natural biorhythms (the physical, emotional and intellectual cycles of your body) that reach different levels throughout the day.
- Set Realistic Expectations and Stick To Them
Every week, are you finding that you’re not quite able to reach your goals? You’re obviously a hard worker, so what’s really the issue here? It’s important to have challenging goals to help motivate yourself to reach further. However, if you’re taking on too much, it’s best to set more achievable goals and to-do lists that you can actually finish.
The second part of this equation is the importance of saying “no”. Just because you can take on extra work, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Building boundaries around your workload so you can complete tasks to the best of your abilities is the ultimate purpose here – and shouldn’t be sidelined by other less important things.
This may be easier said than done, especially if a higher up asks you to do something. Saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re failing your team, it means you’re working on something else that is more important at the moment. A good manager knows that overworking a person isn’t good for morale, and will recognize that you declining something isn’t a bad thing.
The workplace is always changing. With new technology and flexible hours, productivity is at an all-time high and yet will always have room for improvement. What are things in your life that need a little adjusting? Is it your weekly schedule or improving communication skills with your co-workers? Working smarter will help motivate your colleagues and yourself to create the best results possible.