5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity & Maximise Your Time
Most of us would like to be more productive so that we can maximise our time and increase our output in everything we do. The question is, how do we achieve this?
There is no secret to success. Productivity stems from conscious efforts of intelligent planning and delegating, coupled with strategic time management skills. The goal is to work smarter, not harder.
Here are 5 actionable tips to help boost your productivity, so that you can achieve more in less time.
- CHANGE THE WAY YOU EMAIL
Emails can be the biggest culprit to productivity. If you’re constantly distracted from a dedicated task because another email has popped up, it’s time to take action. Establish an organised and systematic email filing system, so that you can sort emails with ease. Try to read emails once and determine an immediate action – file, delegate, delete or reply. Unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters and other irrelevant subscriptions to further minimise distractions. Draft up response templates for those generic emails you send on a regular basis. Finally, if your industry and boss permits this, opt to check emails at selected times of the day and set up automatic responses to manage expectations of reply times.
- SAY NO TO NOTIFICATIONS
Guilty of checking your phone at work every time a Facebook message pings? Do a trial one day and use the Checky app to find out exactly how often you’re using your smartphone. You may not think twice about that one or two minutes lost, but for every distraction, it can take double the time to refocus on the task you were working on. To counteract this, switch off your smartphone notifications (people will call you if there are emergencies). If self-control is an issue, put your phone away in your drawer or even leave it with a colleague. Similarly, don’t sign in to any of your social media platforms on your work computer. Relax – those messages will still be there after work.
- DITCH MULTITASKING, EMBRACE MONOTASKING
We often associate multitasking as key to getting more done however, that’s not necessarily true. When we try to do several tasks simultaneously, we are essentially overloading our brain and fragmenting attention. Not only is this cognitively exhausting, it can also lead to reduced mental performance and increased risk of error. Instead of multitasking, embrace the art of monotasking instead. Do one thing at a time, give it your full and undivided attention and do it well. Not only will you be more efficient, the quality of your work may also increase.
- ADJUST YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Sometimes it’s the environment we work in that’s fostering all the distractions. Do an analysis on what’s hindering your productivity in your current environment and come up with potential solutions to improve or adjust. For example, if the messy desk and snacks on your work desk prove to be the culprit, do a spring clean and remove all food from sight. If your office has a hot desking arrangement, try switching tables every day to keep things different, or move to the quiet corner where you can’t get distracted.
- OUTSOURCE TO CREATE MORE TIME
Being productive doesn’t necessarily equate to more time. If you can’t remember the last time you left the office at 5 or had some quality ‘me time’, it’s time to seek out a helping hand. From a professional perspective, talk to your manager about your work load or learn to better delegate to your juniors. From a personal perspective, look to online marketplaces and apps like Airtasker to outsource menial tasks and household chores. Instead of exhausting your precious free time on the weekends cleaning the house and doing the gardening, you could be working on your side project or having brunch with friends.