It’s never too late to become more productive in your role, or for your business altogether. Sometimes you just need to find the motivation or that initial starting point.
By becoming a consistent challenger of the status quo you will soon learn how simple changes can help you become more productive. From optimizing your workflow, to taking control of meetings, to increased productivity is just 10 simple steps away:
Turn off email alerts!
Email is the single biggest distraction in your day and is a big productivity and time killer. Emails come in and the alerts ring, dragging you way from the task you were working on. It’s human nature, the alert rings and we immediately want to help and respond.
You will be amazed at how much time you get back and the productivity gains that will be achieved by simply turning off email alerts and addressing emails at two or three set intervals during the day.
Stop the email cc’s
Explain to those around you that you should only be cc’d in an email if you are part of a decision making process. If you are not, then you don’t need to be included. Simple right? Well get to it.
Include time for self improvement and ‘downtime’ in your day
This is one of the golden rules to allowing you and your business to be more productive in the day. Stepping away from work for even 10 minutes a day will drastically improve your focus, energy, and even your mood. It also supports a much-needed “working on the business and not in the business” focus.
Time management experts recommend that when planning your day, you should factor in some time for self improvement, networking and even going for a quick walk to clear your head. Productivity rises when our brains aren’t completely clogged and our days include some respite from tasks and ‘to do’ lists.
Many 21st century employees feel so run off their feet that they don’t take meal breaks. This is counter productive because of the impact it has on concentration and efficiency. Make time to eat lunch, or grab a quick snack to ensure you’re fully charged for the day.
Lunch can also be used as networking opportunity to catch up with people who you want to nurture a relationship with – client or otherwise.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is known to eat lunch with random employees, which offers him insights into the company he might not otherwise be exposed to, and also helps his staff see him as someone they can relate to, rather than their superior.
Use music to get everyone into the zone
This one’s a bit controversial. For every person who claims they can’t work without music, there’s another for whom music is a complete distraction! According to a recent Forbes study, those who listened to music at work completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood, concentration, and efficiency.
Many people feel they work better with music and can even feel uncomfortable with silence. If you’re one of these people, look to putting in some earbuds from time to time to really get into the zone and get work done.
Cloud-based software allows multiple team members to work on one project simultaneously. Applications such as Google Drive can allow your team to work on excel sheets, word documents, or even presentations to negate the need for numerous emails to produce a joint project.
Time savings are a natural result.
Have better meetings
Long and inefficiently-run meetings are a huge productivity killer. According to one managerial communication expert, efficient meetings have clear objectives, a selective list of attendees and an agenda that features time limits for each item.
Every meeting should have a clear agenda before you walk in, and set of clear outcomes after you walk out! Another trend coming from the tech world into mainstream business is “stand up” meetings. From the get-go, a stand up meeting is all about quick, efficient decision-making.
Make more of your activities measurable.
The Apple Watch and other wearables are transforming the way we measure our achievements, from the number of steps we take each day to the number of hours we spend standing and sitting. Many of us now use this data as motivation to improve.
Similar tools exist for productivity. Applications such as Rescue Time and TSheets, or Function Point (what we use) track how much time you spend on activities such as answering email. Having an idea of how long you spend on certain tasks could help you find lost moments, change your habits and help you redirect time to priorities.
Work across platforms and devices
This is a great way to ensure you always take advantage of those bursts of creativity and light bulb moments that can take your work from good to outstanding.
Having fun, making some noise and laughing out loud not only makes everyone feel good and create company culture, but also helps you be more productive in the long run.