An omnipresent question across organizations is how to increase productivity at work. It is probably the only consistent question since ages. In the rapid pace of development with an upward trend in exposure to technologies via the internet and its accessibility through smart phones, it is an even more pertinent question to answer.
Before we proceed to answer this important question, let’s get to the root of what is productivity in the first place. In simple terms, productivity is the process/method/tool used to make a person/situation/scenario more efficient. So productivity and efficiency are directly proportional. There is really no argument about whether to be productive or not! It’s a moot point!
Having said that, let’s now focus our energies on improving workplace productivity. It is a very important aspect, for, what else can be more important at workplace than productivity! Managers across board think through tactics for productivity improvement. Here are a few ways to answer the how to be productive at work question.
Office space communication is all about emails, memos, to-do lists, meetings and minutes of meetings. Given each of these channels, it is important to enhance the quality of the communication for increased productivity.Keeping the meetings short and emails brief would help in the long run. A definite outcome is productivity improvement along with a byfall of improved relations at work which again influence productivity positively. To achieve such work culture, the superiors have to take necessary trainings and set an example by lead.
Designing a list of tasks to be accomplished in a day is an art in itself. Just the way a goal setting exercise has to be both long term and short term, a task setting exercise has to feed into those goals. This is a sure shot way to improve workplace productivity as each task is aimed towards a result either in the immediate future or later.
Working with such a methodology has the benefit of avoiding panic or deadline rush. Another major benefit is the attention to detail given to each task. Since there is enough time, quality of a task is not compromised and so overall efficiency improves.
There are always going to be mundane, routine, and repetitive tasks in any kind of job. Chances are these tasks are done everyday, for instance checking and responding to regular emails, setting calendar requests, tasks that fall in the line of duty of regular actions. The best way to manage these tasks to ensure productivity improvement is to assign a time for them. Another method is to schedule these tasks right at the beginning of a work day so it sets the ball rolling for other team members who are involved in the tasks. The point is to identify a time slot in your everyday work life for routine and repetitive tasks. Doing so will ensure increased productivity for sure at the same time since there is a discipline involved, your mind is turned to do these tasks at a particular time. You will notice that the time you take on these tasks gradually reduces over a period of time.
Goals are definite results that one wants to achieve at the end of a specific time period. Planning goals is an exercise that involves a result for sure at the same time the ability and the effort needed to accomplish the result. An efficient manager ideally should consider the SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats) associated with his team before plunging into goal planning. He/she should be able to balance between organizational goals and team abilities to ensure goals are set with realistic and well defined expectations with respect to effort needed. This will ensure stress is eliminated from workplace which will positively impact workplace productivity.
According to many research reports on the abilities of a human mind, one fact that is proven is that a human mind is capable of effectively focusing on a particular activity for not more than 30 to 45 minutes. This is the best time period for increased productivity. A workplace should be open to the idea of cognitive breaks in the form of a quick walk, a snack break, dedicated space for quick exercise, breathing exercises, meditation and the likes. Such breaks enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of employees.
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