Friday, 12 September 2014

Top 10 productivity tips for workplace

“I have had a long day, but when I think back, I really don’t know what I accomplished today!!” – Does that sound like you on some days? 

We all have productive days and unproductive days, but some people just seem better at being more productive more often. So, we got our team members together and asked for their top productivity tips for workplace! We got some time-tested responses and some new ideas. Here are our top 10 picks of productivity tips at workplace:

1. Prioritize your tasks – We all know that we can only get so much done in the limited number of hours in a day, yet often we fail to prioritize and realistically allocate time to our tasks. Sometimes, we want to go from highest priority tasks to lower priority ones. Sometimes we may want to get done with a few relatively lower priority tasks sooner just because they would take less time and then get out of your way. Whichever way we prioritize, the key is to take time out to really do this. 

2. Maintain a to-do list – This is an all time tested and favourite productivity tip. Not only does this force us to think of all that we need to accomplish and remember it, but it also gives us the immense joy of striking off items in the list when a task gets done! In our organization, we have mandated that all individuals start their day with a task/to-do list for the day and the managers review the list.

3. Manage your emails better – Emails take up most of the time of working professionals. Managing our email volume and inbox effectively directly equate with higher productivity. Simple things like – flagging emails that we need to follow up on, just opening and saving blank drafts of emails we intend to reply to soon, using email rules to organize and keep emails in the right folders, and sometimes just shutting down the email to focus on work, are some of the most powerful techniques to be more efficient and productive.

4. Do it right the first time – While failure is a great teacher, yet there is nothing better if we can get something right in first go. A little bit extra effort in clearly understanding the task, planning it well and then executing it, goes a long way in ensuring that we make the best possible use of time. Knowing that we did something well is also a great morale booster and helps in increasing our motivation and productivity further.

5. Eliminate distractions – We all know that distractions kill productivity, but eliminating distractions is a task easier said than done. It takes strict discipline, focus and commitment to not pick up the phone every time it rings, or to not check every new email when a notification pops up, or to not start on a task we suddenly remembered. We also find ourselves constantly distracted by social media (Facebook and Whatsapp being the most popular ones in our office) and coworkers who stop by for work or just chitchat. However, if we are able to manage distractions better if not completely eliminate them, we will undoubtedly find a spike in our productivity.

6. Be proactive – Being proactive rather than reactive will ensure that we have better control over our work, ultimately leading to higher productivity. For example, sending information to a customer proactively and on time will prevent a series of follow-ups from him/her which can become a time and productivity drain. Out of several benefits of being proactive, higher productivity is surely among the top ones.

7. Plan and organize – There is no substitute for good planning. Being more organized in your work, properly managing your documentation, following the process rigorously,  go a long way in eliminating unnecessary delays and chaos. As Abraham Lincoln said – “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”

8. Create a good work environment – Our environment clearly affects our moods and productivity. Surrounding ourselves with people who are high energy, proactive, and positive will have a positive impact on us as well. Keeping the physical environment clean and organized will also help with increased productivity. Several people find that keeping photos of loved ones, fresh flowers, aromatic objects on their desk, and keeping the workstation tidy helps get a productivity boost.

9. Communicate clearly, early and often – The power of good communication should never be underestimated. Communication that is unambiguous, on time and frequent will not only boost your own productivity but will also positive impact the productivity of your subordinates. 

10. Break monotony -  Boredom is also a productivity killer. Therefore, do not allow monotony to creep into your work. Find new opportunities, try new things, shake things up in schedule to release productive juices. 

These are our top tips when it comes to being more productive! What are yours?

Credits: Isha, Kumkum, Manmeet, Neeta, Nisha, Punita, Rachna, Richa, Santosh, Sheetal, Subnam, Sumita, Vaibhav

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