We all wish that we could have more hours in a day.
Most of us would use this time to get more done at work, home, school, or spend time with family. But the fact of the matter is that’s just not going to happen. So wouldn’t it be great if you at the very least had some sort of magical formula to being more productive?
Well guess what, you do. This is it.
Here’s how to increase productivity at work:
1. Write Down Your Goals
Sometimes plan’s change and there’s nothing wrong with reevaluating your priorities when necessary. I’m sure your boss has even yelled at you a few times already about the deadline for those social media reports that are due at the end of the week. This of course could throw anyone off of their planned schedule.
But what i’m talking about is having tangible, handwritten goals somewhere in your work area about what you need to get done and when. This serves to both remind you of what needs to be done, and create a sense of urgency because it’s in your face.
My top 4 places for recording tasks you want to get done are:
- Refrigerator. Admit it, you love food. You and your fridge most likely have a very close relationship and the two of you see each other quite frequently. Use that to your advantage and remind yourself of what you need to get done.
- Bathroom mirror. Another part of the house you’re going to visit a lot. Whether it’s taking care of your “business”, cleaning yourself, or even just singing at the top of your lungs while curling your air, putting a reminder or goal on your bathroom mirror is sure to be helpful towards being more productive.
- Computer screen. This is most effective if you’re someone who uses their computing device regularly. But isn’t that literally everyone these days? Throw a sticky note on your computer screen about what important or ongoing tasks that you need to get done the most and you’ll be much more likely to get it done the following day.
- Whiteboard. Whiteboard’s are an essential organization tool and can dramatically increase your production levels. Writing something down physically not only helps you remember it more, but they are portable as well, so it can be placed in a variety of different places to help you stay focused on completing your goal.
2. Turn your phone on silent
I know I shouldn’t have to even say this because I am not your teacher, and you are no longer teenagers in a high school classroom anymore, but it’s true.
Cell phones serve as an easy distraction because of their accessibility. Most of us have developed the habit of needing to check our phones every few minutes (average of 85 times a day). Even though the check ins are short, if you do it enough times in a day it can add up to a lot of wasted time, and break your train of thought.
Each of which kill productivity.
3. Log off social media
This goes for anything that isn’t strictly work related software.
Logging off of social media, email (if not being used to complete the current project or when not expecting any important messages), and your Flappy Bird account will reduce temptation to utilize these platforms because it adds a step to accessing them while working, and gives you one more barrier to go through before making your bad decision.
Take a look at this article on social media and hindering productivity (and then come right back). You’ll thank me later.
4. Be More Efficient
This is important especially if you work in a tech related space, or any other quick paced and constantly evolving environment. There is no reason to be using IE, editing code in notepad, sending out 42 of the same emails to separate team members, or having AOL as your primary email software provider.
Here is some handy efficiency software that will help you on your journey to ultimate productivity:
- Get chrome or firefox. These are the two best web browsers around and will make your workflow much smoother.
- Download sublime text or notepad ++. For all of you programmers, web designers, or anyone who has to get their hands a little dirty with code, these are simple yet effective text editors that will save you a lot of time.
- Make a gmail account and start a google doc or other wiki for collaboration. Google Docs are basically a text editing software (think Microsoft Word) but with the ability to autosave your work instantly, collaborate in real time with others, and it all can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Saving time on each task will reduce frustration and give you more energy to finish the current project and expand to bigger and better things.
5. Reward yourself
This is something that most people miss. Rewarding yourself or incentivizing completion of an assignment is imperative.
It’s pretty well known that money (your paycheck), simply isn’t the end all be all motivator. Promising yourself a nice juicy steak and a beer if you close five clients for the day or for finishing that new landing page, will create overall excitement and make you want to do a better job.
Even something like taking a vacation after six consecutive months at the office will create a higher work ethic because there is a positive end result to look forward to.
Too many people get to a point where they are unhappy at work and get stuck in a cycle of repetitive, unfulfilling days where there is no sense of accomplishment or value. Even if your job does require a lot of the same day to day activities, you can find ways to make it more interesting for yourself.
You’ve just got to get a little creative with how.