No matter how much work you have to do, there are still only 24 hours in a day. Too many of us are spending too many of those hours working. Being conscious of how we work, and working smarter rather than longer, will increase productivity and potentially reduce working hours. But where do we start? Abi Gold offers some helpful tips to improve your productivity at work for 2014…
Examine your behaviours
Cast your analytical eyes over the past working week.
What do you notice about your routines, your practices and your approach to work?
How organised are you?
Do you often arrive early and leave late?
Are you taking on too much?
Look at the state of your desk, your office and your diary for the answers.
You’ll be able to recognise patterns in your working practices that help identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will assist you in forming an opinion about what you need to do differently.
Maximise your potential
Experiment with these helpful time-management tips to improve productivity at work for 2014 – so you can enjoy more down time.
- Start each day by writing a list of all the things you have to achieve and highlight priority tasks. Then draft a plan for the day, giving each item a deadline or time limit to help you focus.
- Delegate wherever possible. Consult your list and identify tasks that do not require your input in particular. Consider the skill sets and roles of others who may be appropriate for those tasks and utilise support staff wherever possible.
- Create a working environment that is conducive to focus, calm and order. Declutter your desk, your office and your computer. Perhaps even invest in a ‘Do not disturb’ sign.
- Whenever possible enhance concentration by removing or turning off all visual and audible distractions. Set aside anything that’s not for immediate use and try to predict and head-off potential interruptions before beginning a task.
- Establish working routines and maintain them. Include frequent breaks, allocate time slots for certain regular activities and turn work into a habit. Create personal work rules and keep them sacrosanct.
- Learn to gauge your own productivity. Identify when you have reached your limit and act accordingly and immediately. Eat regularly, stay hydrated and take power naps if need be. Be vigilant for indicators of stress and recognise and take advantage of your most productive time of the day.
A new year is the perfect time to examine your habits and make some real changes. Try these productivity tips to better manage your workload and enjoy a more balanced 2014.