How to be More Productive at Work

How to be More Productive at Work

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Productivity is an essential part of any workplace and it’s something you must learn to master if you want to be successful at your job. Productivity means you can be more effective, get more done, and get the most out of your working hours.

From an employment perspective, being productive also ensures that you keep your employer happy, stay on track with targets, and meet things like KPIs. If you have performance-based bonuses, this is an additional incentive to boost your productivity.

If you feel you are lacking in this department and are not making the best use of your time, I detail 10 simple productivity tips for the workplace that anyone can use – whether you are employed within a company or a self-employed entrepreneur.

10 Productivity Tips for the Workplace brand

1. Be punctual

Let’s start with something simple – punctuality. One of my pet peeves is tardiness – unless you have a valid excuse there is no reason not to turn up to work on time!

I typically try and go one step further and arrive 5-10 minutes before my allotted working hours. I can then make sure that I can get the morning pleasantries out of the way with, and that I am ready to work when my hours start, as opposed to arriving dead one time, and not actually starting work until 10-15 minutes after your start time!

2. Use a diary to plan your workload

Using your time effectively is one of the areas that most people fall short when looking at productivity. The easiest way to rectify this is to invest in a diary. A diary is an infinitely useful tool that many people overlook. Some prefer using a book/diary others a tear off desk pad so your tasks are always sat staring back at you on your desk.

Whether you use a real diary and prefer the tactile approach, or a digital diary, they allow you to keep track of your appointments and also make the best use of your time. Aside from entering meetings and voice calls into your diary log, you can make notes of things like emails that need to be sent, and deadlines that have to be met.

3. Communicate effectively

Effective communication is a part of productivity that is often overlooked but it can make a huge difference. For example, when typing an email, make sure that you concentrate properly and proof read what you have written to make sure that it makes sense, and that all the relevant info is included.

Spending a little extra time with your communication means there is no guess work, no back and forth of emails due to a lack of info and your day will run smoother.

4. Don’t work through your breaks

I’ve done this myself many times and it may seem like a good idea at the time, but working through your breaks really isn’t beneficial. Sure, you may get your work done quicker, but constantly working without rest puts an increased strain on your mind and body and it can ultimately reduce the quality of your work and you could make mistakes.

5. Separate work from homelife and have clear boundaries

Many people blur the lines between work and homelife and this can cause issues with your productivity and wellbeing. I try and live by the mantra of when I have finished my work hours, I’ve finished and that’s when home life starts. Having a clear cut off point where you don’t work or talk about work allows your mind to be rejuvenated and it keeps you fresh for the next working day.

6. Don’t try and multi-task

Multi-tasking has historically been seen as a great thing to master but I don’t advocate it to be productive. You can be far more productive simply by giving your entire focus to one task at a time. You will find that by concentrating solely on one task, you will actually get it done quicker, and to a higher standard compared to if you continually flick between several tasks.

7. Have a regular break schedule

I touched earlier on not working through breaks, but do to this, you have to have a regular break schedule. By law you are entitled[1] to at least one uninterrupted 20-minute break if you are 18+ and work more than 6 hours per day. 

Aside from that lunch break, most companies are reasonable and allow you to have coffee breaks in-between too. Ideally, you should split your working day up evenly into blocks and schedule for a morning break before lunch, and an afternoon break before you clock off.

This allows you to maintain focus and give your eyes a break from your computer screen.

8. Don’t be afraid to delegate

There are times when our workload is simply too much and it becomes counterproductive to try and get everything done ourselves. There is no shame in this and in instances like these you have to learn to delegate tasks to others if possible.

If you see one of your coworkers twiddling their thumbs while you are struggling, ask for help! More often than not, they will be more than willing and this will allow you to work more effectively too.

9. Limit coworker and personal interruptions

I get that we can’t just work 100% without any respite and part of working in a team is the social interactions and friendships you make. However, there is a time and a place for those interactions such as your breaks.

During your working hours, you have to try and limit coworker interruptions and set clear boundaries – don’t be afraid to politely tell your friend that you are working on something important and can’t chat right now. 

Similarly, make sure that your family respect your work boundaries and aren’t continually trying to message you or ring you just for a chat during the day.

10. Create time block for specific tasks

Building on the point of using a diary, you can take this one step further and create time blocks for specific tasks. This allows you to use your time efficiently, work towards goals, and keep focused.

For example, your blocks could look like this:

  • 09:00am-10:00am: Reply to emails.
  • 10:00am-10:15am: Phone call with supplier.
  • 10:15am-10:30am: Morning break.
  • 10:30am-11:30am: Video conference with sales team.

This gives you a clear structure, helps you work effectively, and makes sure that you don’t draw out tasks. For example, how many times have you spent ages on a work phone call talking nonsense or just chatting about what you watched on the TV last night? Blocking your time removes distractions like this and forces you to remain disciplined and on track.

Become a Champion of Productivity at Your Workplace Today With These Tips

If you want to excel at your job, lead the way, and become a star employee, you have to master productivity and get the most out of your limited working hours. 

I hope you can do that with the tips I have provided, but the main pointer is to be disciplined and actively monitor your productivity. It’s too easy to fall into bad habits so a little willpower and self-awareness can go a long way in the workplace.

[1] – Rest Breaks at Work – GOV.UK