7 Productivity Improvement Tips
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Thanks to the growing competitiveness of our workplaces, being productive is more important than ever. But according to Gallup, a lack of productivity by disengaged workers cost the U.S economy somewhere between $450-550 billion in 2013.
Clearly, there is a lot of room for productivity improvement. It can be a tough thing to correct, though, as the reasons for a loss in productivity are both company-wide and individual in scale.
Below, we’ve made a list of tips to improve your company’s overall productivity, as well as improve your personal productivity, both in and out of work.
1. Integrate Your Technology
If you want to increase your productivity, you should do this on a personal and a company-wide scale.
Technology integration means you should buy all of your products from the same brand so that your phone, laptop, desktop, and all of your coworkers’ items work together seamlessly.
This way, you never have to waste any time trying to figure out to get your phone’s messages onto your desktop or how to share your Mac’s files with your coworker’s Windows computer.
Workplaces often spend so much time just figuring out how to get stuff to work and it’s a waste. Integrate your technology and you’ll never have to call your IT departmentagain.
This sounds counter-intuitive, but putting off large-scale, difficult to solve tasks can actually make you come to a solution faster. According to Adam Grant, an Organizational Psychologist, “Complex tasks are often better handled in the back of our minds, and that’s often true of creative tasks.”
So the trick here is to start your next big project, put it down for a while, and let your brain sort through the dilemmas on its own time, and you’ll likely come to a solution much faster and with less strain.
This also opens up time to get other important things done at work or at home.
3. Use A Digital To-Do List
Programs like Asana or Trello are great for productivity improvement. What these web applications do is they allow you and the rest of your coworkers to create what are essentially virtual to-do lists for various projects.
Trello is a pretty bare-bones version of this. It’s basically a virtual bulletin board that has three columns: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”
So for a singular project, you can create a board and break down all steps required to complete it and make them individual tasks on the board. Then you can add your coworkers to the board, giving them room to edit tasks and place them in different columns.
This way, everyone is on the same page.
Asana has a similar functionality but is much more in depth. It gives you the ability to integrate your tasks with a calendar, giving you a timeline of when each task should be completed. It also allows you to place all of your company’s files and emails relating to the project in one place.
4. Log Your Time
A good productivity improvement tip is to simply track how much time you’re wasting. A web-app like Toggl can do just that for you.
How it works is very simple: When you start working press the start button, and when you’re done working on a particular task, press stop. It will then log how long it took for you to complete that task. So if you set a timer to respond to one email and it took you an hour, you probably got sidetracked.
This app is also great if you work as a freelancer, as it can track all of your billable hours for you and help you create invoices for your labor.
5. Streamline Your Conference Calls
As much as we may hate them, conference calls are just a fact of business life. Especially as even more people begin to work remotely, it’s becoming increasingly popular to connect via conference call.
But a lot of the time they can be a pain to figure out. It always seems like 20 minutes at the beginning of a conference call is wasted just trying to figure out how whatever program you’re using works.
This is why you need a good conferencing company to help you manage these issues. If you’re looking for a company to use, this website has more information for you.
This is a management technique as old as time. But the reason it’s such a common refrain is that it genuinely does help. Whether you’re leading a company or just a specific project, delegation is key to productivity improvement.
One person can’t do everything, and the more tasks you have on your plate, the easier it is to get overwhelmed and tackle them in an unsatisfactory, unproductive way. You need to trust your coworkers and employees and allow them to help you.
Not only can they lighten your workload, chances are someone in the company or project group is more qualified at tackling certain tasks and will be able to complete them in a more timely, effective way.
7. Turn Off Your Phone
If you’re sitting at your laptop or desktop, there are already enough temptations in front of you to pull you away from your work. You’ve got a ton of apps, games, and the entire Internet at your disposal, you don’t need another portal to that world with your phone.
If you’re about to tackle an intensive task, and need to get it done quickly, just shut off your phone for a little bit. Or at least put it in airplane mode. This way, you won’t be tempted to get on Twitter or Facebook after receiving a notification.
Keep your eyes on the ball and the productivity will follow.
Need More Productivity Improvement Tips?
These tips are only but a few of the ways you can make you and your workplace more efficient.
If you’d like more advice on productivity improvement or on how to make your company more successful overall, check out our other business advice articles.