5 Productivity Hacks Every Employee Loves... And That Also Delight Employers!
You come to work swearing that you will get the job done today. As always there is a pile of emails, sticky notes and task lists staring at you at 9 AM.
8 hours later, you have checked your phone notifications 157 times, read all new emails and procrastinated on replies, updated your Facebook status, uploaded a picture of the amazing sandwich you had for lunch on Instagram, had 3 tea breaks where you guiltily gobbled on chocolate cookies, and googled new ways to lose weight. The one thing you’ve not done is WORK...
Productivity isn’t an easy nut to crack. It requires you to improve your focus and get things done quickly and efficiently even when there are many distractions around you. More than anything else, it needs you to beat your own lethargy!
While we can give you a list of tools and practices to improve productivity, there are two main things you need to succeed at this task.
Be determined that you want to improve. Set a tangible goal that you can achieve by increasing your productivity in the next one month. This will allow you to determine the success and failure of your actions.
Next, be consistent with following the steps you’ve set. Two weeks from when you start, you’ll wonder if it is necessary to push so hard and consider going back to what you were doing earlier. It is essential to keep up with these ‘hacks’ day after day until they become second nature.
The moment you experience a tipping point where these tasks become a part of your routine is when you succeed at being productive, and, more importantly, are satisfied with your accomplishments.
Hacks To Improve An Employee’s Productivity… And Delight Employers!
Implement these simple hacks to ensure that your employees are being productive.
1. Identify Your Personal Peak Time And Schedule Your Work Accordingly
One reality that we face as working professionals is that we get increasingly tired as the day trudges on. We are at the peak of our creativity, idea potential and even energy during the first few hours at work. This is the time to prioritize and get the most creative and critical work done.
Do everything you need to get your morning in order. Get up 15 – 20 mins early. Squeeze in time to complete your morning chores, get a filling breakfast, your morning dose of tea or coffee that is perfectly brewed, and at least half hour to either exercise or meditate. Keep enough buffer to ensure you reach office ten mins before time. Utilise your travel time to order tasks as per priority mentally.
Use the first two hours of the day to accomplish the one / two things that will give you the maximum sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. We bet your employer will also be delighted with this approach.
2. Inbox Flash Clearance
Remember the irritating times when you’ve sent emails requesting a reply or action but don’t see a reciprocation until much later. There is a strategy to working your way through your inbox.
The first thing you need to do is set a time that you’ll use the first ten minutes of the day (precisely timed) to clear your inbox. You will respond either with a proper answer or a timeline as to when you’ll get back. Some emails need a simple yes/no response.
For others that need long answers, schedule time on your calendar to respond to them. The best time to do this is on a Friday afternoon where you can spend one hour to delete unwanted email. Clearing your inbox gives a sense of relief and prevents the urgency to going back to it at intervals.
3. Take The ‘One Task At A Time’ Approach
There are a lot of times when you’ll notice that multitaskers are lauded for being highly productive. However, a recent study found that multitasking may actually harm your brain.
The study found that participants addicted to using multiple devices simultaneously have lower grey matter density in a brain area called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Age old wisdom says that it is okay to do one job at a time but do it well.
To prevent distraction, decide that you need to tick off the task on your plate before you move to the next one. You can keep your phone in the bag so that you aren’t distracted by notifications or the urge to check Facebook. That will push you to see the job to completion before you start the next.
Power Tip: Never put off your “2-minute-tasks”. If any task takes just about two minutes, get it done and over with - both for personal and professional tasks. If it takes 2 minutes to water the plant or pack your lunch, don’t put it off for later. It’ll save you a cluttered mind.
4. Create A To-Do List At The Right Time
Ever since Arthur Fry invented the post-it note in 1974, many tasks can be credited to this unassuming discovery. They are now used to create to-do lists which are invaluable to productivity. Even if there is no tangible reward for completing a task, you are bound to feel a sense of accomplishment if you can peel the note off marking the task’s completion.
To-do lists work well when they are made at the end of the day for the next day. The real success from to-do lists comes when you discuss it with your manager or colleague and get a quick understanding of what’s to be done. This activity forces you to explain the nitty-gritty of the tasks at hand. Then, the next day all you need is to execute it on time. Here’s how!
- Cut down your to-do list to max 5 or 6 items that are on the top of the outcome you need to accomplish.
- Keep a realistic expectation of how much you can achieve. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
5. Take Short Breaks
Contrary to what people believe, short breaks can actually enhance your productivity. Experts believe that the most productive workers have a routine of 52 minutes of work followed by a 17-minute break.
Another technique is to keep moving while at work. It is common knowledge that you shouldn’t sit continuously for too long. To avoid this, consider a standing or cycling desk. Take the stairs and a plan a 15-min walk during your lunch break. You can also practice exercises at your desk to loosen up.
Reward Employees For Being Productive…
Eliminating distractions is one of the most significant factors in pushing up productivity. Plan meetings, phone calls and attend workshops only if it is feasible for you to do so without hampering priority tasks. Last but not the least, take care of yourself. Get adequate sleep and drink lots of water. A healthy body is a home to a smart and productive mind!