Blog By thomasa on 10 November 2015

5 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Having a lot of work on your plate day after day at times may seem never ending. There are only so many hours in the day, so finding ways to work smarter and not harder is key.

How can you work smarter and be more deliberate about how you manage your time? Here are 5 simple yet effective strategies that will help you increase productivity at work.

1. Check email at scheduled times. It is easy to get bogged down in email, reading and responding without thinking twice as to how much time we are spending doing it. Before we know it, it’s the end of the work day and we haven’t gotten any real work done.

As much as it is productive to schedule meetings and conference calls, it is also productive to schedule times when you check email to avoid getting in the rut of being “online” all day. Being proactive and thoughtful as to how you plan your work day will pay huge dividends to increasing your productivity.

Instead of checking email throughout the day, you may opt to check it 4 times a day per say, spending an hour each time prioritizing and processing through them. You will notice you will spend less time checking email and more time being productive.

2. Avoid social media. Social media never sleeps. It’s on 24/7 and the pics, posts and tweets from family and friends are nonstop and continuous. Once we open the “socialdora box” it’s easy to be consumed by it, and it then becomes harder to close.

It is one of the hugest time consumers, and if we aren’t careful we can waste precious hours that should have been dedicated to work. So save the temptation to check social media until your lunch break or after work hours to help you have a more focused and productive day.

3. Show up 15 minutes early to plan your day. How many times do you start your work day with the same routine of checking emails first thing and getting into the rut of responding to them, mindlessly completing tasks without planning or prioritizing your day?

You will be amazed at how showing up to work 15 minutes early to plan your day’s activities will help you boost your productivity at work. So before you jump into work without thinking twice about it, take 15 minutes to thoughtfully plan out your day. You will be amazed at the results and how it increases your productivity.

4. Try solving a unique problem. It’s easy to get lackadaisical and complacent at work if we are not being challenged enough. Sometimes we may opt for taking the easy route or pass the buck when it comes to problem resolution.

Take on the challenge of solving a unique problem. Think about different ways to solve the problem and the pros and cons of each idea. Then weigh out the best option that will actually solve the problem vs. putting a band-aid on it.

This will help get your creative juices flowing and allow you to be more engaged when issues arise. This in turn will help you to resolve problems more efficiently, thereby increasing your productivity.

5. Create systems to get more consistent results. In this day and age it’s all about working smarter not harder. With that being said it is important to create systems to improve efficiencies. Analyze the work that you do and consider if any of it can be automated (i.e. redundant tasks that a macro can take care of), or if there are duplications of effort that can be reduced.

Do you notice that sometimes you may pick up the phone and call the same person more than once on a given day to review something? Creating a system where you contact the same person only once a day will enable you to work more efficiently and help improve your productivity.

You can also increase your productivity by ordering a meal delivery service. It’s a fast and healthy grab-and-go option for your lunch break, saving you time and a trip from have to go out and get lunch.

  • Sarah Salvo

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m glad you mentioned creating systems— and you even went a step further and suggest creating a process for every task you repeatedly complete on a daily or weekly basis. Then, work to refine and make it work as well as possible. It’s interesting that not many people think of creating a process when they want to be more productive — but it really is a simple, not so hidden secret. Here’s more on that: http://blog.prialto.com/process-is-the-source-code-for-productivity