Do you find yourself struggling to complete any tasks that you set yourself during the day, be it at home or at work? If you want to increase your output, and see results then you need to start reviewing where and what is slowing your performance down. There are only so many hours in the day, so unless you start working all through the night, you won’t see results. Improving your productivity isn’t rocket science, however, you will need to make some positive changes in relation to your time management. So, if you want to improve your performance and productivity in all areas of your life, then keep these top tips to hand.
Track time spent on tasks. Even if you think you are pretty good at keeping tabs on how much time you spend completing tasks while at work, then think again. It’s more likely that you waste time while trying to complete an item of work, without you even realizing it! If you find yourself stopping every few minutes to check your cell phone, or stop work to answer to emails, then you are in fact acting in a counterproductive manner. Not to mention, failing to prioritize any key tasks could spell disaster for your output—in particular if you work in a position that is driven by sales performance or meeting set targets. Make sure that you track the time you spend on tasks and try to reduce it. Obviously, filing reports or expenses require a lot of time and effort, but your bad habits could be costing you more than you might previously have thought.
Take breaks. Do you have an important deadline looming? Perhaps you are behind with work and are even considering working well into the small hours to complete any outstanding items? Well think again. Failing to take breaks will affect your performance and output while at work. Taking scheduled breaks could improve your work, rather than acting as a hindrance. Make sure that you get up from your computer screen every twenty minutes, and use this time to chat with colleagues and exchange ideas, or go to the bathroom. Don’t think that by working right through the morning that your work will be of a high standard either—in fact, you are much more likely to make mistakes or forget to include crucial information.
Set-deadlines. If you work at your own speed, or are your own boss, then you could be much too lax on yourself. Believe it or not, setting a strict deadline and introducing an element of pressure and stress will improve your work. Begin by looking at the clock and giving yourself a set time to complete a task, answer emails or to file a report. You may even be amazed by the results—as your productivity will improve. So, if the idea of a deadline brings you out in a cold sweat, then leave those fears to the side-lines. Stress in a controlled level and environment will mean that your output increases drastically.
Make the most of tools and software. If you find yourself losing hours on boring tasks, such as pay check generation or managing your company’s accounts, then think again. There are software solutions and programs available online that can ensure you cut down on the time spent completing core business tasks. In fact, you can even introduce programs and solutions that mean your company’s phone lines are operational around the clock. For example, Doctors Answering Service provides support to busy healthcare providers, ensuring that workload can be streamlined and managed no matter the time of day or night. If you find yourself completing business processes that could be automated, then think again. Get savvy and invest in tools and software that can help improve your company’s productivity, even when your employees aren’t in the office.
Use your commute. If you use public transport to get to work, then this is time that you could be making the most of at the start of your day. From answering emails and completing work that you left unfinished, to completing online training or listening to a TedTalk, make sure that you use your commute to the best of your advantage. If you use your commute to boost your skillset and get ahead before you even reach the office, this can help you to improve your mood and feel less overwhelmed while at work. So, if you waste time playing on your phone or completing that next level of Candycrush, then think again. Why not start using this time to your advantage?
Do chat to colleagues. Interaction and communication is an important part of any workplace, providing that you are clever about the amount of time that you spend doing it. Interacting with your colleagues provides the perfect way to test out new business ideas, check potential projects and bounce facts and figures off others within your workplace. Just make sure that you keep all conversations focused on your business objectives—as it’s easy to get distracted talking about your weekend plans or any gossip from the office Christmas party.
Get active. A healthy body will ensure a healthy mind, so make sure that you take time to visit the gym in your lunch break or go for a jog with friends after work. Getting active will get your blood pumping around your body, releasing endorphins that can boost your mood and happiness. If you keep finding excuses not to grab your sneakers and get outdoors, then start making a few lifestyle changes.
If your performance and productivity is at a low, then start to make some changes to your activity levels and ensure that you take breaks during the day. Be sure to exchange ideas with your colleagues and start setting yourself deadlines to ensure that you complete any essential tasks. Begin using your commute to get ahead with emails or personal growth projects. Finally, start using any tools or software to make your life easier while at work.