During our workday, we constantly find ourselves looking at a mountain of to-dos. If you add up your normal duties, plus what others give you, and multiply that by the random things that happen in a day, it’s hard to imagine how you get anything done.
We must stop trying to find the time to get things done and instead, we need to focus on prioritizing and dedicate a few hours a day just for ourselves. Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies that can help you be more productive. The trick is to identify the strategies that work for you.
After reviewing multiple productivity in the workplace articles, I came up with some common and not-so-common ways you can increase your productivity levels in the workplace and stimulate employee productivity.
Can you do multiple things at once? Yes. Should you? No. Your brain has a limited processing capacity. Between answering the phone, workplace distractions, and checking your email, your mental resources are quickly depleted. Focusing on one task at a time will improve focus and allow you to take on more complex thoughts.
Creating a to-do list helps you organize your thoughts and priorities and allows you to improve your time management skills. When you take the time to understand and organize both your simple tasks and challenging tasks, you learn what to prioritize and increase business productivity. This will help you fight off potential activities that will keep you from accomplishing your objectives.
We mentioned creating a to-do list. But before you start your list, it’s important to understand both your short-term and long-term goals. Your achievable tasks will be your compass, help you stay the course, and minimize unnecessary distractions that usually turn into a waste of time. Simply ask, is this task supporting my goals?
When times get tough, stepping away from your desk and giving your brain a break can help you get through a challenging moment. If you have employees, you should allow them to take breaks from time to time, especially if you are looking to boost employee performance and you’re concerned about employee wellbeing. The brain is a muscle, and to develop it requires both exercise and periods of rest. So, when you find yourself against a mental block or stressful times, take a break and let your mind breathe. Your brain will thank you!
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There are people who would dispute this quote, but studies prove that a healthy snack a day is an awesome way to reach maximum productivity. By having a healthy snack, you are helping your body stay focused, full, and energized to take on the toughest tasks.
Research shows that adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Making the effort to get enough sleep is the smartest investment you can make for your mind and body. The proper amount of sleep helps decrease the risk for health conditions, manages your hunger levels, maintains your immune system, and helps retain memory.
A study by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignrevealed the benefits of light exposure at the office. Employees with more exposure to light at the office enjoyed longer and better sleep, more physical activity, and better quality of life compared to those that received less light. If you don’t have windows to get natural light, go outside to get some fresh air and sun.
For many, it’s hard to say no to others. A co-worker drops by and asks for your assistance, you don’t want to be rude, so you say yes. Just know that each time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. This can keep you from accomplishing your objectives and doesn’t help the company culture at all. Saying no to everything is an option, but what goes around comes around. Remember to keep both your short-term and long-term goals present when making your decision. Collaboration is key for employee morale, but you need to also focus on individual productivity.
Working for long periods of time can drain your physical and mental energy. Try working in sprints, short periods of time where you can give 100 percent. Then take a short break to give your body and brain a break. Quiet times can do wonders for individual employees and contribute to a healthy work environment.
Research shows that taking a walk during your workday can lift people’s moods and improve their ability to handle stress at work. Of course, it’s old news that walking is good for you, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Take a few minutes to walk around a bit, this is a great opportunity to take the mental break we mentioned earlier and get over unproductive meetings or disagreements with your superiors. Two birds, one stone!
Meetings give us the opportunity to be productive as a team and improve communication. But unfortunately, many meetings become a waste of valuable time. Don’t have a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. A productive meeting produces results, and this can happen by having a clear meeting plan, clear rules, and employee engagement. Execute your plan and then look for opportunities for improvement. Productive employees are key to business growth.
Minimizing distractions is not an easy task in a collaborative workplace. Unless you disconnect your phone and hide in a closet, distractions will find you. These distractions can overwhelm you each day and take away valuable productive minutes. First, build awareness of the things that are taking up your precious time. Then look for opportunities to minimize or eliminate those distractions. A quick example, you can make a habit out of disabling your phone or email notifications. Set a time to check both and stick to it.
It is common for people to try and juggle more than they can handle. An important tool for any business leader is delegating. When done right, task delegating comes with huge benefits for everyone. By identifying and trusting the right people, you can delegate tasks to lessen your burden.
Having a perfect paper or report is amazing. But in your pursuit of perfection, you’re probably doing unnecessary work. And doing more takes up more time, keeping you away from other important activities. Find the right balance for your work, track time, consider the trade-offs, and if it will pay off in the end.
Yes, an answering service. Many people think of an answering service as a message center. It is so much more than that. Companies become more productive when they decide to hire an answering service. Learn how your organization can be more productive in the workplace with a 24-hour answering service and improve the employee experience.
Per Gallup, four in ten U.S. workers say their company is understaffed. Understaffed organizations can have a negative impact on the company culture and results. Unfortunately, hiring new employees is an expensive proposition. That is why many businesses turn to an answering service to lighten the load on their staff and help them focus on essential daily tasks. Create a consistent experience for your customers without the hassle of hiring and training staff.
Phone calls are one of the biggest workplace distractions. Especially if they are calls that bring no value to your company. An answering service can help you filter calls. When you work with virtual receptionists, you can rest assured your phone calls are managed professionally while freeing up time and resources. Freely customize which calls are answered by the service and at what time.
Ready to take that walk to clear your mind and get some natural light? Easily forward your calls to the answering service whenever you like and free up blocks of time for your employees. When you are ready, start receiving calls again.
When you have a professional team of agents supporting your business, you can leave the office with confidence, knowing that each call will be handled to your standards.
An answering service can do more than just take messages. From order-taking to customer support, you can delegate a variety of tasks to the answering service. Quickly get rid of menial tasks that are slowing down your organization. See how an answering service can help your business.
When operating a business, you must be prepared for anything. Employee no-shows, weather, or technical issues can paralyze any business. Hire an answering service, and you will be prepared for these situations 24/7.
Post Update: The article was updated on December 20th, 2022, originally published on April 11th, 2017 It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.