Productivity experts have devised some simple methods to improve your productivity at work. They consist of either working harder or working smarter. Personally I like working smarter, but sometimes I end up working harder too. Use just one idea and you could improve your productivity at work. Use all of them and you could double or triple your productivity.
Find ways to increase your task focus. Work when you are working. Spend less time socializing and focus on what you need to get done today. Focus on the tasks at hand and don’t wander into new tasks, multi-task, or get distracted. If you want to improve your productivity at work, you have to focus and not waste your precious time at work.
Find ways to pick up your work pace. Develop a work rhythm and maintain your tempo (in lean we call it your takt time). Find ways to increase your tempo and get on with the job at hand. If you are tired or slowing down, then stop, and get a cup of coffee. Keep your tempo up, up, up.
Find ways to prioritize your tasks. It’s important to understand what tasks will bring you more results. Think quality over quantity. Less is more. Doing fewer higher value tasks will improve your productivity at work more than performing a greater quantity of low value tasks. Using a visual management system can help focus your company on what is adding value.
Find ways to focus on results. You probably are better at the things you like doing. As a result you get better at those things and do more of them more often. So focus on what you are good at and you will improve your productivity at work.
Find ways to focus on related tasks. Don’t multi-task! Group related task together and do them at the same time. Pick a time to answer your email, make phone calls, or write letters together all at once. By constantly switching between tasks or stopping to read email, you will lose small amounts of time that make up the “switching costs”. You will lose time because you have to wrap you mind around a new task and understand where you left off. This learning curve time is waste and can be eliminated by grouping related tasks.
Find ways to simplify your work. As the number of steps to a task increases, so does the complexity and therefore, the time required to complete the task. This is called the Law of Complexity. Find ways to remove steps and reduce task complexity. This simple process improvement plan will greatly increase your productive work.
Find more minutes in the day. Arrive 16 minutes earlier, leave 16 minutes later, and spend 16 minutes less time at lunch and breaks created 48 minutes a day or 4 hours a week. This will not only increase your available time by 10%, but improve your productivity at work as well. Use this time to get organized for work and plan or review your day.
Every day you should review your day’s results to learn how to focus your time on the higher value tasks you are better at. Use your extra time to plan, review and focus. This is all part of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) that drives continuous improvement in a learning organization.
Once you have figured out the right mix, write it down by implementing a system of policies and procedures. A system will help any organization get organized, focus on the work at hand, group tasks, and as a result, work harder and smarter. Download free policies and procedures to see how its done.