Belinda Lyone, General Manager at COS, looks at ways to be more productive at work.
Productivity is a term synonymous with the workforce that’s often associated with an employee’s volume of output, but it’s more importantly about how efficiently and effectively you’re working.
It can be overwhelming thinking about all of your tasks on your list which can leave you feeling like there isn’t much time to complete everything. So in terms of optimising your productivity it’s helpful to start by focusing not on how you can “do more” but how you can become more valuable. In short, developing and maintaining yourself, so you can maximise your effectiveness at work and beyond.
Anthony Robbins refers to the hour of power, others call it the non-negotiable hour. Part of being productive is scheduling regular time for personal wellbeing and development, so you’re not just functioning, but ideally thriving. Here are 5 ways to maximise your productivity at work.
Rest and rejuvenate
It goes without saying that you’re no good to anyone if you’re overtired, but sometimes we’re so caught up with how much there is to do, that we neglect ourselves.
In order to work effectively and efficiently you must maintain your own basic needs. You can build your resilience to stress and immunity to sickness, by ensuring you are getting proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, rest and physical activity.
Don’t have time? Make time.
This might mean rising earlier or leaving work on time to sneak in exercise to clear your head, hanging with loved ones, cooking, reading a book, listening to music or a podcast. Indulge in whatever fulfils and represents balance, to you. This is particularly important when you’re busy, because a frazzled burnt out individual is rarely at their most productive.
Use a daily diary
Mobile devices are fast and convenient, but there’s something about the act of writing that helps us to slow down in order to work more productively.
It’s said that writing is clear thinking made visible and in Japan staying organised with a paper and pen is a long-held almost meditative tradition known as “Techo (planner) culture”. Techo – pronounced “tetch-oh” means handbook and allows the individual to organise their thinking deliberately and even artfully.
Of course diaries are also a great tool for helping us to identify priorities and set or reframe goals in a way that typing can’t. Having a visual snapshot of your daily or weekly tasks, can help you to focus while freeing up your mental bandwidth.
Whether you use a diary or a digital device, make a habit of regularly ranking and reviewing the tasks you’re responsible for. Which are the most time-critical or valuable in terms of ROI?
Don’t skip breaks
We spoke about how you use your personal time to rest and rejuvenation earlier, but this is purely about taking a break, within the work day. You’re entitled to a break and wherever possible, make it an important objective, even if you need to cut it short. It’s a great opportunity to reset and then come back to your work with a fresh mind.
Good two-way communication is critical for overall productivity in any organisation. Make sure you’re clear about what’s expected of you and what the priorities are for your manager or the business, so you’re not wasting time on projects or tasks that aren’t valued.
It’s essential to utilise the respective strengths and resources within your team. So if you need extra support, communicate this in a timely manner i.e. with plenty of notice where deadlines are concerned.
It’s scientifically proven that your mood or mindset can impacts your output, so to increase your productivity make sure you maintain a healthy growth mindset.
Be conscious of your work-life balance and keep it simple with a combination of effective organisational tools, clear communication and pursuing opportunities for personal development.