3 ways to increase your productivity at work
Becoming more productive at work is an important goal for many professionals.
Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. Between deadlines, tasks, and meetings, it can be challenging to get everything done so you still have time for personal commitments.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to boost your output at work when time permits, without resorting to extreme strategies.
If you are ready to increase your productivity and become a more efficient worker, these 3 techniques can help you get started.
1. Prioritize your tasks
Prioritization means deciding what needs to be done first and actively choosing to tackle the most important tasks. To start prioritizing at work, you must identify what tasks need doing.
Next, you must consider how much time you actually have to get everything done. Lengthy projects should take priority over simpler, quicker projects.
After determining how much time you have, you can begin to identify external factors that may influence the urgency and importance of each task. For example, if someone is expecting a project to be completed before you leave for the day, this project should be at the top of your to-do list.
The process of prioritizing also involves deciding whether you really need to complete a task or if someone else can take care of it. Offloading certain projects to others can help increase productivity, but sometimes the reverse happens. Marcello Gortana, a featured collaborator in the PowerED™ course Leadership in Action, explains that as an employee, you may be asked to do tasks outside the scope of your usual job. Such tasks can be time-consuming, so you should get them out of the way first.
2. Manage your time
In a professional setting, everyone works differently based on personal preference. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all time management strategy. Ideally, you want to create your own strategy, and in doing so, you may find you need to depart from workplace norms.
To start developing a time management approach, you should:
- plan ahead,
- set intentions and goals,
- get organized,
- set time limits (and stick to them), and
- take periodic breaks.
Taking full control of your time and energy will help you become more productive and efficiently accomplish things that genuinely matter.
3. Don’t skip performance management
Performance management is the process of evaluating and monitoring the progress and work habits of a team, both individually and collectively. Performance management is typically carried out by supervisors or managers. Successful performance management involves ensuring the developmental goals and productivity of workers and teams align with a company’s overall objective.
Your company’s performance plans should be tailored to meet the needs of each team member as well as the team or organization as a whole. To ensure everyone is on the same page, Connie Stacey, the CEO and founder of Green Energy and a featured collaborator for the Leadership in Action course, suggests holding 15-minute regular “stand-up” meetings.
PowerED™ by Athabasca University offers a number of courses for working professionals at all stages of their careers. If you’re looking to become a more productive, efficient, and confident manager or executive, the Essential Skills for Leaders Certificate is a great place to start.