Let’s talk about your productivity at work. I have bad news for you – there is a limited amount of hours available to get your work done.
We all have been in a situation, asking ourselves ‘What am I doing wrong?’. The answer is simple – you are not doing something you have to and doing something you don’t have to.
Some will state that they know how to do their job and I’m not here to argue. The problem of poor productivity is not about your actual job – it is about how you plan and manage it. Many people mistakenly think that their work starts once they get to a certain task, forgetting about processes that take place long before and events that occur during your job. As a result, you are losing your precious time and your productivity struggles.
There are multiple tips on how you can improve your productivity with few essential techniques we have applied ourselves. Below you will find a list of the very basic tips that have helped us to improve processes within our company and hopefully will help you as well.
1. Start with ToDo
There are multiple things you need to do and keeping everything in your head is not an option. Start your work by listing all the tasks you would like to accomplish and prioritize them.
Prioritization is an essential part of ToDo list as it helps to build your roadmap for a day, week, month and so on. It is also a good idea to evaluate your goals and tasks so you know how long it will take you to complete it.
It is a good practice to start building ToDo list for a week by listing big things you would like to accomplish. Once you have a plan for a week you should be able to break it into smaller pieces to create your daily ToDo list. Don’t forget to review your weekly and daily ToDo lists in order to track progress and make adjustments.
There are cases when you receive a critical task during the day – consider adding these tasks to your ToDo really carefully. Think twice if it is really that important that it worth ruining your plan for a day.
2. Measure your productivity
How can you tell if there are improvements in your productivity over time? Discovery of key performance indicators (KPI) and measurements is a vital part to improve your performance.
You can start with simple things like tracking time you spent on specific tasks and compare with your earlier predictions. Use story points representing toughness of your tasks and track how many story points you can complete during the day.
Meaningful measurements will allow you to see your progress over time and also increase the precision of your predictions to have a better planning.
3. Store everything in one place
People store their files all over the Internet for strange reasons like trying new application or simply because their friends do so as well. Of course, it takes hours to locate right piece of content and sadly they have to repeat it over and over again.
Make sure that you have organized your storage in a way it allows you to easily access and organize your media, documents and any other type of resources. It is obvious that one tool is not enough, yet you are smart enough to categorize your resources to fit different tools and still keeping everything consistent.
For example, if you have a pile of documents look into Google Docs and at the same time use GitHub to store your code. As time flows you can even think of your small local knowledge base with quick references to a specific type of content.
Of course, there is still a place for experiments with new tools and applications, just make sure not to create a mess as you will have to live it later on.
4. Organize your meetings
According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. And there is a huge probability that you are among them as well. It does not mean that you have to avoid meetings by all costs. Instead, evaluate meetings you are requested to participate to see if there is value.According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in meetings. Click To Tweet
Once in a meeting, make sure to keep it productive by focusing on your topic. Techniques like Standup Meetings can help you to keep everyone focused on the goal and avoid any timely speculations.
5. Reduce the learning curve
There are tools you require to use within your daily routine, either to manage your website content or simply share your content online. Make sure to choose tools which are fast and easy as they will significantly change the pace of your work into one or another direction.
Another thing is to make sure you get most out of your tools as there may be some hidden treasures affecting your productivity. Get your hands on shortcuts and find time to review video tutorials with quick tips from a pro.
6. Automate social media management
Social media is playing a huge role in our lives and a few of us can image their life without Facebook or Twitter.
If you are running your own business you already know what it means to have a good social presence and what impact it can create for your marketing goals. Nevertheless, having a good social account takes a lot of time and effort, and this is where you can improve significantly.
Start by developing an action plan for your social accounts for a period of one month. With your plan ready it is time to look into automation tools like BufferApp and Hootsuite to schedule your activities. And if you are short of ideas on what to publish – make sure to check tools like DrumUp for the automatic reports on hot topics within your industry.
7. Get feedbacks quickly
Look at the companies like Amazon and Google – these market leaders have a common understanding on how they should deliver their products. Amazon delivers a new version for one of their services every 11 seconds. Sounds crazy, right? In fact, they are using small increments to quickly deliver tiny changes to test their assumptions and make necessary adjustments. The famous Google Design Sprints are also focused on developing a draft prototype to approve or reject an idea.
What we can learn from these big guys is that you should fail fast to succeed. Deliver your products to your customers as soon as possible to gather feedbacks. After you will be able to analyze results and improve within the next iteration. It is always better to discover and resolve problems within a month than a year.
8. Organize your workplace
Lots of people lose tons of time while dealing with a mess of their own environment. An enormous amount of browser tabs or papers blocks you from finding the right information or access tools. While keeping everything organized will ensure you can focus on your task without unnecessary interruptions.
Research shows that 90% of persons have a problem to process more than 9 browser tabs simultaneously. This huge amount of tabs does not mean that you are working efficiently and it is unlikely that you will need them all at the same time.Research shows that 90% of persons have a problem to process more than 9 browser tabs simultaneously. Click To Tweet
Keep only the most important documents on your table and organize them into folders to have quick and clear access.
What we have learned from productivity improvements that this is an ongoing process that needs to be tailored over time to discover bottlenecks. It is a good idea to start with essential tips from above to quickly see results. Once mastered, you can go for more advanced techniques limited to your specific cases.
Have more tips that helped you out? Share your best practices by leaving a comment below.