10 Effective Ways to Enhance Workplace Productivity
9th June 2015
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Productivity often sounds like an intimidating word to people, however it isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s also not about chasing after elusive goals. It is about priorities, planning and using your time effectively. 

1. Know what’s important.

The first thing to do is to not get bogged down with work. Focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to complete a number of tasks at once. Start by working on the task that needs completing first due to a fast approaching deadline. Set time aside for upcoming deadlines based on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. This gives you the time to strategize about your goals and values.

2. Plan your day.

Plan your day the night before to avoid spending all day reacting instead of acting and to put your subconscious mind to work all night while you sleep on your plan. Therefore the following day you can ‘hit the ground running’ rather than take precious time and figure out where to start.

3. Get back on track.  

Have you ever had a bad day and wanted to stand aside until the feeling passed? Sometimes it is a good idea. It may be necessary to take a break, relax, contemplate, and refocus on the task at hand. Focus on the things that may be affecting you; inadequacies, conflicts, or current life stressors. Address the problem and create a solution.

4. Know your priorities and protect them.

Make sure your direction is clear by focusing on your personal goals, value determines priority; priority determines goals; and goals determine activities. Don’t spend precious time on tasks that someone else can do. Also, control your schedule to make time for important activities. You can’t be available to everyone every day!

5. Problem-solve.

People tend to do three things when faced with a problem: they get afraid or uncomfortable and wish it would go away; they feel that they have to come up with an answer and it has to be the right answer; and they look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem and that's a problem because, in fact, there are always going to be problems! Start responding to your barriers and challenges with a problem-solving orientation:

Identify the issue, understand everyone's interests, list the possible solutions and evaluate the options.

6. Arm yourself with the right tools.

Sometimes, we might wait until we’ve truly made it or reached a certain goal until we invest in a better computer or a nicer website. Resource yourself abundantly to maximize your productivity.

7. Limit distractions

Every single second our brains take in an incredible amount of information, we actually pay attention to about a quarter of this. So finding focus can seem like a farfetched feat. Focusing is a skill that we can cultivate and practice makes perfect!

Start by creating a gadget-free zone, make sure you don’t have too many computer tabs up at once, take a regular break, assess your stimulation levels throughout the day, use motivating self-talk, stick with to-do lists, mind your multitasking and self-reflect daily.  

8. Organize yourself.

Whether you can do your job without staying organized isn’t the question. It’s how well you can do your job and how you can do it better. Employees with better organizational skills are more productive on the job, make better impressions on bosses and receive more promotions than those who keep sloppy, inefficient work habits. Instead of letting your career get derailed by careless habits, take time to get organized and in the process, get closer to reaching your potential in the workplace.

Consider the following scenarios: The manager of your company and a client walk past your desk, which looks like a disaster area; an executive stops by unexpectedly and finds your workspace well-organized and tidy. Being organized can help you make a positive impression on superiors, clients, co-workers and visitors to your company. You can earn respect on your own behalf and that of your company by maintaining professional-level organizational habits.

9. Self discipline.

Eliminate time-wasters, take personal responsibility and  strive for constant improvement.

Self-discipline is a pattern of behaviour where you choose to do what you know you should do, rather than what you want to do. It’s the inner power that pushes you to get out of bed to exercise rather than sleeping in. It is the assertion of willpower over more basic desires and is synonymous with self-control. It includes having the personal initiative to get started and the stamina to persevere. Being disciplined gives you the strength to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental. It allows forgoing immediate satisfaction, in order to gain something better, but which requires effort and time.

10. Keep learning.

Have motivation, drive and can-do positivity to make things happen. Work-based learning experiences can help enhance your academic and personal development in the work place, as well as your professional preparation.

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