Every day or week starts the same. You have a plan of what needs to be done. And if getting over the productivity hurdle was easy, you’d end the day or week with a clean slate and ready for the set of tasks. However, one of the areas we tend to struggle with is being productive and getting this done. If one of your new year goals is to be more productive and efficient at work, you’ve come to the right place. As part of the goals for 2023, we’re looking at 10 ways to increase productivity and help you get the most out of your workday.
What is productivity?
You can sit and rock all day in your rocking chair. You’re doing something but not going anywhere. This is true for some of us. We’re exhausted at the end of each day, but we can’t tell what we did. Only that our to-do list doesn’t seem to be shrinking. We’re busy, but not productive.
When we speak about productivity, we mean the measure of how efficiently an individual completes a task. It focuses on the output based on the inputs used and required to deliver that good or service. Being productive is a source of economic growth and vital to a company’s success.
Why productivity is important
Over and above the economic benefits to a company and a country’s GDP, there are several other reasons why productivity is important.
- A productive life helps you achieve and healthy work/life balance
- Resources are utilised efficiently and effectively
- Lower cost of production
- Higher profit margins
- Individuals are less stressed, much happier and fulfilled at work
- Greater focus
- Better use of time and freedom
- Allows to clarity on purpose, direction, values, and goals
- Businesses have a competitive edge in the market
10 tips to increase productivity
There are various tips, tricks, practices, and methods to help you improve your productivity. We’ve listed a few below to get you started.
- Start and finish your day at the same time every day. Sticking to a routine and schedule helps keep things in focus.
- Set goals. These can be daily or weekly goals.
- Break down big tasks into smaller bit-sized tasks. When tasks seem more actionable, you will find them easier to get done.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
- Learn to prioritise. Get high priority tasks done as soon as possible. Procrastination is a thief of time.
- Develop incentive programmes. Employers can introduce incentive programmes to motivate staff to complete tasks and ensure deadlines are met.
- Reduce screen time and distractions during work hours. All the hours spent scrolling your phone could be better spent ticking some things off your list.
- Try to avoid multitasking. This can leave your mind scattered and unfocused, resulting in tasks not being completed or taking longer to complete than necessary.
- Take regular breaks. You are not a robot. Regular breaks will keep your mind refreshed and your body energized to keep going throughout the day.
- Create a clear distinction between your home life and work life.
- Identify your peak productivity hours. Schedule your meetings for this period and use this time to put out your best work and get big tasks done.
The Pomodoro technique for productivity
The Pomodoro technique has long been lauded as the best tool to help you use your time wisely and be more productive. This technique works on the basis that your brain can focus for 25 minutes before “switching off”.
How it works
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a task until the timer rings.
- Take a 5-minute break to stretch, drink water, and “reset’.
- Reset the timer for another 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off again.
- Repeat the process four times.
- Set your next break to be 40-60 minutes long and then
- Get back to your 25 minutes and complete a task
Alternatively, you can use Google task reminder tool to help you set tasks and reminders for when it’s time to complete the tasks. The key to productivity…find the method that works best for you.
As we settle into 2023 and are expectant of what the year will bring, we can set ourselves up for a win. Take the time to create and define your personal and professional goals for the year. Write down what is needed to make them happen and prepare a plan to help you achieve these goals. If you identify time management as a hindrance to your productivity, sign up for a course and equip yourself with the free tools and resources you need to have your best year yet. When we do this, we’ll have a better outcome when it’s time to reflect on the year.