Wouldn’t you like increased productivity at work? For most of us, increased productivity means making more money, spending more time on what matters most (family, friends, et cetera) and simply feeling better.
Many of us seek increased productivity with elaborate and complicated methods, but it can much simpler than that. Here are five ways to increase your productivity, starting today.
1. Use Deadlines
For our procrastinating friends, deadlines serve as the utmost motivation to be more productive. For everyone else, they’re still good to have.
Need to make a report? Set a deadline. Need to purchase a new workstation? Set a deadline. You can even use deadlines as hard stops in meetings. If you have a meeting with a client, budget the meeting to stop at one hour. This will help you be more productive with your time. Everyone gets bored after an hour anyway.
2. Stay Off Social Media
Non-work-related social media kills productivity. According to a recent study, Americans spend 16 minutes of every hour on social media.
That means that for every 8 hour workday, Americans pour over 2 hours of company time down the drain. Save posting that picture of you and grandma for when you get home, or pre-schedule it to be posted by using Hootsuite, Buffer, TweetDeck, or another social media managing program.
3. Just Say No
For those of us who really love helping people, “no” can seemingly slip from our vocabulary. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve promised projects and favors to several different people within the same time frame. This is productivity killer.
While you may produce more due to these obligations, your quality of work suffers from the stress, and you may not be asked to work for these clients again. Prioritize what is really important to you and your company. Reasonable people won’t hate you if you tell them “no.”
4. Silence Your Notifications
Nothing disrupts your productivity groove more than receiving notifications. Usually, we really like receiving emails, tweets, Facebook posts, and mentions on Instagram. They make us feel important, and like somebody is thinking about us.
Such notifications suck us into the social media trap described earlier. Silence your computer and smartphone notifications. You don’t need to answer every email and post instantly. Discipline yourself to respond in budgeted times throughout your workday.
5. Use A Checklist
Some of the most successful people never leave the office without their checklist. Checklists help us prioritize our work, making us more productive.
Prioritize your tasks based on A) what needs to get done immediately, B) what else is important and C) everything else. You’ll even feel more productive after crossing an item off our list.
If you’re not a paper and pen kind of person, there are many great smartphone apps that function as checklists such as: Wunderlist, Todoist, Remember the Milk, and Evernote are among the best.