8 Ways to Increase Productivity

8 Ways to Increase Productivity Title Image

Terry O'Brien

WA State Quality & Operations Manager

March 30, 2022

It’s a new world…going back to our old ways.  With the ever so growing acceptance of working in the office again, it can be hard to focus on what we need to get done.  We are distracted by coworkers, bosses, friends, gossip, and every so often…actual work.  How do we get the most out of our employees and ourselves during that time we are focusing on work?  You can’t rely solely on your boss or company leadership to provide ways for you to sharpen your skill set. Through my experience and a little help from my research, I will give a few pointers how to turn a good day into a great day. 

1. Identify your peak time

Everyone has a peak time and sluggish time during the day. The key is to know when your peak time is. My best mental activity happens between 9:00am and Noon. This is when I am at my peak of energy, least number of distractions, and mental stamina. With that in mind, I set this time aside each day to either tackle one of the hardest or most grueling tasks I have to get done for the day. 

Start by paying attention to your energy level and ability to focus throughout the day to identify your peak time. Once you’ve found it, take inventory of the tasks you need to get done each day. Next, create a plan for your day, and block out time to work on your hardest tasks during your peak time.

Workers back in the office with masks on

2. Reduce Distractions

One of the biggest job performance killers is a lack of productivity. If you aren’t able to develop good organization and time management skills, you likely won’t get far in your career! The internet and social media make it easier than ever to get distracted at work and waste time. 

Take an honest look at your day and consider what’s distracting you from being productive. Then develop a plan to limit those distractions, or do the distracting activity during your breaks. You can avoid distractions by taking short breaks throughout the day or installing apps to block websites that often distract you.

Quote reading: "Everyone has a peak time and sluggish time during the day. The key is to know when your peak time is."

3. Stop Multitasking

Stop multitasking! Focus on one task at a time for better productivity.

According to a study from the university of London, it takes 3-5 minutes to fully get involved mentally into a task. If you are doing this 30 times a day, think of all the wasted time you are using just to regain focus. I would call this non-value-added time.

Instead, try planning our your day, and plan enough time for each task you need to complete. Rather than spending the 3-5 minutes it takes to get back into the task every time you come back to it, you can save quite a bit of time and mental energy by completing each task before you move on to something else.

4. Set goals

Set goals and personal benchmarks. It’s easy to set big, challenging goals — but they can feel daunting and out of reach. Create To-Do Lists. I have seen the pros and cons of this and I have heard both sides of the fence on whether To-Do Lists are helpful. I guess the key is to know yourself and to use this strategy if it works for you. 

If To-Do lists aren’t for you, look for another strategy that will work for you. The key is to break up the large goal into smaller, more attainable chunks. Don’t forget to celebrate your progress!

5.Block out a set time for calls and email

Plan time for phone calls and email review. One thing that will certainly gobble up your time is constantly checking your email. You end up sitting in front of your computer for prolonged periods replying to emails or deleting spam. Set aside two or three half hour blocks during the day that you will focus on emails only. Don’t let that email inbox chain you to your desk. 

6.Volunteer to do more

Volunteer to do the things others won’t. That intimidating big project? Volunteer and work with your team members to do a great job. You’ll sharpen your skills and develop new ones along the way.

If the project is new to you, seek out team members who have experience with similar projects. Asking for their advice can save you time and effort, and can also be a good networking opportunity!

Volunteer to take on more projects at work

7. Arrive early

Arrive Early and Be Prepared. Most workplaces are much quieter before the official workday starts, so if you have the opportunity to arrive early, it can be a great way to be more productive and improve performance. With the office quiet, there are fewer distractions or temptations to prevent you from tackling a task or two. It’s amazing how much more accomplished you feel when you arrive an hour early and are already working through your to-do list while everyone else is arriving and making themselves a coffee. 

8. Get plenty of sleep!

Get more sleep to feel refreshed and have more energy at work

Sleep and the quality of your job performance go hand in hand. When you get sufficient sleep, your health, well-being, and work will all improve. Sleep also helps improve your mental health, mood, and brain function. When you have appropriate quantity and quality sleep, you awake feeling refreshed and energized. 

One last tip: It is up to each of us whether we have a good day or a bad day. For most people, being joyful is a choice. A lot of people disagree with me when I say that being happy and having a good day is a choice. They often combat it explaining that bad things can happen even if you make the choice to be happy. Which, I concede, is true. However, we do have the choice to react specific ways in given situations. Anyone can see the negatives in everything we do, it takes effort to see the positives. 

Got questions about your career? We’re always happy to answer questions from our readers, so send them our way!

Check out our other blog posts for more useful tips!


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