Last week we demystified the real definition of productivity for you all. This week, let’s see how you can put it to use at work. ‘Improving Productivity at work’ feels like that colleague who has big plans, is always busy and super-organised. Yet, at the end of the day, he is the one with unfinished work, a truck-load of stress and a million cups of coffee and papers strewn all over his desk.
The problem here lies in perception and interpretation of productivity. We perceive productivity as a task done fast and interpret it as a task that requires hard work.
In reality, productivity is about tackling a task smartly and completing it effectively.
Long story short, here are five no-fuss hacks to help you jump on the productivity boat and make your work life better.
Proactive trumps reactive, any day
Every firm prides on being process oriented, but the reality is that there are going to be days (every day) where the process goes out (of) the window. And you’re left scurrying around trying to make up for the lost work and time. Such situations require premonition.
Anticipating the next day’s work night before and coming up with a plan will be beneficial. Constant phone and con-calls, emails and brainstorming sessions will always come in your way, just don’t let them dictate how you’ll spend your day.
Pro-productivity tip for improving productivity at work: Plan your day and stick to it as closely as possible.
Give up perfection for determination
We all run after perfection, which in most cases is an illusion. Perfecting a task requires time, practice, patience and a lot of hard work. But, at times, in spite of all the efforts, perfection is still not guaranteed.
No one is saying to drop the effort, just don’t get hung up on attempting to perfect a task. The idea is to complete the job to the best of your ability and move it off your plate. Simply put, it’s about progress, commitment and effort. You can always come back to the task after completing other important work.
Pro-productivity tip: Be determined to ‘perfect’ the task to the best of your ability. Then, move on.
The “two-minute rule”
First coined by entrepreneur Steve Olenski, the “two-minute rule” suggests completing a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, on an immediate basis. This will help you make most of your time at work.
Olenski believes that a task which can be completed immediately takes less time as compared to doing it later. This tactic has made Olenski one of the most influential content strategists online.
Pro-productivity tip: Sending an email, finishing touches on a presentation or replying to text in most cases will take 2 minutes. Get done with it now!
Taking a break is not a sin
If you believe that your brain can be in work mode 24/7, then you’re either kidding or just blessed. Every task at work requires you to give your 100%, right?
Then, working on something that is draining all your energy should be stopped immediately.
Instead of relentlessly working on one thing, take a break when you feel your mind cannot take even an iota of information. A break will leave you refreshed and ready to take the task head on.
Pro-productivity tip: If you’re being judged for listening to your own body, you’re working for the wrong people.
Find the best (Read Smart) way to do your work!
Just like one shoe cannot fit all; one strategy cannot solve all the tasks at hand. Whenever a process or work makes you frustrated, question yourself- What’s the best way to do this. The best approach might not be the fastest, but it will be the easiest.
Also, make changes that will speed up your routine/process. In such a case, the trick will be your own and something that you can do best; no one can do better right?
Pro-productivity tip: Don’t work harder, work smarter.