How to Increase Workplace Productivity
Productivity. This word is constantly on our minds throughout the day. How can we get the most done in the least amount of time? You may feel pressure from a boss or multiple clients to get an overwhelming amount of work done. So, we try to multitask, push through the day without lunch or a break, and let our work area become cluttered and disheveled. I want to argue that in order to be the most productive, none of those things should happen.
According to Forbes, “the more productive your company, the easier it is to boost profits and improve business relationships.” Below are some important and tested strategies to make your business more productive.
Take your lunch break... And other breaks throughout the day.
I don’t know if I can accurately count how many times I’ve skipped lunch to “get more work done.” NO. Don’t do this. Take even just 15 minutes to fuel your body and give your mind a break. You may think that extra 15 minutes is essential to finishing up some work, but soon you will start feeling fatigued and unfocused causing the task to take a longer amount of time. This is true throughout the entire day. You need to give your mind time to recharge and be refreshed. Taking a 15 minute break allows for this. According to Forbes, “some big tech companies even have break rooms with Ping-Pong tables to give employees space to rest and have fun at work.”
Don’t try to multitask. Instead conquer transitions.
Multitasking is actually a myth. According to Psychology Today, “research in neuroscience tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might. In fact, we just switch tasks quickly.” So no, you can’t actually do multiple things at once. And you trying to do so will actually not be as productive. Instead focus on just one task and see if you can’t complete it better, faster, and with less energy. Strategy+Business talks about how conquering the little transitions from small task to small task is also helpful in increasing productivity. “By taking stock, cutting back, and recognizing the potential of your transitions, you can make every nuanced pivot point a successful ending of one task and a promising start to the next.”
Personalize and organize your workspace.
Enjoying work includes enjoying the workspace you’re in. Which is generally your office / cubical. By personalizing and decorating your space, the workplace feels inviting and is visually enjoyable. A healthy work environment is created when there is “an upbeat atmosphere that makes everyone feel appreciated and motivated.” This is not only achieved by personalizing the workspace but by also keeping it organized. When your desk is a mess, your brain also becomes cluttered.
Avoid pointless meetings. Instead track your tasks.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever left a meeting thinking, “What was the point of that?” This is a common occurrence in businesses of all sizes. Instead, a better use of time would include tracking the time it takes to accomplish tasks and reporting this digitally to your superiors. This not only will allow business leaders to analyze how their teams are using their time but will also not waste the time of the entire company in a meeting. “Studying the data reveals which employees are productive and which ones need more training or testing. You can make personnel adjustments in real time if necessary to make up for lost production,” says Forbes.
So. Stop pretending you can multitask, eat lunch, don't plan pointless meetings, and take time to organize and decorate your office. These simple actions will lead to you crushing your workday.
To read more about increasing productivity, check out these sources:
Psychology Today’s The Myth of Multitasking
Strategy+Business’s The Art of the Transition
Forbes’s 12 Time-Tested Techniques To Increase Workplace Productivity
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