How is it possible that some people can complete their work in a day, while some still drag it or need more time? During appraisal meetings, many might have been provided with feedback that they need to be more productive.
The Meaning of Productivity
Productivity is the measurement of the efficiency of a person, machine, device or any instrument. Therefore, for a working professional, productivity is measured in terms of how much work could be completed within a specified or estimated time.
Eight Ways to Boost Your Productivity at Workplace
1. A To-Do List:
As you reach the office, once you are done with your daily task of checking emails and grabbing a cup of coffee, list down the tasks that have to be completed. You could do this in your notepad or use a productivity software. Once your comprehensive list is ready, prioritize the tasks. It would give you a clear picture of what needs to be done today, and what could wait until tomorrow. The other benefit of a to-do list and setting priorities is that it helps to take up the higher priority tasks first, eliminating non-critical tasks for that day or week.
2. Parallel Execution Rather than Multitasking:
Though people usually believe that the mind is well equipped to multi-task, science has proven that the brain is not capable of it. Instead, you should try parallel execution which is a simple method of doing two tasks in parallel, yet handling one at a time. For example, if you have half an hour to complete the following two tasks –
- Installing ABC tool
- Drafting a reply to your manager
You could first pick up the installer and let it run in the background, and in the meantime you could open your inbox to reply to your manager’s email. This way you complete two tasks within the same time frame. However, picking a task that could be executed parallelly could be tricky, and there is no set protocol. Therefore you are the best judge and with practice you will surely succeed.
3. Get the Dependency Sorted:
With most offices now located globally, an entire team working in the same time zone becomes a challenge. Therefore, you need to choose the tasks that are dependent on others or need assistance from other team members. Based on the timings of the rest of the team, you can schedule these and get things sorted. For example, if you are working in the US and preparing a PowerPoint presentation that needs inputs from your UK counterpart, you should take up this task first as the UK office may be closed if you decide to wait till the end of day.
4. Have a Clear Vision and Focus:
Often there are a lot of distractions which could keep you out of sight with the task list. Hence, it is necessary to have a clear vision and focus on your work. A clear vision of what you need to achieve for a day, a week or a month is a mandate to gain productivity and good performance.
5. Commit to your Timelines:
Be it an internal deliverable or a major release or a sales call, if you have committed to a timeline, make sure you stick to it, even if it means canceling or stretching a meeting. When you meet your timelines, it is a positive remark on your performance and also gives you a boost in terms of productivity.
6. Enjoy Your Work:
If a person is forced to do something or is executing a task half-heartedly, then he is not doing complete justice to his work. For example, suppose a person is hired for automation testing, but due to some circumstances, he is put into manual testing, and he is not willing to work on it.This would affect his productivity, resulting in low performance. Therefore, it is necessary to put your heart into your work and take yourself out of it if you cannot.
7. Set a Self Forced Deadline:
If a delivery date is on Friday, set an internal deadline of Wednesday for yourself and keep a day or two as buffer, if things are out of place you would have enough time to rework and sort out issues.
8. Turn off your notifications:
It is said that nearly half of our work is consumed on checking notifications on mobile and PC / Laptop and responding to them. During work hours it seen that employees are unable to resist the allure of an email, text notification and voicemail. Learn to turn off your notifications, and instead set a separate time to check email and messages.
A lot could be achieved with hard work, focus, and the will to succeed. If you are enthusiastic and fervent, you move get higher and higher on the productivity curve.