We all would like to have a high working capacity and be more efficient at work. But in a world of blinking notifications, buzzing mobile devices, and instant access to all possible knowledge, the moment of productivity at work seems like a great achievement. The trick is that fleeting performance declines last a little longer than necessary, and happen quite often. Productivity is a skill that can be acquired, developed, and improved if desired. What kind of work can be considered productive? and how to be more productive?
1/ What does the word “productivity” mean?
And is there any unproductive work? Things happen. Because working productively means working productively, with high productivity and good results. Only productive work allows a person to realize their ideas and achieve success.
The word “productive” itself comes from the English “productivity”. At first, it was used in animal husbandry and agriculture to denote the best specimens of animals – fertile and giving good offspring. Over time, when the industry began to develop, it began to be used in the characterization of production.
When talking about someone’s productivity, you can measure it not only in quantity, but also give it an emotional assessment. For example, low productivity or high productivity. Productivity is not to say that it is an innate human feature. Most likely, this is a skill that can be acquired, developed, and improved if desired.
2/ What kind of work can be called productive
Knowing personal productivity and managing it is important to achieve success. In business, productivity can be judged by profit growth. And what criteria should we use to determine whether our work is productive? German sociologist Erich Fromm believed that personal productivity depends on the ability to use their powers and realize the abilities inherent in nature.
Whatever a person does, his work can be called productive if he:
- gets satisfaction from work (it is impossible to work productively if the work is boring and uninteresting);
- makes it high quality;
- show the initiative;
- does not look at the time and does not count the hours spent on it – which is called “burning with work”.
Based on this, we can conclude that the productivity of work does not depend on the amount of time spent on it. And those employers who are trying to increase the productivity of employees and, consequently, profit, by increasing the length of the working day are not right.
3/ What prevents you from working productively
Before you can get ready to work productively, you need to understand what prevents us from doing it. After all, we often spend a lot of time, effort, and energy on work, and the results leave much to be desired.
One of the reasons why we can’t work productively is because we persist. Perhaps, sometimes this quality is necessary to show. At the same time, some people often continue to move toward a goal even when it has already lost its meaning. Most likely, they do this out of inertia or without noticing the changes that have occurred. Therefore, in order not to move on a hopeless course, it is important to review your goals from time to time and ask yourself whether they are still relevant.
Another trap that reduces productivity is called the beautiful word amplification.
It is known that every job requires a certain amount of effort, but often people spend more time and effort to achieve the goal than necessary – they waste it. Amplification is characterized by repeating the same actions in order to make sure that everything is done correctly over and over again.
To do your work productively hinders such a factor as fixation when progress towards the goal is blocked. Instead of acting, the person is plunged into a state of expectation – inspiration, phone call, permission, next month, vacation, etc. Fixing is a pure waste of time, in other words – his murder.
also negatively affects productivity – a mental return to the past, replaying a life scenario, regretting unrealized opportunities, endless thoughts about what should have been done to prevent what has already happened.
Anticipating events is also a trap that reduces productivity.
First, when making plans for the future, we often waste time, because we can not foresee all the details in advance and rely on opportunities that may disappear in the future. Second, when we focus on future tasks, we forget about current ones.
I guess everyone had to promise themselves: I will do this on Monday (after New year, etc.). This is how we deceive ourselves, and we know it in our hearts. This constant postponement will never allow our work to become productive.
4/ How to increase your productivity at work
It would seem that what is easier: they come to work. But everyone understands that few people work productively all 8 hours. In addition to the time allotted for lunch, there are breaks for tea, conversations, “walks” on the Internet, etc.
In order for the working day to be productive, you need to:
Make a work plan for the whole day
If we don’t do this right after we get to work, it’s likely that we’ll be engaged in fruitless conversations or reading personal emails, putting things off for at least an hour.
Do not spray
To get real results, you should not plan to complete more than three tasks per working day. But all the forces can be directed to their solution, not forgetting to take short breaks after each of them.
Complex tasks need to be solved first
Otherwise, the problem will hang like a sword of Damocles, distracting from other tasks.
To come up with a competitor
Many people are not alien to the desire to be the best in their profession. If we choose a person among our employees who we can mentally compete with, we will get an additional incentive to work more productively.
Do not log in to the Internet without needing to
If it is difficult to resist the temptation, it is useful to put an app that “throws” us out of the network.
Solve the same type of problems together
For example, viewing mail or phone calls will take less time if you make them immediately, rather than periodically being distracted by them throughout the day.
To be punctual
To ensure that a single task doesn’t take all day, you need to control the time spent on it and observe the time frame.
be able to say “no”
If we do not master this skill, we will waste our valuable time on other people’s tasks and tasks, on useless conversations. Someone said: “Our time is the most valuable thing we can give to other people.” Therefore, do not waste them.
Not to postpone the most difficult thing on the last working hours
At this time, it is better to relax and take stock. Although many, on the contrary, catch themselves and start working only when the working day is nearing completion.
Do not switch your internal clock to wintertime
Often the most productive is this morning hour when all the household is still asleep.
5/ How to increase your productivity at home
There is an opinion that working at home is much more effective because the time spent on the road to work and back is freed up. Also, there are no distractions in the form of employees who want to share some of their impressions. But once you take a job home, you realize that it’s not as easy as it seems.
However, even here there are rules that you can follow to work productively without sitting up until midnight.
Work behind closed doors
The household should get used to the fact that while you are busy with work, you should not come in without an invitation.
To properly assess their strength
As we know, there are people who work more productively in the morning, and there are those who work better in the evening. Therefore, everyone should organize their working hours in accordance with these wishes.
Don’t waste time
Work tools: Notepad, pens, phones, etc. – should be located in the work area, because when searching for them, it is easy to get distracted and switch to other things. Also, you should close all Windows with social networks, chats, news, mail, etc.while you are working to avoid the temptation to “take a moment” to look at sites that are not related to work.
do not stay at work longer than the allotted time
If you plan to work at home, you should not expect that now we can sit at least until late at night. On the contrary, we have great motivation to finish work earlier in order to get more free time.
Work with headphones
Properly selected soft music will create a working mood, distract from the environment, and help you focus.
Do not work in home clothes
It relaxes and “calls” for rest, coffee or tea, communication with your family. Comfortable business clothing disciplines and adjusts to the working mood.
Don’t eat at your Desk
In order for the work to be fruitful, you need to be distracted from it from time to time. A break for lunch will be just an excuse to take a break.
Purchase a second computer or laptop
One will serve only for work and will not allow you to get distracted. The second can only be “entertaining”.
In moments of relaxation away from the computer
At the first sign of fatigue, you should immediately leave the workplace and go get some fresh air, move around, look through a magazine, read a book, drink tea, etc., and not sit at the computer, continuing to “look” at the monitor.
on Sunday, you need to forget about work and completely devote it to rest
6/ 3 tips to be more productive at work
Create the right conditions for productive work
Productivity can’t be turned on or off. It is influenced by how your day goes: every little thing can influence you in one way or another and distract you to varying degrees.
The first priority is to find out what conditions you are most productive in at work. How do I do this?
You need to understand when you are most productive, taking into account your habits, energy levels, life restrictions (family and other obligations), and personal characteristics.
For example, are you an early bird that is active between 5-8 am but slows down during the day? Or are you more productive in the afternoon than in the morning? Are you more comfortable in cool or warm temperatures in the office? Do you wear headphones? What are you listening to? Is this a podcast or music? What genre of music?
These considerations may seem trivial at first glance, but productivity at work largely depends on understanding why you are active and have excellent results.
Here are some other aspects to consider when determining and creating optimal performance conditions:
- Which way of working is most convenient for you? Physical comfort is very important for productive work. Do you prefer to work sitting or standing (or maybe alternating)? Multiple monitors or just one?
- What type of environment best suits your work style? Do you work most effectively in an office, an open office, at home, or in a cafe? Do you prefer to be surrounded by gray walls or plants? Should there be decor on the table?
- Do your colleagues make you more or less productive? This, of course, is often difficult to control, but there are ways to limit unwanted intrusions. For example, you can use headphones or find a quiet corner to work in.
- The tools you use are also important. You can use tools such as Trello to manage your workflow. On the other hand, if you really want to check Twitter or Instagram, which distracts you from work, you can literally block the use of these apps. Is the messaging app in your office too distracting? Disable notifications if necessary.
Set the parameters of their work
Once you’ve created the conditions you need to increase productivity, it’s time to think about how you work on projects and manage your time. Do you like to work in short-term approaches, or do you work on a project continuously until it is completed?
Find out what is best for you and manage your time with clearly defined parameters in the most productive hours for yourself. Be sure to inform your supervisor about this and mark it in your General calendar.
Here are some tips.
Set deadlines for yourself
For many people, procrastination begins when they know that they have a lot of time to complete a task — they say, why not work on something else?
One way to stop this type of thinking is to set personal deadlines. You need to finish the project in two weeks, but do you have enough free time to make a significant contribution to its completion now? Set a personal deadline not in 2 weeks, but in three days, and then you will allocate time in advance for other things that may suddenly occur and lead to the failure of all deadlines.
Avoid meetings that interrupt your most productive hours
Meetings can be a barrier to your productivity, especially when they are irrelevant or unnecessary. To make meetings more effective, you can set a schedule in advance and stick to it. Avoid meetings that you don’t have to attend!
If possible, block the time in your calendar during the most productive hours to let your team know that you can’t meet. (Be sure to discuss this with your supervisor first!) Also, don’t be afraid to cancel the meeting. Learn to say ” no ” to unnecessary or unproductive meetings — this will go a long way to improving your time management and setting boundaries, which are the key to maintaining and increasing productivity.
Set a time for checking emails, reading messages, and taking breaks
Effective time management means scheduling time for actions that might otherwise interrupt your workflow. These include checking email, reading chat messages, and taking breaks. This will depend on your work situation, but if you can go a long time without checking your notifications, you can always disable them. Or you need to focus solely on the task for 25 minutes, and then take a break to check your notifications.
Learn and adapt
You will soon find that your schedule and conditions for optimal performance may change to improve productivity. Any aspect of your experience can affect your ability to remain productive for a longer period of time.
So the last step is to stay flexible and keep track of what makes you more productive, and take this approach into account and apply it to your work. Always ask yourself questions about how you work and whether the process you have developed is relevant to remain effective. There are always ways to work better.
The most important thing is not to lose shape if you have an unproductive day. These days happen, which can cause you anxiety. Using unproductive days helps us learn and adapt — and maybe you just needed a day off to recharge!
Being more productive means regulating your ability to be distracted and interested in the task at hand. Follow these three steps, sharpen your focus, and be much more effective, successful (and happy) at work!