Is it possible to accomplish more without burning out or putting in more hours? Whether you’re working from home, the office, or a mix of both. We put together 10 tricks on how to work more effectively and get more out of less.Check out these productivity tricks and tips to make the most of your workday.
We all want to be productive. Unfortunately, we are also biologically-hardwired to procrastinate or be distracted. It’s no wonder that there is much literature about productivity. And more research is still being conducted.
Sure we have times of being gloriously proactive and focused at work. But most of the time, we drag ourselves to work, and even starting a task can be daunting. We have carefully written down our plans and aim to accomplish more. However, by the end of the day, we feel defeated for not following through with our commitments.
And you know that every wasted time and day also means lost money and resources. So how do you get yourself or your team progressively moving every workday without a herculean effort?
True enough, it’s hard to be perfectly productive every single day. But there are effective strategies you can take to boost your productivity level and be at your best. The secret to productive workdays starts with simple changes, a proper mindset, and balance.
There is no one-size-fits-all system to ensure productivity in the workplace. However, you can begin by first identifying the possible hindrances and evaluating the current system. As well as your company’s culture. Whether you are concerned with your productivity or that of your employees, it is crucial to identify potential causes so you can fix them.
Disengaged employees, for example, is one of the leading causes of low productivity. Other factors are stress, heavy workloads, longer shifts, and more. It is vital, then, to refine your working process to boost productivity.
Some of the benefits of a productive workplace are:
Individually, an effective working process allows you to do what you do best without burning out. It helps you to eliminate unnecessary tasks so you can concentrate on the more important work. Improved productivity will not only help you accomplish your goals promptly, but it will give you a sense of fulfilment too.
Thus, find, develop, and test systems that work and stick with them. Here are proven productivity tips you can start incorporating.
To have a productive day, establish a good morning routine. Evaluate your morning rituals and see if it’s helping you to jumpstart your day well or not. What you do the moment you wake up will impact your overall mood and energy throughout the day, so take your mornings seriously.
To maximize your day, develop a morning routine that will help you be more energetic and focused. Here are some tips to consider:
Research shows that exercising will improve your mood and your ability to handle the day well. Exercise will not only keep you physically fit, but it will also benefit your mental health. If you can, exercise outdoors to benefit from natural sunlight.
Try your best not to skip breakfast as it will be your most important meal of the day. Refrain from eating foods that are high in sugar and preservatives to avoid an energy crash. Instead, opt for protein-rich foods to sustain your energy and help you last longer. Include a balanced amount of fiber and carbohydrates too.
Spend some quiet time in prayer, meditation, or do breathing exercises. These can help you have a calm disposition throughout the day. Spending about 15 to 30 minutes in silence can help reduce your stress level and anxiety.
You don’t necessarily have to be a morning person or wake up before the sun rises on the horizon. While many are morning larks, we all know that some are born night-owls. The key is to schedule your wake-up time early enough that you still have time to follow a good morning routine. For it to be possible, you need to set a regular bedtime.
If you have a flexible work schedule, then follow your body’s natural rhythm. One way to hack your productivity is to know your brain’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Find out your sleep chronotype so you can better schedule your day.
Tip: A key to getting enough sleep is not worrying about what the next day will bring. Planning ahead with tools like an online Gantt chart, you'll know exactly what tomorrow holds. And can sleep more easily.
Motivation is one of the driving forces of productivity. Thus, make every effort to practice positive reinforcement whether to motivate yourself or your employees. This isn’t just a trick to enhance productivity, but it’s also good office protocol!
Regularly evaluate results, provide feedback and constructive criticism, and congratulate yourself or your employees for doing a good job. Provide incentives for a job well done, and ensure every success won’t go unnoticed.
If employees know that their efforts are well appreciated, they will strive harder to do better every time. Moreover, this will make them happier and optimistic. A happy workforce is always more productive.
Read on: See some more DOs and DON’Ts of managing your project team.
Distractions—no matter how big or small—is a major productivity killer. While we naturally tend to be distracted, we can prevent ourselves from doing so by being proactive. We won’t win simply by resisting; we need to eliminate, distance ourselves from possible distractions so it won’t take over our day.
The key is to identify what are the things that will mostly distract us, as well as what are our main priorities. While you can’t ignore all distractions, like emergency phone calls and other urgent tasks, most of them can be eliminated or managed in such a way that it won’t demand so much of our attention all the time. Below are the most common distractions that you should start handling well so you can boost your productivity.
If possible, turn off your phone during work hours or put it out of arm’s reach. Another productivity trick is to turn off social media notifications and other non-essential apps both on your smartphone and desktop. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stop using social media (including Netflix and all other apps), but the goal is to manage your time using it.
If you are not intentional with your phone use or how much time you spent on social media and other apps, you are willingly wasting your day. And in case you need to use your phone for outgoing calls, designate a time to do it, so you don’t get tempted to check it every chance you have.
Manage your email but resist the urge to check it all the time. Another major hindrance to achieving peak productivity is email. Not all emails are important and urgent, so categorize and identify only those that need immediate attention. Don’t fall into the trap of “inbox zero,” or else you’ll spend your whole day reading and replying to threads. Create a strategy to manage your inbox so that it’ll help you become productive and efficient, not the other way around.
Nothing wastes more time than finding missing files and tools. A messy workspace can be a huge distraction. Not only that it is physically irritating, but it can negatively affect your ability to focus. A cluttered and disorganized workspace can sorely affect your productivity. Thus, aim to keep your space clutter-free and organized. It is aesthetically pleasing to look at, and you can save time finding files, stationery, and tools easily at the right place when you need them.
Read on: See some more ideas on setting up the ideal home office with some work from home essentials.
When you and your employees have the right tools and equipment, accomplishing a task becomes more efficient. While not having the right tools and equipment is counterproductive and can also add to workplace stress and frustration. To achieve all your work goals and objectives, you must arm your workforce with the right tools necessary to complete the job.
Here are some tools to consider:
Nowadays, time and productivity tracking apps may be a great way to boost productivity. Not only that it will help in streamlining processes, but you and your team can monitor their productivity too. With these planning tools, you can check the time spent on specific tasks as well as other functionalities. Thus, it allows you to evaluate and see areas for improvement right away.
Collaboration tools and communication apps, especially with today’s unprecedented unfolding of remote work and new working setups, are becoming indispensable. These tools are beneficial primarily in simplifying collaboration and communication. Instead of relying only on the traditional like email, these apps are excellent in streamlining workflow.
Project Management tools are used by a wide range of industries for project planning, resource allocation and scheduling. Such tools can help to keep track of the activities being carried out in the project like which task is assigned to which team member, which phase of the project is completed and when it is completed, etc.
Some project management tools also offer resource planning modules. Resources can make or break your project and correct tools can allow teams to collaborate with stakeholders and clients so they get to see who is working on what and when.
Tip: Sign up for a free trial of Ganttic and see for yourself how resource planning tools boost individual as well as team productivity.
Multitasking isn’t a skill but an illusion and productivity killer. More and more research shows that when you keep switching between tasks—it harms your productivity instead of helping it. What’s more alarming is the fact that not only that it can slow you down, but it is also physically damaging an area of your brain. It can lead to impaired decision-making, emotional control, and empathy. And even your brain’s response to rewards’ can be hurt simply by regularly multitasking.
So a trick for better productivity is instead of multitasking, aim to monotask. Focus only on one vital task at a given time. And in case you must finish other assignments, see if you can delegate some of them.
Read on: If you do have work that necessitates multitasking learn how to do it more efficiently – we prepared some tips on scheduling concurrent tasks.
It’s essential to set a deadline for every task. Otherwise, you run the risk of never completing it. If your work does not indicate when to complete a task or project, it’s hard to be productive or even measure it. Open-ended projects need to have a deadline, or else you or your team will resort to procrastination.
Without a clear and specific timeframe, it’s easy for the job to be left undone. Manageable deadlines allow you to focus your energy and help you to gauge your productivity.
Mornings can be chaotic and full of surprises. One trick for a productive day is to plan the night before to minimize stress and decision-making strain. Don’t settle on just preparing your clothes and breakfast, but write your to-do list as well. Make a list of what you want to accomplish or what your priorities should be for the following day. When you do so, you wake up more aware, which can help you manage your day.
However, refrain from overdoing it by writing a detailed list. Make it concise, emphasizing first your high-priority task. Doing so will help you better control your energy and time.
Handle interruptions well by being proactive, not reactive. So one important productivity trick everyone should learn is to just say “no.”
Minimize your chances of being interrupted by being polite but straightforward. Say no to things that are not your priority. Do not make yourself available to anyone all the time. One best way to inform people you need to concentrate is to post a “Do Not Disturb” sign. You can also tell your colleagues that you can only accept requests that are of high importance.
Meetings are another productivity butcher. Only accept meeting invitations that have a clear agenda and objective. See also if your presence is truly needed.
Seriously taking your breaks can surprisingly boost your productivity. Enjoying your break and savoring it can help you work at your best instead of speeding up or doing work during break time. It’s because breaks allow you to physically and mentally rest. In effect, it enhances your blood flow and cognition. In short, it helps you recover your focus.
If allowed, take more regular short breaks. You can do light exercise or have a nap. The point is, do not work or think about work during your break time. If you want to be productive, you have to get your focus back. And you can do so just by having a break.
There are a lot of ways to reward yourself without causing you harm. One trick to up your productivity level is by encouraging self-care. You can start by eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and pampering yourself to help you relax and rejuvenate. For your team, you can give them perks as a reward. These could be discounts to massage centers or spas, gym memberships, movies, and other recreational and relaxation activities.
Productivity isn’t just about logging in more hours or producing more. Instead, it’s about being proactive and effective at work in a way that work-life balance is still maintained. It is essential to know that each individual is unique, so finding a productive system requires patience and determination. The key is to be consistent and develop habits gradually.
If you’re interested in a more productive workspace, consider the benefits of online resource planning. Whether you’re working from home, the office, or a mix of both, Ganttic’s planner can help give you the boost you need to get your work done. Learn more by signing up for a free trial and seeing for yourself. We can also guide you through the process with a personalized demo that will answer all your questions.
As offices adapt to a hybrid approach to work, the question of the right tools arise. Here’s some of the best web apps for in hybrid offices.
If you’re managing a content marketing team and looking for a few ways to improve productivity, we got some tips for you. By asking yourself a few questions, you can…
We give you 5 easy ways to increase your employee engagement. Helping to create a more productive, healthier, and efficient work environment. See how!
Why are your employees stressed? See the top reasons in our infographic. Find your team’s pain points to see how to fix them with resource planning.
14-day free trial. No credit card required.