Infographic: Maximizing Productivity using these 15 simple hacks
Maximizing Productivity – 15 Simple Hacks:
Infographic created, using Piktochart
Time, unlike other resources is irreplaceable! Even a fraction of it, once lost is forever lost! Although we know that TIME IS A SCARCE RESOURCE, instead of running against it and ending up in stress, WORK WITH IT.
When it comes to improving productivity, HOW you accomplish the tasks is as significant as WHAT you accomplish.
Productivity improvement = what you do + How you do
Most of us get often confused with productivity and efficiency. Here is a small snapshot of the two terms, before we learn about maximizing productivity.
Let us know how to implement these tips to improve our productivity.
1. Begin your day:
Start your day by writing down at least 3 tasks to finish. This lets you have a clear picture of your primary tasks, people you need to contact and resources you need to assemble. What a great way to focus!!
2. Pomodoro Technique:
Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro (tomato), after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
Continuous usage of the technique helps us to concentrate on the work we do by minimizing interruptions and distractions.
Learn more about the technique here Pomodoro (or)
3. Two-minute rule:
Never postpone a task that can be finished in two-minutes or less. The more you procrastinate, the higher will be the percentage of tasks piling up at the end of the day. This adds to your stress level too.
4. Activity Logs:
It is a written log or record of how you spend time on different tasks. Recording activity log helps associates optimize their productive time. Studying a log, after continuous usage, helps in analyzing many factors including understanding if the work done is efficiently executed or not.
5. Use templates:
Reduce the time spent in writing repetitive emails. Create templates like fill-in-the-blanks format, to enter only specific information related to a transaction/client/case. Further, work on improvement and automation projects to reduce the average handling time of tasks.
6. Urgent-important principle:
This is a well-known yet rarely applied principle. Picking up tasks based on instincts would not help improve productivity. Often people seem confused and distracted about how to prioritize tasks. The matrix may help achieve it. The principle emphasizes on doing important tasks first!
The order of the tasks should be as follows:
- First Priority : Highly Urgent – Highly Important
- Second Priority: Highly Important- Less less urgent
- Next: Highly Urgent- Less Important
- Last: Less Urgent-Less Important
7. Use a password manager:
It might seem too trivial to notice that an average person spends ..time on logging in to different applications per day. When accumulated, that converts to a loss of many productive hrs per month. Having a password manager resolves this.
8. Group similar tasks:
This is based on continuity principle. When you are performing similar tasks continuously the speed and efficiency increases. On contrary, mixing up different tasks requires shifting focus each time on new task. Therefore, productivity gets a hit.
Productivity boosts if you can manage to perform similar tasks in batches rather than splitting them up. It’s easier to accomplish more with the flow.
9. Make meetings effective:
Consider the following factors before even attending or organizing meetings.
- Is this relevant to you?
- Is your attendance a requisite?
- Can you communicate the same in email?
10. De-clutter your desk:
An untidy desk, can make your work havoc. Clear your desk, remove the unwanted items, sort, set in order and maintain this system. It helps you save an enormous amount of time later and most importantly, makes you and your work more organized. Clear head lead to clear prodigies!
- Create an inspirational board – Put up things that motivate you the most
- Remove unwanted items – Stationery, papers, files etc.
- Create a gadget-free desk (Turn-off the notifications)
11. Assign a Task-Agent:
Assign a task-agent to keep a check on your tasks, number of times you get distracted, number of tasks you postponed etc. Give it to someone who has guts to reprimand you, can help you achieve the objective of this exercise.
A peer, or your supervisor can help you with this until you are all set to drive things by yourself.
12. Use the lost hours productively:
Usually the time that’s lost when there is a technical down-time, time spent in commuting can be put to use by doing something productive. Because, optimizing our resources is the essence of maximizing productivity.
- Use your travel time to attend calls
- Listen to useful podcasts that enhance your work skills
- Make notes
- Read books- Learn new things!
13. Find your motivation:
Choose a task that gives you motivation to finish the pending tasks. Whether it is completing an easy task first, or the hardest one first. Setting the right momentum for the day is necessary to keep things going.
14. Learn to say “NO”:
Whether its time-eating co-worker, or never-ending help-requests from peers, or even handling additional responsibilities (beyond your existing ones) learn to say “NO” professionally. Your productivity is of utmost importance to your performance as well as to your department. Anything that hampers productivity should be dealt with appropriately.
15. Create a good working environment:
Not only the aesthetic but having a pleasant working environment, encourages you to do perform better. Avoid team conflicts, arguments, discussions about non-work related matters while processing your work. Engaging like this can also lead to errors.
Additionally, ensure that there is proper lighting and reduced noise levels.
If possible work in proper daylight!
Added to the above, trying to memorize things and struggling to recall the information is worse. Try putting things on paper, or on any apps you maintain ( unless you do not have to waste additional productive time to keep logging in several times).
You can accomplish more just by shuffling few things up, practicing some self-discipline, engaging with relevant, useful information and by unaltered focus to achieve your targets.