4 Steps to be More Productive at Work Everyday

be more productive at workIf you’re in constant search of ways to be more productive at work you are not alone.

Is your day is filled with the ever-growing To-Do list and you’re feeling like you aren’t making any progress?

Two questions for you:

Have you ever analyzed what percentage of your work time is spent on productive activities?

Have you ever figured out what percentage of time is spent on interruptions and distractions?

Most people overestimate how productive they actually are on a regular basis. In fact, some studies show that as much as half of your time is spent on non-productive activities, eek.

So, how can you be more productive at work and get more done?

Here are 4 steps to improve your productivity everyday.

Keep Track of Your Schedule for One Week

For one week, keep a record that tracks exactly when you’re doing what at work. Write down when you begin to actually do your tasks, as well as when you begin doing something else, for example checking Facebook or email.

Your log entries might look something like this:

12:15 – Started Work

12:31 – Chatted on Facebook

12:36 – Started Work

12:52 – Check Email

When you find yourself doing anything that isn’t productive, jot it down.

Whenever anyone interrupts you (in person, by phone, text message, etc.) or asks you a question, make note of that as well.

What’s Your Productive Time?

After you have completed your productivity tracking for one week, you’ll have great information at your fingertips.

Now examine:

What percentage of your day is actually used on productive activities?

What percentage is not?

You’ll be able to pinpoint your most frequent and common distractions. As a result, you’ll be able to improve your productivity in the future.

Initiating Productivity Policies

Once you know what’s stopping you from being productive, the next step is to initiate policies that keep you on track.

For example: Assume one major reason you aren’t as productive as you’d like is because of distractions and interruptions. Every 15 minutes or so, someone comes by your desk and breaks your concentration. That makes it hard for you to get anything done.

You might combat this by instituting a “no interruptions” policy. Put a note on your door that says “No Interruptions.” You could also turn the ringer on your phone off and ask people to text you if it’s urgent.

On the other hand, if you find that you spend 15 minutes every hour checking email, you might decide to only check email two-times a day – at the beginning of the day and then again at the end.

Determining your biggest obstacles to productivity is the first step to being more productive.

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. – Paul J. Meyer

Schedule Chunks of Work Time

One of the best ways to increase productivity is to schedule in chunks of work time. This is time that’s devoted to work and nothing else. No interruptions, no Facebook, no texting, no email – period.

When you kept a record of your hours, you most likely recognized how much of your day is spent on interruptions, right? These chunks of work time are dedicated to interrupted work with no distractions.

What Next?

The first step in being more productive is to commit to changing your current methods…take action.

By following these steps, you’ll improve your work schedule. You will find that you can easily improve your productivity by 30%, 50% or in some cases even 100%!

Just think of the other stuff you could be doing with your time. ;)

What steps have you taken to to be more productive at work? You can email me or share below in the comments section. Thank you.

Theresa Delgado • Sales Skills that Actually Work!

 
photo credit: * Cati Kaoe * via photopin cc

Comments

  1. says

    Great Tips, Theresa! One of my sidetracks is when I see a site or video that falls into research I want to do. It’s tempting to check it out now, than bookmark it. So I do my priority tasks FIRST, then social media, where I tend to explore.

    • says

      I hear you Bess. I’m trying something new where I’ve gone into my calendar and actually blocked off times to devote to certain tasks. I set up alarms, so I know when I have something else scheduled and then I go on to that item. It’s working so far, but it’s hard to keep from saying, “I’ll just look at this…real quick.”

      Thank you for your comment – T :)

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