If you’re really struggling to make the most of your time at work, here are a few of the best tips to maximise your productivity.
The effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.
synonyms: efficiency, production, productiveness, work rate, output, yield, capacity, productive capacity
It’s no use you wake up every morning, drag yourself out of bed, pitch up to work unmotivated, and spend the day twiddling your toes. Wasting your time is such an unhealthy habit that some (we won’t say who) may call you a thief. A thief who's stealing the company’s money by getting paid for being a lazy bum.
Each person in your department has the same amount time to do a different number of things. No, Sarah isn’t superhuman (or any other superhero for that matter), she just has more energy and is more motivated than you.
The trick is to muster the energy to keep you on a high for longer. Working more hours means a big fat zero hollow egg if you don’t get things done anyway. Here’s a secret: The best managers don’t care how much time you spend at your desk, they just want quality results. Results results results. And to get results, you must produce produce produce.
Fun fact: Did you know that produce is the root word for productivity? Well now you know (insert gasps, wows, and mindblowing ‘boom badow boosh’ sounds.)
So now that we’ve convinced you, Mr Lazy Bum, that you need to stop thieving time, let’s get you to increase your productive juices and even put Super Sarah to shame:
1. Find a balance between sleep, exercise and nutrition.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know it’ll get your energy up. While it actually took scientists to prove it, it’s common knowledge now. So use your common knowledge and balance your life.
2. Combat procrastination.
Because later becomes one-minute-before-deadline. Or worse - never. Procrastinator may sound awesome, like The Terminator or The Governator, but it’s not. Not even almost. If you don’t know what to do, look up Nike’s slogan.
It is possible to be busy doing nothing. Super Sarah already knows that working and getting things done are different. Get serious and ask yourself: Is what I'm doing right now adding value to my job and growth? If you've been typing all day whole day e'ry day, but answered no… Honey, you’re doing it wrong!
4. Plan your tasks.
Simple: make a to-do list. Simpler: decide how much time each task needs. Simplest: Do it top to bottom without distractions.
5. Do the most important task first.
Remember that simple to-do list you need to make (hint: look at number 4)? On your to-do list, put the most urgent, the most important and the one with the closest deadline at the top. Duh!
6. Time's money so treat it as such.
Have a clear understanding of the amount of time a certain task will take to complete. Set a strict time limit to complete it. Oh look, we already mentioned this. You may therefore deduce that this is an important point. Yes. Yes it is.
(Bonus Tip: Googling 'Set Timer' is a real thing!)
7. Master the art of saying no
If the meeting doesn't concern you don't go. If a task can wait, add it to a future to-do list. You have to do your best to stick to the task at hand and follow your to-do list. (As you can see, this to-do list thing really is important!)
Have a Kit Kat if you must. Since you’re not a robot (we’re pretty sure you aren’t) your mind needs to rest in order to refocus. You can do at least this one, right? I mean, how hard is it to just chill for a while? #chill #chilling #coffee #lunch #socialisingatwork #freedom #kitkatbreak
There are no shortcuts in life. Work hard. The more you do it, the easier it gets. If you don’t believe us, believe Gary Player who once said and is now famously quoted: The harder you work, the luckier you get.
10. Add some pressure.
We get it. Sometimes work is boring. Sometimes the tasks and deadlines are easy and you lose all oomph. And that sucks. But you can get your oomph back! All you have to do is power-up: Add more tasks to your list, set personal goals, do a lot more than the bare minimum, and reach the deadlines with time to spare.
Working under pressure awakens a drive you never knew you had.
Soon you’ll be productive with your eyes closed (Disclaimer: Do not close your eyes while working. This is an idiom and is not to be taken literally.)
11. Tune out.
Put in your earphones (or headphones if you’re one of those people who says ear buds feel like creepy crawlies) so that annoying-boring-story-telling-Sally doesn’t interrupt you, your thought process or your tight schedule. It’s okay to be selfish.
Take notes, always. Us humans suck at remembering stuff. Yes, even you. In fact, if you’re reading this, it’s probably especially you. Write down everything! Or if you want to be fancy and complicated, use your phone’s voice recorder.
13. Now get off Facebook.
You already know this. Facebook wastes time that you could be using for better blah blah blah…
Do you think Superman wastes his time on Facebook? No, because everyone will die and the bad guys will get away. Metropolis will literally fall to pieces (like a sad Gotham) if Superman couldn’t control that notification icon and its red numbers. So get back to work!
And that’s all you need to do.
Congratulations, You’re now officially crowned Super Productive Man! (Superwoman Sarah will be so jealous!)
Or if you still feel unproductive and your job still sucks, find a job that'll make you feel and act like Superman. Think of Careers24 as Clark Kent’s phone booth (you know, the one he changes in to become super).