Shauna Hanna

Work smarter, Not harder: 5 things you can do (right now) to boost productivity at work

If there is one word that describes today’s work environment - it’s BUSY. Think about your own office...and picture your colleagues running from one meeting to another, unable to focus fully on their tasks because they are being distracted by other people and other things, buried under a sea of emails and because of all that - working overtime just to meet their deadlines.

In situations like this, it’s not even remotely possible to be creative, nevermind productive.  It’s a bonus just to make it through the day.  But what about all those tasks that need completed?  That’s right, they slip and don’t get done when they need to.

Here’s just some tips to help you win back the working day:

Workplace Productivity - 5 things you can do to boost productivity at work

Stop procrastinating

When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s nearly too late.  And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we started earlier. You know who you are...I am the queen of procrastination! The chronic procrastinators amongst us have spent years of their life looped in this cycle.  So how do you break it?
Break up work into chunks or steps
Set goals and track your progress against them
When you’ve done that, take a break and give yourself a reward

Stop being a perfectionist

Stop being your own worst enemy, even when we are done with a task, we linger on to find new things to improve on. Lingering starts off as 10 minutes, then 30 minutes, then an hour, and so on. Very quickly, we spend way more time on a task than we should’ve done.

Perfectionism only leads to procrastination.  Also, when everything you do is perfect, it's easy to fall into the trap of expecting others to behave and deliver in the same way too -  in the real world, not everyone is the same as you.

Start saying no

Everyone wants a piece of you, am I right?  You might think saying yes to every little thing people ask of you is a good thing, but it’s not. So let it be known (politely) that your time is valuable, if you don't say it loud and clear, you won’t be heard.  Just be honest and tell them no or ask them to come back later when you’re less busy.

Multitasking - It’s actually not a good thing

Stop being a multitasker and start being a completionist – Each time you start a new task, don’t stop working on it until it’s finished. Don’t switch tasks, no matter how much you want to. It might be hard at first, but eventually your focus and work quality will improve because of it.  If you prefer to ease your way out of multitasking, start batching your work to begin with. Group 2-3 similar tasks together, and multitask those tasks (and only those tasks) until they are complete.

Forget FOMO 

Social media and the internet in general can easily become a bit of a trap, we are overloaded with information from many sources on a daily basis and we constantly feel the need to check it, or else we would miss out on something important. The truth is, there is too much information, and trying to keep up with it only leads to another way of experiencing burnout. So try turning off unnecessary notifications.  You won’t miss out and you can catch up during your lunch break or when you get home.

These things are just some of the ways you can help improve your own individual productivity at work, but it’s important to think about the organisation as a whole too - we’ve put together a handy guide to help all the HR Managers out there consider the steps that can be put in place organisation-wide to help boost productivity.


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