Work productivity is a never ending conversation. We all wish we could be more productive and get things done at work. However, this requires effective time management and a strong focus-oriented mindset. The purpose of this article is guiding you to achieving that.
The safest way to increase your work productivity is by being able to shut down any thoughts about anything else except the work that you are doing. Put simple, this is called compartmentalization. While some people might be better at it than others, you should not worry if you fall into the second category, since the ability to compartmentalize is not innate, but an acquired skill. This means that everyone can achieve guru levels through practice.
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First and foremost, you must learn to stick to your schedule. Unless there is a real emergency, nothing else should be allowed to come between you and the work scheduled for a certain moment. No giving in to the temptation of having a nap before you get things done, stop for a snack in the middle of work, or remembering to call grandma just because you haven’t spoken in a while. These are all self-sabotaging attempts. The best way to avoid this natural need for interruptions is by scheduling often breaks. Use the pomodoro technique to compartmentalize your time in a way that won’t put too much pressure on your mind, and allows for short reboots.
2. Stop worrying
Stress can be the greatest productivity killer. Most of us are used to constantly worrying about things – work that needs to be done, conversations we must have (or already had), promises we should hold on to, and so on. All the worrying and ruminating is guaranteed to have a negative impact over your workflow and productivity. And you won’t get things done.
So you need to find strategies to deal with all these and keep your focus. One way to do that is taking the bull by its horns and stripping away its power. Instead of worrying about a problem you are not sure how to solve, put pen on paper and start finding solutions right away. If you can’t do it alone, you should know that finding someone to help you is a viable solution!
3. Learn to delegate
I cannot stress enough the importance of teamwork at the workplace. Having a team by your side means you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Naturally, this saves effort and time. But in order to put it to good use, you must first learn to delegate tasks. At the first glance, it might seem easy – you just tell others what to do. But any team leader and manager knows that things aren’t that simple in reality.
Delegating the right tasks to the right people is a great responsibility, and can make all the difference between a smooth-working project or an extra burden on your shoulders. Assigning the wrong people on the tasks can backfire, and put more work back on yourself. This is why you first need to get to know your team. Each team member has their own unique set of skills and abilities. Find out what those are, and how to make them work in your favor.
4. Routine, routine, routine
Routine doesn’t necessarily mean doing the same thing over and over again – we all know how boring that can be! But a healthy routine can be helpful and will enable you to get things done. This doesn’t involve doing the same things all over again, but doing things at the same time, in similar ways, day after day.
To put it simple, it doesn’t mean you need to have an apple for breakfast every day, it just means that you need to have breakfast every day. Once you have managed to establish a working routine, things will just come natural to you. Minimizing the chaos and the feeling of not knowing what to do next, gives you great comfort and allows you to become the most productive version of yourself.
5. Prioritize prioritization
Not all goals have been born equal. They can, and should be prioritized based on different criteria. First, there is time pressure and then, there is importance. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize your goals. In short, according to the matrix, there are four categories of goals:
- #1. Urgent and important – should be done right away
- #2. Important but not urgent – do it once you have finished #1
- #3. Urgent but not important – delegate
- #4. Not important and not urgent – not worth bothering with
Prioritizing goals according to Eisenhower’s matrix will help you save important time while offering you a structure to help consolidate your productivity boost. And this will help you get things done faster and more efficiently.
6. Remove distractions
The urge to procrastinate lies in all of us. It is a natural defense mechanism to deflect what our brain perceives as a threat (anything that causes stress). So, if given the opportunity, there is a huge temptation to shift focus from what’s important to what is enjoyable. Of course, we can train ourselves to fight off those impulses and most of us can do that successfully most of the time. However, sometimes a bit of help won’t harm. So it might be a good idea to log out of social media to avoid being tempted by chat notifications, shares, comments, and other friends’ activities during the time dedicated to focusing on work.
A clever team communication and collaboration app like Hubgets is an enabler for better focus at work. Because distractions are frustrating, we’ve built a layer of Artificial Intelligence in Hubgets to reduce the number of interruptions that affect your focus at work. With a simple status change, you are protected against focus-killers and your productivity skyrockets 🙂
Another smart move to prevent interruptions might be bringing everything you might need next to your desk. Refill your coffee mug before getting back to work, put a bag of nuts in the drawer in case you need a snack, and generally avoid any reasons for leaving the office while focusing on work. Regaining your focus after a serious disruption can cost you valuable time.
Focus helps you get things done in any situation, not only at work. So it’s vital to enable yourself to focus.
Get to work!
Once you have your priorities straight and set up a routine, all you need to do is to keep things in motion. Delegate tasks, remove temptations from your environment, and stop worrying about things that are out of your control. Stick to your schedule and practice compartmentalization. Lastly, do not forget to come back and tell us how it works!