Do you spend 8 hours or more at the office and still feel like you don’t have enough time to complete your work within deadlines? This happens even to the best of us. We discussed this problem at Teachlr and put our heads together to come up with valuable tips to increase productivity.
1. Sleep and eat right: You need to rest and eat healthily to have the energy you require to finish your work successfully. You’ll hardly achieve anything with tired eyes and an empty stomach.
2. Set goals: It’s difficult to start doing any activity, less reach productivity, if you don’t first know what objectives you should accomplish. Establish daily, weekly or monthly goals. These will help you visualize your progress and define steps to work smart.
3. Prioritize your goals: We find the Covey matrix to be extremely useful to increase productivity in our team:
Prioritize activities according to importance and urgency. Then program your schedule and plan activities consequently. Once your tasks and the time you need are defined, you can organize them in a table like this one:
This is an example of a post for the Teachlr blog. This system allows us to visualize the resources we’ll use, the deadline and the steps we need to take. We recommend Google Drive, as it enables the interaction with all the involved team members. Once you finish a task, you can highlight the row with a color to indicate that the case is closed!
4. Define your productive time of the day: Every person feels more productive at a different time. Some have more energy the minute they wake up and snooze during the afternoon (early birds), while others (night owls) can’t do nothing in the morning and are more focused on evenings. Discover what your “prime time” is and plan your activities accordingly.
5. Accomodate your working space: The environment influences your ability to concentrate. A dark space, a messy desk, an uncomfortable seat and a lot of annoying noise won’t allow you to do the best job. See that you have best conditions: Good lighting, comfortable chair, clean desk and the tranquility you need to focus. For some people, music is great to get certain things done.
6. Time out: A recurring problem, especially in open offices with a lot of employees, is that everyone talks to you amiss. This distracts you from continuing your line of thought. Every time you concentrate and get the focus you need to finish hard work, put up a sign with a clear symbol to indicate politely that you must not be disturbed at that moment -unless it is urgent. This is excellent to increase productivity.
7. Have necessary and productive meetings: Teams that frequently meet without any reason lose a lot of valuable time that could be invested wisely. Check that every meeting has a reason to happen, establish goals that must be met once it’s over, be punctual to start and finish and forward important conclusions to other team members. If activities do not necessarily require a meeting, even better: write down a quick email or just call.
8. Unplug: Every year we use more and more mobile devices to connect with our friends, family and colleagues. Regardless of all the advantages that mobile technology brings, we have to draw the line somewhere. If you’re at the office, silence your phone, except for calls. If someone isn’t calling, most probably it can wait.
9. Take a break: We’re humans, not machines. You need to rest your eyes from the screen, pause your mind and stretch your legs. Stop and stand up every forty minutes, take a deep breath and walk around a little. This will help you keep your energy, re-focus and revise the evolution and quality of your work.
10. Plan the next day: Spend the last fifteen minutes of your day reviewing how your check-list is. This will allow you to see what goals you have already achieved and what other tasks you still need to complete to plan your next day. This tactic will let you revise the progress of your work, prioritize more important tasks and save time.
We hope our tips make your work life easier! Do you think there’s something missing? Tell us in the comments!