Most businesses and dedicated employees spend at least some of their time considering the ways that they might be able to maximize efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting things done many industries attempt to adopt a one-size-fits-all solution which usually revolves around committing to longer hours in an effort to increase output. Although working harder can be useful in some situations – overworking staff members, or yourself, can lead to an unproductive, unhappy, and stressful work experience.
When you only have a certain number of hours in your work day, it’s crucial to discover a routine that helps you to make the most of your time. Perhaps the best way to maximize your productivity is not to work harder – but to work smarter, meaning that you’re more cautious about the way you manage your time. Remember that engaged employees are 38% more likely to work better. Following are some small ways you can make huge positive changes to productivity.
1. Start on the Right Foot
Part of increasing productivity in the workplace is ensuring you get off to the right start. Something as simple as planning your tasks and goals for the day can be enough to stop you from procrastinating when you get to work. Often, it can help to develop a routine that you can associate with work-time, so that you can switch your brain between professional, and informal modes. Some ways that you can convince yourself to get into a working mindset is to adjust things at your workspace, dedicate yourself to a pre-morning exercise routine, or even simply turning off your phone and storing it somewhere safe.
2. Trade Meetings for Action
Although meetings can be productive from time to time, they can also cause entire mornings to vanish before your eyes when discussions run on for too long. Unfortunately, in today’s workplace, it seems more common than ever for businesses to hold numerous meetings and lengthy discussions, leading to anywhere up to 31 hours every month of employees sitting around, being unproductive. It may not be necessary to demolish meetings altogether, but ask yourself whether they have to be quite as long and frequent as they currently are. Spend your time working towards a goal – rather than sitting around talking about it.
3. Utilize Password Management
How much time do you dedicate each day to memorizing various username and password combinations? With so many websites, devices, and applications used in business today, it can be a struggle to set up various high-security passwords and remember them all. However, using the same password for all accounts is dangerous for businesses hoping to protect their data. Because remembering unique passwords without help can be complex, password managers can help to alleviate some wasted time, and stress. If nothing else, these systems can help to reduce the chances of workers having to hit the “reset” button for their password every week.
4. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Although most people associate multi-tasking with productivity, the truth is that it may not be effective. In fact, psychological studies have shown that people who attempt to engage in numerous tasks at once can lead to lost productivity and time. Splitting your time up between various jobs means dividing your productivity levels into different areas, and increasing your chances of becoming easily distracted, or forgetting about a crucial part of one particular task. Instead of multitasking, simply make a plan for tackling one thing at a time, and you’re likely to complete far more in your work day.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Though taking a few moments to rest may seem like a poor way to improve productivity, taking short breaks throughout long tasks can help you to relax, and improve your concentration. Contrastingly, forcing yourself to remain focused on one complicated task for long periods of time can lead to a decline in performance. The more stress you’re suffering from, the more your productivity is likely to suffer, so give yourself a break, and take a moment when you need to.
6. Reduce Noise
With a lot of offices beginning to take the “collaborative” approach to working, noise can become a significant problem, and studies have shown that more noise leads to higher degrees of stress, and less productivity as a result. If you’re a worker, try to access a noise-proof location every now and again when you need space to focus, and if you’re in a management position, try to find ways of offering your employees that space when they need it.
Developing a productive workplace is crucial to creating a successful business. Don’t allow satisfaction and comfort to become a secondary concept to turnover, as productivity will always have a direct impact on the bottom line of any company.
Morgan Slain is an expert on password management and identity protection. Slain has been quoted in Mashable along with other mainstream and tech media. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology including web and mobile. Morgan Slain is the current CEO of SplashData, the leading provider of security applications and services for over 10 years. www.teamsid.com