Many workers waste time in the office and are not as efficient as can be. This can limit the upwards mobility of your career as well as lead you to spend countless hours in the office more than you might need to. Finding ways to improve your efficiency can therefore have both financial and time benefits and is an endeavor worth improving. Here are seven ways to improve your productivity in the office.
1) Play A Game: Plenty of online games offer a good way to clear the clutter from the mind and help you be more productive. Lifehack has a list of a few of those games here. Or, you can choose your favorite go-to game for the purpose. Sam at Game Table Hero tells us he’s a big fan of old school Tetris, which you can play on your phone or online, as well as shooting pool (if your office has a gaming table in the break room).
2) Make a List: Being organized is a critical part of being productive. Whether on paper or on the computer, make a list of all of the tasks you need to accomplish and rank them in terms of priority and time. Over time, keeping a list like this will help to keep your eyes on what you need to get done and can help you plan better for your day. In addition, keeping a list will prevent you from forgetting major tasks and working on them in a flurry of activity which can lead to inefficiency and wasted time.
3) Start Early in the Morning: One of the biggest distractions in the office is other employees. Many are addicted to small talk, want to create time consuming meetings, or pepper you with emails. One way to increase your productivity is to arrive in the morning before others get in and focus on your work without the added distraction of your coworkers. You will often find that you are more productive this way and without the wasted time associated with getting sucked into distracting tasks or conversation.
4) Avoid Excess Meetings: Meetings are one of the biggest killers of productivity and often take up hours of your day without accomplishing much at all. Cut out these excess meetings by speaking to bosses and discussing with them the quantity of meetings that you are attending and the ability to improve your productivity by not attending these meetings. You don’t want to miss the chance to showcase your role in your company but you don’t want to hop from meeting to meeting either. Document the amount of time you are spending in meetings do that you can truly identify whether you are wasting too much time attending them.
5) Take a Break: Sitting in front of a computer all day can wear you out. It is important to learn to take a break from the computer screen and reset your mind. Get a cup of coffee, clear your head with a gift walk, or simply stand and stretch your legs. When you return you will often be more productive tha if you stayed and worked the entire time.
6) Know What To Delegate: Micromanagers will often spend time checking over every little thing that they don’t directly work on. Many micromanagers will spend more time in the office than anyone else and spend time working on things that they are better off delegating to lower paid staff. Being more productive at work means being able to focus on more important tasks and knowing how and when to delegate the work that you need to delegate to those staff members who can handle that work. Build up trust and train your team so that you can be more productive by leveraging off of the work of the rest of your team.
7) Clear Your Mind With Nature: Science has proven that getting outside, like riding mountain bikes and hiking, can improve your happiness and clear your mind, which leads to better productivity. So, if your office is near a lake or other body of water, take some time to sit by it on your breaks. Or, if you can take a walk without being unsafe, do yourself a favor and stroll around the local area and take in the greenery of nearby trees, flowers and grass. And if your office is in the middle of the city, at least add some plants to your desk to bring a little bit of nature inside with you.
Ultimately, every workplace is different and certain roles have different challenges than others. However performing an self assessment and finding ways to improve your productivity can be a real benefit to your career and lifestyle outside of work. Consider the aforementioned suggestions for doing so and become more productive in the office.