What is workplace productivity and why do you need it?
In a nutshell, productivity means getting more done with less effort. It is a measure of the efficiency of the labor force. Employers are always looking for ways to boost the productivity of their workers because by reducing the cost of labor, they are able to raise their profit margin.
That being said, employees also stand to gain from boosting their productivity at work. Here are a few reasons you may want to make productivity a priority:
Make Work Easier
Many work productivity measures take the bricks out of our day to day tasks. This can make the work feel easier which saves energy and makes the work day more pleasant. And, if you are struggling to meet workplace goals set by your supervisor, boosting your productivity is the solution.
Make Work More Satisfying
Making our work more productive means removing obstacles that have become a source of frustration, wasted energy, and even failure to meet important goals. By increasing your productivity at work, you are likely to find that your work day is a more satisfying and motivating experience.
Leverage for Promotion
Because the productivity of the workforce is such a key goal for employers, being able to demonstrate a high level of productivity in your own work or that of your team can be a critical aspect of your annual review. Demonstrating productivity can even lead to advancement and consideration for a position in management.
Techniques for Boosting Productivity
Research has shown that when we switch between different types of tasks, efficiency is lost. The reason for this is that it takes time to adjust mentally and even physically to different types of work. Batch processing is a great way to save time and preserve our focus by bunching tasks of a certain type together. Look for ways to batch tasks of a certain type and notice how even a few minutes saved for each task will add up to significant time saved in just a few hours.
Block E-Silence Time Each Day
Constant interruptions can disrupt our ability to focus on the task at hand. Scheduling some time each day to turn off the cell phone and email can be one way to take advantage of some distraction free time to focus on those tasks that require our undivided attention.
Start Your Day with Easy Tasks
One of the best ways to increase your productivity at work is to start your day off with some of your easier task batches. This helps you to feel like you are making a lot of progress with very little effort which helps to provide you with motivation and a can-do attitude towards the more challenging tasks ahead.
Organization and Efficiency Are Linked
One of the most important tips to increase your productivity is to make sure that your workplace is organized. This will help make sure that you are not wasting time switching between tasks or looking for the tools you need to get a particular task accomplished. If organization is not your strong suit, don’t hesitate to reach out to a coworker or supervisor to help you develop an organization system that can save you both time and energy.
Use the Right Tools
One of the biggest areas of technological growth in the last decade has been software applications designed to increase workplace productivity. Examples include scheduling apps, cloud technology for shared live access to documents, and even mindfulness apps geared towards workplace productivity.
Take advantage of apps and programs that can help you make more of your time at work and also show your employer that you are keeping up with the latest in workplace technology.
Wellness and Workplace Productivity
Your health and wellness are one of the biggest factors contributing to your efficiency at work. Recent research has documented that this goes well beyond how many sick days you take. In fact, research has shown that both mind and body fitness can make a huge impact on how well employees meet productivity goals.
Consider incorporating some of the following wellness techniques to boost your productivity at work:
- Take a 2-minute meditation break each hour to help build focus.
- Get up and stretch while at your desk to boost endorphins and sharpen focus.
- Incorporate 10 minutes of moderate exercise, such as a walk around the building, during times of the day when you feel your energy dipping.
- Eat small and healthy snacks throughout the day rather than a large meal at lunchtime.
- Practice mindfulness techniques designed to help you boost your mental sharpness.
Training Your Mind Towards Productivity
The latest in neurological research demonstrates that we can actively train our minds to be oriented towards success and accomplishment. One of the ways we can do this is to make it both our intention and practice to bring the mind’s focus to the pleasure of accomplishment.
Take a few moments after you finish a batch of tasks to focus on the good feeling of accomplishment. By making an effort to intentionally experience the pleasure of getting things done, we can rewire our brains to be boosted rather than drained by our day to day work.
Over time this can lead to an entire shift in perception which lends itself well to both boosting your productivity as well as make you a more attractive candidate for promotion.
Get Help When You Need It
Sometimes the obstacle between you and your productivity may require you to seek external input or assistance. For example, you may have identified a bottleneck in terms of workflow that is affecting your productivity but beyond your authority to change.
In most cases, respectfully bringing the problem to the attention of your supervisor will be appreciated. This is especially true if you have a workable solution. In fact, showing the initiative and ability to see the bigger picture and identify obstacles to productivity can lead to promotion from within.