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Increase Productivity

How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

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“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.”
– Jerry West

Do you want to increase your productivity in the workplace? In this article, we will talk about how to do just that. Let’s start by defining increased productivity.

According to Chron.com, increased productivity means that you are putting out products more quickly or completing services at a more rapid rate than before. Sounds simple enough, right? Now that we’ve defined what increased productivity is let’s discuss how you can increase workplace productivity.

According to Inc.com, there are 15 ways to increase productivity in the workplace:

  1. Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks. (Doing so can help you manage your time more effectively.)
  2. Take regular breaks. (This is so important. Take a walk, stretch, or something like that. It makes a big difference.)
  3. Set self-imposed deadlines. (This helps a lot when it comes to open-ended assignments or projects.)
  4. Follow the “two-minute rule.” (The two-minute rule is this: If there’s an assignment or project that takes two minutes, do it immediately. It’s that simple.)
  5. Just say no to meetings. (A direct quote from Inc.com: “According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.” Yikes! That’s a lot of time gone to waste.)
  6. Hold standing meetings. (According to Inc.com, standing meetings can increase group arousal, decreased territoriality, and improve performance.)
  7. Quit multitasking. (I know there are many of us out there who think multitasking is a viable asset, but it doesn’t work in reality. Take the time to work on an assignment or project one at a time. You’ll be surprised how productive you’ll be.)
  8. Take advantage of your commute. (Some of you may not commute, but for those that do, utilize the commute time to send emails or create a daily to-do list.)
  9. Give up on the illusion of perfection. (For those of us who are perfectionists, this can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s not impossible. Take smalls steps to let go of the need for things to be perfect, and you’ll see your productivity increase.)
  10. Take exercise breaks. (This is also important. Again, take a walk, stretch, do something active.)
  11. Be proactive, not reactive. (It can be easy to react to emails or phone calls and allow those things to determine our outlook for the day. It’s recommended to set a particular time to answer emails and phone calls.)
  12. Turn off notifications. (It can be so tempting to check every beep and ring from our devices, but it’s so crucial to increase productivity to turn off notifications. Set aside time to check your devices and so that you’re not constantly distracted.)
  13. Work in 90-minute intervals. (A direct quote from Inc.com: “Researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus.” Those breaks are so important for increasing productivity. Be sure you take them!)
  14. Give yourself something nice to look at. (According to Inc.com, outfitting your office with plants, pictures, etc. can increase productivity by 15%. That’s pretty significant. Make sure you surround yourself with aesthetically pleasing objects.)
  15. Minimize interruptions (to the best of your ability). (Turning off notifications and closing your office door are just a few ways that you can help reduce interruptions.)

Which step do you want to take in increasing your productivity today? Which step resonated with you?

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Increase Productivity

Increased Productivity Story

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Nancy was sitting at her desk trying desperately to calm her wildly beating heart. From the moment she sat down at her desk, she had been working nonstop and juggling all these projects that were due by the end of the week. Her palms were sweaty just thinking of the deadlines before her. How was she supposed to get all these projects done when she could barely keep herself together? It seemed impossible.

Then her phone alarm went off. She nearly jumped out of her skin. Then she remembered: She had set her alarm to give herself some time to take a walk.  The very thought of escaping the mile-high stack of paperwork on her desk gave her such joy and relief. She got up and nearly bolted out of the office.

The warm sun greeted her as she exited the building. She took a deep breath, taking in the many scents around her, and started her trek around the courtyard. The wind caressed her face as she walked, helping to clear her mind. She chuckled to herself as she thought about her job. She loved her job, but it seemed nearly impossible to get everything done.

An article that she had read about how to increase productivity in the workplace came to mind suddenly. It had talked about the importance of breaks and working on one project at a time. She had nearly forgotten about it. She felt silly, thinking about how she spent the morning frantically trying to balance all the things she needed to do. She decided then and there that she would follow what the article said.

Her phone alarm went off again as she finished her circuit around the courtyard.  She felt eager and ready to get back to her desk. When she sat down, she categorized the projects she was working on and decided what project she would start on first.

There Nancy was, sitting at her desk and her heart beating calmly. She had a soft smile on her face as she started on her work. Before long, she finished the first project and moved on to the second, then the third, fourth, fifth, etc. By the time the workday ended, she was nearly done with her assignments – and it was only Tuesday.

She left the building, feeling proud of herself and grateful that she had remembered that article on increased productivity.

What can we learn from reading Nancy’s story? How can we integrate breaks into our work schedule? What would it look like to take on projects one at a time?