Being more productive in the office

How to be More Productive in the Office.

The following advice should be helpful as these suggestions have been tried and tested.

You CAN increase your productivity and become more efficient.  Some friends and colleagues always seem to complete their work early and finish tasks more quickly than the rest of us.

How do they do it?
They manage it by developing the following habits:
1)    Focus on the most important tasks first. It is easy to spend time on simple tasks, ticking them off as you go, but it is best to choose one to three important tasks to finish by the end of the day without procrastinating. Perhaps let the easier tasks go or delegate them. Tackle the most difficult tasks in the morning and make this a habit which you develop.


2)    Break down larger tasks to make them seem less daunting thus helping you to deal with the full task more easily and quickly.


3)    Put all the necessary information and details into your first e-mail so that you limit unnecessary and time-consuming contact from others asking for explanations and ask them to do the same. In other words, send better e-mails by making them precise and non-repetitive, eliminating inefficient communication and cutting back on e-mails so that they do not fly back and forth thus ultimately saving time and energy.


4)    Automate tasks by finding keyboard shortcuts, of which there are many.


5)    Keep a brief note of distracting thoughts (e.g. that a bill has to be paid) and get back to work immediately.  Notes can be dealt with as soon as important tasks are completed.


6)     Use a time-blocking system. Break down all of your tasks into twenty-five-minute focused blocks of time.  After each block you can take a five-minute break to renew energy. This is very important and research shows that it makes people more productive particularly if the short breaks are combined with stretching exercises. Once three to four blocks have been completed you can take a fifteen to thirty-minute break. This method should improve your productivity.  If interrupted by an important call after, say, fifteen minutes, write down fifteen minutes and continue to complete the twenty-five minutes after the call.


7)    Another system which works is to make two lists labelled Urgent and Non-urgent and complete the urgent and important ones first thus making good use of your time straight away. As suggested above, you can delegate or eliminate the non-urgent tasks to free up more of your time for more important matters.


8)    The Pareto Principle states that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts so identify the most important 20% and cut down the other 80% of your tasks so that you can spend more time on the tasks that produce the best result.


Did you know?  A study by North Carolina State University found that people who ate late-night snacks were more likely to feel unwell in the morning with symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches. This affected their job performance.

Written by Anita Mcghee, Head of Blogs