Are you looking to get more done at work today, and every day? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe increasing one’s productivity means working as quickly as one can. The irony is that there is great benefit in slowing down and viewing the process of productivity on a more holistic level. With just a few simple changes to your mindset, you can improve your productivity levels at work, home, and beyond. Here are four thoughtful tips to help you improve your productivity levels using a more holistic approach:
Objectively view your work habits
If you were to objectively view your daily work habits, what would you see? Would you see yourself actively working on work-related tasks, or would you see yourself wasting time on trivial or non-work-related tasks? If you’re unsure of your work habits, track how you spend your time during the day. Be sure to take a close and thorough look at your results. How did you spend your time? Were you actively working or not? Honesty matters here: working with a colleague on a project and discussing the project at length is much different than working with a colleague on a project and chatting at length about your upcoming vacation plans. How can you make improvements to your daily work habits?
Reflect upon your past productivity successes
Think about a time when you were extremely productive at work over the past several weeks or months. What can you learn from this productive period of time? Consider both the internal and external conditions that helped you reach your goal. For example, were you intent on finishing your work? Were you on a deadline? Did you have assistance from a colleague with a project? Did you seek to minimize distractions and interruptions during your work? Once you identify the conditions that contributed to your productivity successes in the past, you can focus on creating similar work conditions for yourself in future.
Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day
Paying close attention to your energy levels during the day can be extremely useful when it comes to completing tasks and to-dos. The idea here is to thoughtfully align your energy levels with your work tasks. Try tackling more complex and thought-provoking high-energy tasks when you feel the most alert or energized. Likewise, save less complex, low-energy tasks for when you’re feeling less alert and energized. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of high- and low-energy tasks over the course of your workday to find the right productivity workflow for your needs.
Learn how to confidently use work-related tools
Investing a few minutes of your time learning how to skillfully operate office equipment, computer software, and mobile applications can potentially save you hours of wasted time and energy in future. You don’t necessarily need expert-level training, but you should have solid, basic training on how to confidently and effectively use work tools. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you know the ins-and-out of that word processing program or time tracking system. Sign up for a training webinar, read instruction manuals and articles, or ask a knowledgeable colleague to show you how to use a program or application.