Work It: 8 Ways to Increase Productivity at the Office
By: Christian Gordun
Labor Day has come and gone, and the lazy days of summer somehow already seem like faded memories.
As the new season settles in, we’re thinking of ways to maximize efficiency in the workplace and in our personal lives. Below are a few ideas we’ve brainstormed to help put productivity into high gear.
Create a Routine
Sometimes it can feel like you’re constantly sending and receiving emails but getting little accomplished. Instead, try designating specific moments in the day to respond to email, update your calendar, and check the status of any pending projects. Small but routine tasks help you stay organized and efficient.
Everyone has his or her own method of madness when it comes to organization at the office or home, but list making is one of the most effective (and simple) ways of carrying out day-to-day tasks in an efficient manner. Attached to your smartphone? Try downloading one of the many to-do list apps to help keep everything in one place.
Organize Your Inbox
Email should be properly sorted and filed in the same way that physical documents are to maximize time management. More sophisticated email servers allow you to create folders for each client, tasks or project to help keep you organized. Take time each week to trash any spam or extraneous correspondence that may be cluttering up your inbox.
Keep it Clean
There is little more that says ‘unproductive’ like an office desk covered with stacks of unfiled papers, Post-it notes pasted willy-nilly and discarded take-out boxes. Keeping your workspace tidy creates a harmonious atmosphere for both your physical environment and your mental state, so you can stay focused on important tasks.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking purposeful breaks during working hours can actually increase your productivity. Whether it’s fifteen minutes or an hour, make time each day for a walk, a brief meditation or lunch with a coworker to decompress and rejuvenate your mind.
The most successful bosses are those who know how to delegate work to their employees, and while you don’t want to shirk responsibility, it’s important to use the people around you to help accomplish common goals and to see projects through. Likewise, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Whether it’s a raise, a sales number or a promotion, setting personal and professional goals allows you to actualize your potential and track your progress in a tangible way. As summer turns to fall, take the time to think about what you hope and expect to achieve in the coming months.
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You’ve put in the hard work, and you should enjoy the fruits of your labor. Buy yourself something nice with that end-of-year bonus or take a spontaneous vacation day to relax and catch up on some ‘you’ time.