Productivity experts have devised some simple methods to increase your productivity. They consist of either working harder or working smarter. Personally I like working smarter but sometimes I end up working harder too. Use just one idea and you could improve your productivity. Use all of them and you could double or triple your productivity.
1. Work harder— find ways to increase your task focus.
Work when you are working. Spend less time socializing and focus on what you need to get done today. Focus on the tasks at hand and don’t wander into new tasks, multi-task, or get distracted. The key is to focus and not waste your precious time at work.
2. Work Faster—find ways to pick up your work pace.
Develop a work rhythm and maintain your tempo (in lean we call it your takt time). Find ways to increase your tempo and get on with the job at hand. If you are tired or slowing down, then stop, and get a cup of coffee. Keep your tempo up, up, up.
3. Work on Higher Value Activities—find ways to prioritize your tasks.
It’s important to understand what tasks will bring you more results. Think quality over quantity. Less is more. Doing fewer higher value tasks will increase your productivity more than performing a greater quantity of low value tasks. Using a visual management system can help focus your company on what is adding value.
4. Do The Things You Are Better At—find ways to focus on results.
You probably are better at the things you like doing. As a result you get better at those things and do more of them more often. So focus on what you are good at and you will be more productive.
5. Group Your Tasks—find ways to focus on related tasks.
Focus. Don’t multi-task! Group related task together and do them at the same time. Answer your email, make phone calls, or write letters together at a designated time. By constantly switching between tasks or stopping to read email, you will lose small amounts of time that make up the “switching costs”. You will lose time because you have to wrap you mind around a new task and understand where you left off. This learning curve time is waste and can be eliminated by grouping related tasks.
6. Work Smarter—find ways to simplify Your Work.
AS the number of steps to a task increases, so does the complexity and therefore, the time required to complete the task. This is called the Law of Complexity. Find ways to remove steps and reduce task complexity. This simple process improvement plan will greatly increase your productive work.
7. Work Longer Hours—find more minutes in the day.
Arrive 16 minutes earlier, leave 16 minutes later, and spend 16 minutes less time at lunch and breaks created 48 minutes a day or 4 hours a week, which increase your available time by 10%. Use this time to get organized for work and plan or review your day.
Every day you should review your day’s results to learn how to focus your time on the higher value tasks you are better at. Use your extra time to plan, review and focus. This is all part of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) that drives continuous improvement in a learning organization.
Seven Ways to Increase Your Productivity at Work
- Work harder— find ways to increase your task focus.
- Work Faster—find ways to pick up your work pace.
- Work on Higher Value Activities—find ways to prioritize your work.
- Do the Things You Are Better At—find ways to focus on results.
- Group Your Tasks—find ways to focus on related tasks.
- Work Smarter—find ways to simplify Your Work.
- Work Longer Hours—find more minutes in the day.
Implementing a system of policies and procedures will help any organization get organized, focus on the work at hand, group tasks, and as a result, work harder and smarter. Download free sample procedures to see how its done.
Originally published in 2011 by Bizmanualz, Inc. under the title Seven Ways to Increase Your Productivity at Work. All rights reserved. Reproduction permitted with attribution only. www.bizmanualz.com