25 Epic Tips to Increase Workplace Productivity

— Contributed Post by Snacknation —

These tips are intended to help you create explosive productivity so you can get your most important tasks completed. Here are our 25 epic tips to help you achieve higher productivity levels and better peace of mind. Instead of trying to implement all of these at once, find a couple that make sense within your organization or department, and practice them for at least 21 days (the amount of time it usually takes to form a new habit).

1. Create a daily list of “Crucial Results”

Crucial results are a list of your primary objectives that need to be completed during the day in order to move your goals and projects forward. Create a list of your main goals for the week, and break each day down into 3-4 “crucials” that need to be completed. This will help you plan out each day while making sure you maintain focus on the big picture.

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2. Use productivity tools to make your life easier

New technology to help you organize your life, manage time, and make your life easier, is constantly being developed. Here are a couple of our favorites for you to try out. For an extended list of tools, check out this article about 10 Office Management Tools.

Our favorites? Boomerang for Gmail, an app that works with your email and gives you the ability to schedule the exact time and date you’d like to send out emails, and Evernote, the ultimate digital workspace that sync’s with the cloud and organizes your content into workbooks and notes. As well as RescueTime, a tool that shows you how much time you’re spending on important and unimportant tasks throughout the day and 15Five, a feedback tool to easily get feedback from your team members on important projects and tasks.

 

3. Prioritize vital tasks first

In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey describes the concept of “first things first”. This concept can be best explained with this analogy involving rocks and a bucket. The moral here is that when you choose to fill your time attending to the little things first without realizing that they don’t matter as much, then you leave little time for the things that DO MATTER.

 

4. Finish your tasks in batches

International bestselling author Tim Ferris who wrote “The 4 Hour Work Week” is a master of productivity in everything from office work to cooking to bodybuilding. One of my favorite suggestions from his book is to batch tasks together rather than breaking them into small chunks. The simple logic behind this idea is that it takes time for people to find their rhythm when working on tasks. By constantly starting and stopping that process, you’re wasting time getting back into your optimal rhythm. 

How can you use this idea in day-to-day life to improve productivity while at work?

  • Dedicate a block of time to complete all your weekly data entry work rather than spreading it out throughout the week
  • Set back-to-back meetings with your colleagues in the afternoon
  • Answer all your voicemails in one stretch by devoting time in the afternoon

 

5. Get adequate exercise

Adequate exercise is as important for your body, as it is for your mental wellbeing. According to an article from Brain HQ, adequate exercise has been shown to reduce stress hormones and increase the growth factors of the brain that are necessary for new neuronal connections.

After switching back and forth between exercising in the morning and at night, I’ve discovered that early mornings work best for me. It can be challenging to find motivation to go to the gym after a long day at work. By exercising in the morning, I get an endorphin boost that powers me through my day. Whichever time of day you choose, the most important thing to keep in mind is to remain consistent.

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6. Morning huddles with team members

Make it a point to huddle with team members for about 10 minutes every day. During such sessions, try to identify each member’s main crucial results for the day. This will help everyone in the team get on the same page and also allow teammates to highlight where they need assistance.

 

7. Eat healthy foods throughout the day

The types of food we eat have a huge impact on our productivity at the office. Imagine you eat a Snickers bar versus a fruit and nut bar. Which one do you think will make you more energetic and allow you to finish the afternoon without feeling drained? Remember, junk food not only affects your weight, it also results in lower productivity as a result of energy crashes.

Keep healthy snacks in the office to stay fueled for a consistently productive day. Here’s a video in which HUMAN Healthy Markets CEO Sean Kelly explains how to turn healthy snacks into a wholesome meal.

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8. Switch off your gadgets

Emails, phone calls, texts and apps are distracting. Have you ever experienced being in a state of flow, completely focused on a task when suddenly your phone rings and you become sidetracked? Make sure to avoid distractions by silencing your phone, signing out of chat apps and disabling email alerts before starting any important assignment which demands your complete focus.

 

9. Set an agenda and goal for every meeting

Have you ever walked out of a business meeting frustrated at how much time you wasted? I know I have. HR expert Sharlyn Lauby from HR Bartender agrees that not all meetings are goal oriented:

One of the biggest obstacles to productivity are business meetings. That being said, I do not think the answer is to abolish meetings or create funky rules like ‘no meeting Wednesdays’ or ‘only 10 minute meetings’. Organizations need to give employees the tools to run effective and productive meetings.

How exactly can you do that? The answer is simple: Set a clear meeting agenda and goal. Without an agenda and goal, there should be no meeting. If the meeting is set for one-hour, don’t allow it to go over. If the meeting ends early, that’s cool. Make sure you hit your meeting goals and don’t run late.

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10. Try working remotely or from home

Working in a remote environment can help you increase productivity by getting more done in less time. The office is a great environment to foster collective resources and energy, but it can hinder your productivity. Colleagues oftentimes interrupt each other right in the middle of their work for minor issues or questions. In fact, such ‘urgent’ issues can usually wait.

A Harvard Business Review study found that employees who worked from home were more productive and less likely to quit their jobs.

 

11. Love your job

Alexander Kjerulf who runs the Positive Sharing blog writes that loving your work is critical for maximizing productivity.

It turns out that the best way to become more productive at work is to have a job you love. No tool, no system, no bonus scheme and no amount of pressure can match the productivity boost you get simply from being happy at work. Studies show that happiness at work is not a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity because it makes us more productive, more creative, more engaged AND more successful.

12. Finish the “2-Hour Solution” by the end of your work week

The “2-Hour Solution” concept was conceptualized by Roger Seip, the author of “Train Your Brain for Success”. His method involves devoting 2 hours every week for the purpose of mentally preparing yourself for the week ahead. Roger swears by the 2-Hour Solution and claims when he does it, his productivity drastically improves. Use this time to reconnect with your goals and assess your work. Figure out what has been working well and what hasn’t, and schedule your calendar for the week ahead.

The 2-Hour Solution is different from normal scheduling. Try scheduling your “green time” (work that gets you paid), “red time” (time that helps you support your green time), “flex time” (unblocked time for preventing the unplanned to unravel your plans), and “recreation time” (time for taking care of yourself – which include hobbies, exercise, relaxing, etc). Once you get in the groove using this method, you’ll find that you don’t even need the full 2 hours to complete this session.

 

13. De-clutter work space

De-cluttering your work space decreases anxiety and increases productivity. Having less clutter on your desk will help clear your mind and allow you to waste less time searching for misplaced items. Try tossing out trinkets and old papers from your desk to see if this helps lower distractions and increase your productivity.

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14. Get up early in the morning

If you look at the lifestyle of top CEOs, executives and leaders, they almost all have one thing in common – they wake up early in the morning. How can waking up at 6:00 am or earlier make you more productive at work?
Rising early gives you the time to start your day right. Instead of rushing through the door each morning, you’ll have the quiet time to do things you’d otherwise be too rushed to do. You can take up reading each morning, meditation, or try planning out your day. I’ve been waking up an hour earlier each weekday for about a year now, and my productivity has increased dramatically.

 

15. Stand up and sit up straight

Standing up and moving around during work helps increase alertness. When you’re seated, make sure to maintain proper posture. Posture is an important, but oftentimes forgotten part of our lives that affects our health, mood and productivity.

The tricky part about posture is that it’s easy to forget to remember to practice great posture — it’s equal parts mental as it is physical. For those of you looking to get the reminder you need, check out Lumo Lift. A small posture device that vibrates every time you slouch to remind you to sit up straight and correct your slouching.

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16. Start saying ‘No’

Inevitably your colleagues will disrupt you through ought the day. It’s usually a reflex to say ‘yes’ and take on more tasks, but this can be counterproductive. Learn to protect your time for high-leverage activities by saying ’no’ more often.

 

17. Stop checking your email

Freelancer Kristi Hines explains how she escaped the email inbox blackhole.

Unless your clients could have true emergencies where time is of the essence, there is no reason to check your email more than a couple of times a day. In The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss suggests only checking email twice a day max (or once, if you can get away with it). This approach will help you stay on track with your work by limiting distractions. It will also keep you efficient when you do check your emails.

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18. Don’t fall for the multitasking myth

So many people fall victim to believing that they can efficiently complete several tasks at the same time. There have been several studies that show that multitasking is detrimental for productivity at work. On top of that, multitasking can lower IQ and reduce the thoroughness of task completion.

 

19. Outsource simple work

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of work on your plate? I’m almost certain there are low-value tasks that you can be outsourcing. Tasks like data-entry, formatting documents or even running errands all day eat away at your precious time.

Luckily there are many online services that offer cheap labor to complete tedious tasks. You can check out websites like TaskrabbitoDeskFiverr, and Elance for outsourcing simple tasks.

 

20. Give less time to yourself than you think you’ll need

This is another golden piece of advice from the book “Train Your Brain for Success”. Start giving yourself less time to complete a project or task than you think it will take. Setting deadlines for yourself will keep you more focused and motivated on getting the job done.

 

21. Ask yourself if the work you do is truly important

Keeping yourself busy with work is not hard to do. What’s difficult is identifying which activities will yield the maximum results.
I strongly recommend you print out text that asks you if the tasks you are doing are truly important. As a marketer, the text I have on my desk reads:

“Will this drive traffic and generate leads?”

This helps remind me to avoid being too busy just for the sake of feeling productive.

 

22. Read every morning

Most people wake up without energy and feel uninspired to begin their day. One of the best ways I’ve found to improve my mindset is to read for about 15-30 minutes before starting my day. Read whatever it is that inspires you. I’ve found that reading books on business, psychology, behavioral economics and personal development boost my creativity and help inspire me.

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23. Protect your time

We all have days that are consumed with back-to-back meetings. Then, at the end of the day, we realize that we didn’t get any important work done. How can you avoid this and ensure you’re as productive as possible? Steve Boese, host of HR Happy Hour podcast, gives us his words of wisdom:

One sure fire way to improve your work productivity is to make sure you protect enough time in your schedule, in other words, time that is not in meetings, conference calls, or any other activity that is not conducive to thinking, planning, and creating. Lots of us will book back-to-back-to-back meetings in a day, then all of a sudden it’s 6:00PM and we feel like we did not accomplish much at all. So protect your time, keep your most productive times meeting-free if you can, and even consider designating one afternoon, or even an entire day if you can, as a ‘meeting-free’ zone where you can dig in, concentrate, and get some ‘real’ work done.

24. Create an ID statement and read it in the morning

It is very helpful to maintain an identity statement or affirmation that describes who you are as an individual. This statement is a combination of your beliefs, values and aspirations. Write down in detail what features make up the ideal version of yourself, and list everything you aspire to be. You can include things like the position you want to hold professionally, personality traits you aspire for and dreams that you want to achieve.

Creating an identity statement can result in higher productivity at work as it helps you visualize the characteristics you need to develop in order to be successful. Visualizing the ideal you will in turn keep you focused on the activities that will help you achieve success.

 

25. Replicate your body’s natural cycle

Jamie Lawrence, editor for HRZone strongly recommends replicating your body’s natural cycle in order to increase productivity at work.

Replicating the body’s natural cycle in office environments is a fundamental, but often ignored, part of improving wellbeing. So, is the lighting full spectrum? Do you keep blinds and windows open to ensure there’s natural light and air circulating? Plants are another well-researched way to improve air quality and mood – they kill two birds with one stone.


 

To make the most of the limited time that we have within the 24-hour cycle, it is important we learn to work more effectively and efficiently. Take some of these tips and apply them in your working life to see results.

What do you think about our tips on increasing workplace productivity? If you have any other useful tips to increase productivity, let us know in the comments below!

Read original article here.

 

Guest Blogger: Daniel Pawlak

Daniel Pawlak is the Marketing Coordinator at Snacknation. His goal is to help companies become incredible places to work by improving employee health, productivity and engagement.

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Ellie Kulick

About Ellie Kulick

Ellie specializes in all things content and communications at Lumo BodyTech. Her passions are in tech, writing and in health. She loves to create and share content that is useful and easily digested by the reader. BS in Psychology, Northeastern University. Find Ellie on Twitter.

6 Comments

  • Niraj
    Niraj
    05.10.2015

    Excellent article, Ellie. My personal favourite – finishing off high-priority tasks in the morning, great way to reduce stress. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at hiverhq.com)

    • Ellie Kulick
      Ellie Kulick
      06.10.2015

      Hey Niraj, thanks so much for reading the article! Glad you found it useful. We are definitely fans of increasing productivity and reducing stress here at Lumo 🙂

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    21.10.2015

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    • Ellie Kulick
      Ellie Kulick
      21.10.2015

      Hey Roxie, I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed our article! Please let us know if you have any questions 🙂

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  • Ann Wilkinson
    Ann Wilkinson
    09.07.2016

    This is one of the best and most practical “list” articles I’ve read. Great tips for someone who feels like she’s heard them all. Fresh ideas and well-presented. I was most interested in #22: Read in the morning. I gravitate toward this on the weekends, when I protect my time for reading the weekend NYTimes over coffee, even for 10-15 minutes. Why shouldn’t I do this every morning of the week instead of starting in on work emails at 6:30 am? That is an energy suck, and doesn’t lead to a joyful start of the day. Thanks, Ellie!

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