Maximising productivity is the goal for managers, team leaders, and SME owners everywhere.
The more productive you can be in a day, the greater the monetary rewards are for both you and your firm. To this end, we regularly learn and employ strategies which lead us to better productivity during the working day. Every little time saving tip helps. Even an increase of 1 second per task adds up to hours by the end of a year.
These top 5 productivity tips will keep you reaching those targets in 2024.
Lacking Motivation? Try These Productivity Tips to Get Going
Relying on productivity strategies to inspire you to get to work is a great way to bypass the need for motivation. Set these healthy, helpful strategies for yourself to get more done, faster.
1 – The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is still as relevant today as it was when it was first devised. Invented in the late 80’s by Francesco Cirillo, this technique creates a correlation between the human attention span and the simple invention of a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. The timer only goes up to 30 minutes. The idea is to work for those thirty minutes, then take a short five minute break, then repeat this process throughout your working day.
2 – Make Use of Templates
Working from a template can half the time it takes you to complete a task. Setting up a formulaic response to a common piece of paperwork which you must complete takes far less time than producing a new formula each task. For example, you might use a spreadsheet for your accounts and keep them updated as you go. You may use headed paper or a set letter template where you simply change the name and phone number for each client.
3 – Task Prioritization
An excellent way to make sure you are getting the most done possible is to ensure the correct prioritization of tasks in your day. If you begin your day with a list of things you must get done before the close of business, this gives you an idea of what your working day will look like. This is a helpful list because you are going to look at it, evaluate which tasks are most urgent, and then complete each task in order of priority.
For example, a client waiting for a finished article probably takes priority over a new client interested in discussing the idea. Likewise, phone calls to the tax office or bank should not be pushed back and forgotten about.
If you have to, write the list down on paper, then go through each item and label it in order of importance from 1-3. 1 being most important and 3 being least important. Spend the immediate hours concentrating on all tasks labelled as number 1 priorities. Once you are caught up, move on to two, and so forth. Most of the time you will find that priority level 3 tasks can be left until another day.
4 – Time Blocking
The ability to time block can impact your entire life. From sorting out a study schedule for high school exams to deciding which percentage of your week you will spend on social media marketing for business, it is an important life skill.
Time blocking essentially refers to the ability to ‘block’ things off into chunks of time. An example of this might be for a person who runs two small businesses. They may work on one business from 9am until midday, and then work on the second business during the afternoon. In another example, a psychiatrist might set aside a set number of hours per day for appointments and create a two hour block in the afternoon where they finish the paperwork, instead.
Time blocking both makes sense and allows you to break big tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Try portioning out your day and see if it helps you be more productive.
5 – Eliminate Distractions
No matter whether it is 2024 or 2124, the problem of distractions in the workplace will never go away. The Working From Home culture is creating a whole new plethora of distractions for the average worker. This doesn’t go away if you become a manager or business owner.
Tackle distractions in the same way that you would when you were trying to study for those high school exams all those years ago. TV annoying you? Turn it off or down. Social media sites have you doom scrolling? Remove your phone. Friends and family calling you? Make it clear what your working hours are.
Which Productivity Strategy Works Best for You?
At the end of the day, different people have different productivity strategies which work best for them. Figuring out what helps you most will give you the best chance at concentration success in the coming year – and for life.