Tips to boost productivity is something that we could all use now and then. There are only so many hours in the day, at Three Q we know that making the most of your time is critical. We also know that there are two ways of getting more work done: putting in more hours, or working smarter. The latter is the ideal, so we at Three Q have put together our top tips for working smarter and boosting your productivity at work. Being more productive at work isn’t rocket science, but it does require being more deliberate about how you manage your time.
Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks.
One of the most efficient ways of getting work done is to know how long a task should take. Use a diary to track how long your tasks take you and set an ideal (realistic) goal for how long it should take. By setting time limits for yourself you won’t procrastinate on what has to be done.
Take regular breaks.
It sounds illogical, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve your concentration. Take a five minute break after you’ve completed a task, or every hour so when it’s a longer task to refresh yourself. Short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance.
Follow the “two-minute rule.”
This tip is a great one to get the small but important tasks out of the way to make the most of small windows of time that you have at work. The idea is this: If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. Completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later, and it will make sure that it’s not hanging over you throughout the day.
It’s a popular thought that multitasking is vital in the workplace and it’s the key to productivity success. However, recent research suggests that multitasking may actually be hindering your productivity. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.
Take advantage of your commute.
This goes for any unexpected “bonus” time you may find on your hands. Instead of spending your time on Instagram or Facebook, use that time to send out some emails, create your daily to-do list, or do some brainstorming,
Turn off notifications.
No one can be expected to resist the allure of a social media or text notification. During work hours, turn off your notifications, and spend your time checking them at home instead. This will get rid of that itch to see the most recent photo you were tagged in because you won’t even know that it is there.
Minimize interruptions (to the best of your ability).
Having a colleague pop her head into your office to chat may seem innocuous, but even brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. Minimising interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door closed, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.
If you feel the need to increase your productivity at work, resist the temptation put in longer hours or pack more into your already-full calendar. Instead, take a step back, and think about ways you can work smarter, not harder. Feel productive but you’re looking for a new career to work in? Take a look at our job listings here.