There are only two ways to increase the output of your work. It’s either you put in an extra number of hours or find smart work productivity tips to working hard.
Productivity and Motivation
You are more productive when you feel motivated.
Researchers Katherine L. Milkman, Julia A. Minson, and Kevin G. M. Volpp conducted a study. It involved 226 students categorized into three groups. These were the students who were having trouble going to the gym as often as they would have liked to.
- Group One got an iPod with popular audiobooks downloaded. They received it as a 10-week loan and were allowed to only listen to it while in the gym.
- Group Two got the audiobooks for free. Also, they could download these to their personal iPods. They were allowed to listen to the audiobooks in the gym or anywhere else, as well.
- Group Three was called the control group. This group got a gift certificate and were encouraged to go to the gym more often.
The study concluded that group one were the most motivated. Restricting access to their tempting desire gave them a 22% boost as compared to other groups. 62 students even agreed to keep the iPods.
The results show that reward-based tasks keep you focused on the end results. Just don’t let yourself have the reward until the task is completed. If you are doing something you love and you are good at it, your productivity will boost exponentially.
Another research from Gallup studied Americans’ happiness and energy levels based on people working on something they are good at. The research showed that people feel more enthusiastic when they know what they are doing. It lifts the confidence in their work.
The study showed that people reported fewer cases of worry, stress, sadness or anger in performing tasks that they do on a daily basis; working on the tasks they are experts in.
This leads to a positive mood and better work output. So if you are wondering about how to be productive at work, then find or create your ‘signature strengths’!
Below are 10 work productivity tips to help you achieve the best of your time.
1Set deadlines to decide how long you’ll work on each task
Research suggests that only about 17% of people can exactly estimate the time required for their tasks. Setting up deadlines forces you to push yourself and consider what it will take to achieve your goal.
In order to achieve a deadline, you might even pull all-nighters to complete your tasks on time. But you might have trouble in assigning the amount of time required by each task. Psychologists refer to this as the ‘planning fallacy’. We are often too ambitious and don’t usually think about the challenges along the way.
2Make a checklist for objectives every day
Since you have your deadlines set, it helps you prioritize your workflow. Make a list of important objectives that absolutely need to be accomplished during your day. These objectives will help you move your projects and goals forward. Prioritize and get started by making a checklist.
List the top 3 objectives for every day. This will maintain your focus on the most important things to do. Research by Kenneth McGraw explained that the biggest hurdle to success is often just getting started. When working on large projects, we often procrastinate because we visualize the worst parts of it.
So, just sub-divide your tasks, get them done in a streamline and cut them off the checklist!
3Practice meditation for work
Meditation is one thing that the most successful people around the world have in common. It is not just for monks and hippies anymore. It has been scientifically proven that meditation increases your concentration power, removes distractions, and ultimately increases your productivity.
Instead of paying for classes, meditation apps offer you the same level of therapy at the comfort of your smartphone. They might be effective in helping you become mindful and more productive at work.
4Take breaks regularly
Regular breaks can essentially help you improve concentration. Professionals might find it hard to fit exercise into their chaotic schedules, but taking out time for exercise actually increases mental capabilities.
Once your brain is working on its full capacity, you make smarter decisions and achieve goals faster than ever.
Do not waste your breaks. Schedule short breaks to maintain the same level of performance. Instead of wasting time on unnecessary things during your break, check your emails. You will get some work done and it won’t be heavy on your mind.
5Use the “two-minute rule”
Procrastination kills productivity. You would always see the worst things that could happen during the task and not do it. Instead of ranting about it, you should sub-divide your tasks and get going.
Instead of looking for motivation, just start working. Eventually, you will work your way out.
Steve Olenski, an entrepreneur, mentions adapting the “two-minute rule”. If you have a task that you can finish within two minutes, do it right away. It helps you make the most out of small breaks you have during your time at work.
Getting the task done right away will actually take less time since you won’t have to get back to it later. He proved that applying this rule has helped him be successful in his field.
6Work in intervals of 90 minutes
Avoid the lure of hyper-productivity and quit multi-tasking.
You may think multi-tasking gets most of your work done in one go, but the reality is just its opposite. Research proves that instead of increasing efficiency, it’s just a waste of time and productivity.
In fact, you will feel busier, but get less work done if you multitask.
7Turn off notifications
You would be doing your work peacefully with concentration and your phone buzzes all of a sudden. So you spend the next hour on the phone scrolling through Facebook.
Been there, done that.
It is believed that procrastination develops through society. With social media being our constant source of approval, one cannot resist checking their phone every five minutes.
During work hours, you should turn off your notifications. Instead, spend this time checking email and important messages only. Hence, you’re still doing something productive.
Just put it on silence and give yourself a deadline. You would not check it until you complete this specific task you’re doing. There you go!
8Use apps that increase productivity
Using productivity apps can be a smarter alternative to working hard to get the task done. Not only does it save time but it also reduces the effort to plan out an efficient schedule for the day. Luckily when technology is stapled to our hands, there are various apps available to help improve our productivity.
Apps like Dropbox can store files on the cloud, which can be shared via a link. Trello, Zoom, etc. can be used for online team collaboration. Toggl can be used for time-tracking while Any.do and Todoist are for making a to-do list for the day. A tonne of similar task-specific apps are available, which promise to boost your efficiency.
Other than distractions from your social media apps, there are many other ways to get interrupted at the workplace. Chit-chat and socializing in the workplace is good, but it’s counter-productive when it turns into unwated, irrelevant gossip.
Even brief interruptions can make you lose motivation and produce a change in work patterns. This ultimately leads to an exponential loss in productivity.
To minimize interruptions, you must set office hours, keep your door closed, or work from home when there’s a crucial task to handle. To fulfil time-sensitive tasks, resist the temptation of putting in longer hours or add into your already-full calendar. Instead, figure out the ways you can work smarter, not harder.
10Refuse to attend unnecessary meetings
Do you ever come out of a meeting that felt too unnecessary and wondered you could get so many things done in that time? Meetings can consume a lot of time, and this time can be used to do something useful.
Holding a meeting is not as easy as it sounds. From setting the agenda, inviting participants, ensuring participation, meetings do become quite frustrating at times.
The solution? Just don’t arrange meetings, unless absolutely necessary. Sort out discussions that include information sharing, and get them done via team chat app, phone call, video conferencing, or an email.
Applying even one of the mentioned tips will help you become more productive and satisfied with your work. Every minute you save is a minute gained. Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California found out that people who note down their goals are 39.5 percent more likely to achieve them.
Whether you make a checklist using an app like Todoist, or schedule meetings on an app like Zoom, you must always be consistent in managing your time. These tools can help, but are not the determining factor of your success. Productivity is determined by your mindset and the environment that lets you thrive.
Time management is all you can control in your life, so you must turn it around for good. Consistently following these work productivity tips will save your time, which you can invest in doing other important things. You should go out, eat healthy, drink water and have a positive attitude to succeed.