How to be productive in the workplace

There are so many ways to increase productivity within the workplace and all industries have different ways to so. For example, being productive in an office environment would be completely different to being productive in a retail store. This post will be based on my experience working in an office but some of these tips can be used in other industries as well.

Clean up your workspace

This is probably the most cliché tip on the internet in relation to productivity, but it is probably the most important. Most people would disregard this and ask me – ‘Why should I spend time organising my workspace when I could be working?”. The answer is simple… You need to prioritise organising your workspace because as long as your desk is messy, your mind is too. If you have documents lying around, piles of things to do and a hundred things open on your computer needing to be completed you will constantly be worrying about what’s around you and not focusing on the task at hand. Having piles of stuff that needs your attention all around you will make you anxious and stressed, which will affect your productivity. I used to work in such a fast, indecisive and chaotic way so I hated the idea of cleaning up my workspace. But once I eventually did, the results were amazing.. not only did I become less stressed and more productive, I was also motivated to do more.

Plan ahead

Planning is key, the majority of people don’t see a reason to plan ahead for the same reason they think it would be a waste of time to organise their workspace… And again, they are wrong. The reasoning is similar to that of why you should clean up your desk. If you are just doing anything in any order disregarding importance and urgency, you will most probably aim to action the tasks that are the easiest and quickest to complete. This may make you feel as if you have accomplished a lot but it does not have any positive effect on your business/the company you work for or your workload.

I complete productivity reports every day… and I know ‘Productivity Reports’ sounds scary, but I have found that it is the most successful way to manage my workload and get more done throughout the day. My productivity report is pretty much a to-do list on steroids. It is a simple excel sheet, where I have planned a month in advance, each day has two columns; one for the tasks that need to be completed and one for me to mark each task as completed. Having your very own productivity report is like setting your own KPI’s. If you keep it simple and do it right you will become a productive little worker bee in no time. Although, to have an effective productivity report you would need to have a task list of all the current tasks that need your attention and if you have some OCD tendencies like me then you could even start to colour code your tasks!

Eliminate Time Limits

This is a controversial topic but I find that if you eliminate time limits/time frames when planning ahead you will get more quality work done. Being constantly stressed about timing will interfere with your productivity in a huge way. Designating time frames to work on different tasks can work for some people so give it a go, but I find that it only stresses me out…

Stop Multi-Tasking

As much as we like to think that multi-tasking is beneficial for productivity – it really isn’t… Multi-tasking affects productivity and quality of your work in a huge way by taking your focus off one task and sharing it between two tasks instead. To only work on one task at a time is the key to productivity, it allows you to have a clear mind and has all your attention focused on one job and all of the aspects within the task at hand…

Take advantage of transportation time

If you catch public transport to work, instead of playing candy crush or checking out what your friends were up to last night on social media… use this time to catch up on emails, plan your day or continue on with some work. I do this every morning on the tram and it is an amazing way to stay on top of everything!

I hope this post has given you some great ideas for productivity. Let me know how these tips worked for you, how you applied them to your job or even if you have any more great tips for boosting productivity within the workplace. I would love to hear about it!

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