The average employee wastes around 2 hours a day on non-work-related activities. And when distracted, the average employee needs approximately 23 minutes to regain focus and start working again.
Whether you work from home or from an office, great productivity and focus can help you finish work earlier and get even more done during the day. However, productivity is not a constant and there are many factors contributing to getting distracted.
Wondering how to increase productivity in the office and motivate yourself? Read on to discover 15 simple ways to do more effective work.
1. Have a Daily Schedule
Structure and schedules can help make any day more productive, no matter how much work you have. Schedules are also great for planning ahead and project management, especially in teams and bigger offices.
By creating a strict daily schedule, you’re planning your entire day from start to finish. You can leave an hour to take a break, but make sure you plan the rest of the time in detail.
2. Assign Realistic Tasks
When you have a long to-do list and only manage to cross 3 items in the day, it’s time to set more realistic tasks. Start by assigning a maximum of 3 most important tasks and do them first. Then, assign up to 5 less important ones and do them second.
If you can’t do more than 3 tasks in a day, don’t transfer all the unfinished tasks to the next day. Start each day with a fresh, uncluttered to-do list.
3. Schedule Breaks
Breaks are extremely important for your productivity. This is why you need to schedule them like you schedule your tasks. Taking a break means stepping away from your desk and going outside for a walk, getting lunch, grabbing a cup of coffee, or hanging out with your co-workers.
Make sure to schedule one big break during the day and a few other shorter ones to give your brain a breather and time to regain focus.
4. Keep Employees Accountable
As an employer, you need to keep your employees accountable for the work they do. You can do this in a gentle, friendly way by setting deadlines, explaining the tasks clearly, and making sure everyone knows their responsibilities.
5. Keep Yourself Accountable
When you start slacking, make sure there’s always someone or something to keep you accountable. Whether it’s a co-worker, your partner, or a family member, give them permission to keep you productive when you start losing focused.
6. Batch Your Workload
Batching means doing efficient work all at once and focusing on one type of task. You can batch tasks on the same topic or similar tasks that need less time to complete.
For instance, if you have issues with an office copier, you’ll probably need a few hours to fix them, so set aside one day in the week to handle this.
7. Remove Distractions
Distractions are impossible to eliminate, but you can try to remove as many as possible by making some changes in your office environment.
For example, if you’re distracted by your phone, take it to another room. If you’re distracted by websites on your computer, install a website blocker app that won’t let you visit those websites while working.
8. Outsource Tasks
Outsourcing tasks is not only a smart and affordable business decision but it can also boost productivity in the office. For example, if your business needs to improve customer service, consider investing in a VoIP phone. This will save you money and time, and you can always outsource these tasks.
You can also outsource your admin tasks, design, blogging, and anything that keeps you from staying focused on your most important tasks.
9. Avoid Multitasking
No matter how skilled you are, multitasking will actually decrease your productivity, especially if you’re running a business on your own. Always handle one task at a time and focus on it until it’s done. Then you can start the next one and devote your time and focus to it.
10. Don’t Micromanage Others
If you’re a business owner, micromanaging your employees is a waste of time and productivity for both sides. Instead, ask them what office essentials they need to work and feel better. Then, trust them to do their best work.
11. Set Self-Imposed Deadlines
Deadlines are a must if you want to stay productive. Whether you have a project deadline or set one for yourself, you’ll work better and faster if there’s a deadline approaching.
12. Use the “Two-Minute Rule”
The two-minute rule is a great solution for completing smaller tasks that can be done in a very short time. For example, if there’s a task on your to-do list that you can do in 2 minutes or less, don’t put it off.
Set aside around 15 minutes and dedicate them to small tasks. Once the timer is up, start the next task. This will help you focus better and check off more items off your list.
13. Say No To Meetings
Meetings are essential for company progress, but not every meeting needs to be long and drawn out. If you’re an employer, try to send out an email or a memo whenever possible and only hold longer meetings once to twice a month.
If you work with clients or for yourself, limit the Zoom calls and try to resolve all issues via email instead.
14. Turn off Notifications
Notifications are one of the biggest productivity killers and they’re everywhere. Whether they come from your email, phone, or other people’s devices, they’re a constant interruption.
To make sure you make the most of your workday, turn off all non-essential notifications. These include social media, emails, text messages, and even putting your phone on silent until you finish work.
15. Reward Yourself and Your Employees
Rewards can do wonders for your productivity, but also for the quality of work of your employees. It’s human nature to work for a prize, so when you give people something valuable to look forward to, they’ll be more productive.
If you’re an employer, you can reward employees with bonuses, company lunches, swag bags, or extra days off. If you’re self-employed, you can reward yourself with a weekend away, new office supplies, a fancy dinner with your partner, or something new you’ve wanted to buy.
Increase Productivity and Work More Effectively With These Useful Tips
Focus and productivity are the foundation of a job well done and a happy employer. If you’re struggling with staying focused, these tips will help you find your way back to the task.
Want to increase productivity no matter what you do? Explore our services to learn how we can help or get a free quote and start doing better, more meaningful work.