20 Tricks to Help You Stay More Productive at Work
Productivity at work refers to the efficiency and effectiveness with which an individual or organization completes tasks and achieves their goals. It is a measure of how much output is produced for a given amount of input, such as time and resources. High productivity at work means that an individual or organization is able to complete tasks quickly and effectively, while low productivity can result in delays and missed deadlines.
There are several factors that can impact productivity at work, including time management, organization, motivation, and the tools and resources available. Effective time management, for example, can help an individual stay on track and complete tasks efficiently, while a lack of organization can lead to confusion and wasted time. Additionally, a positive and motivated work environment can help boost productivity, while a negative or demotivating environment can have the opposite effect.
Productivity can be improved through various methods such as setting clear goals, creating a schedule, minimizing distractions, using productivity tools, eliminating unnecessary meetings, delegating tasks and focusing on one task at a time, prioritizing self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and continuously evaluating and adjusting strategies as needed.
How to Stay Productive at Work
- Prioritize your tasks: Make a list of the most important tasks that need to be done and focus on them first.
- Set specific goals: Set clear and specific goals for what you want to achieve and work towards them.
- Use a timer: Set a timer for specific tasks to help you stay focused and on track.
- Eliminate distractions: Eliminate any distractions in your work environment, such as notifications on your phone or social media.
- Take breaks: Take short breaks throughout the day to rest your mind and recharge your energy.
- Use a to-do list: Keep a list of tasks that need to be done and check them off as you complete them. Create them on your phone and also make a list of important tasks on a piece of paper – let it stare at you all day on your desk.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique: This technique involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break, repeating this cycle for a set period of time.
- Delegate tasks: Delegate tasks to other team members or colleagues when possible.
- Stay organized: Keep your work area and files organized to save time and increase productivity.
- Use technology: Utilize technology such as apps and software to help you stay organized and manage your tasks.
- Take care of your physical and mental health: Taking care of your physical and mental health can help to increase productivity and focus.
- Get enough sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep each night to help you be more productive during the day. Quality sleep at night can improve the functioning of your brain cells and help you think fast and straight.
- Eliminate multitasking: Multitasking can decrease productivity and focus. Instead, focus on one task at a time.
- Use positive affirmations: Repeat positive affirmations to yourself throughout the day to boost your confidence and motivation.
- Take a walk: Take a walk outside or do some stretching to help boost energy levels and productivity.
- Set deadlines: Set deadlines for yourself to help you stay on track and increase productivity.
- Learn to say no: Learn to say no to tasks that are not important or do not align with your goals.
- Take advantage of downtime: Use downtime, such as a lunch break, to plan and organize your tasks for the rest of the day.
- Use positive visualization: Visualize yourself achieving your goals and completing tasks to increase motivation and productivity.
- Reward yourself: Reward yourself for completing tasks or reaching milestones to keep yourself motivated.
Let’s take a look at The Productive Thinking Model that was developed by Tim Hurson.
Bonus: Productive Thinking Model
The Productive Thinking Model was developed by author and creativity theorist, Tim Hurson, and was published in his 2007 book, “Think Better.”
The model presents a structured framework for solving problems creatively. You can use this model to stay productive at work
The model consists of six steps, as follows:
- Ask “What is going on?”
- Ask “What is success?”
- Ask “What is the question?”
- Generate answers.
- Forge the solution.
- Align resources.
Step 1: Ask “What is going on?”
You must first have a thorough understanding of the issue you intend to solve. This is frequently the trickiest step in the procedure.
Consider the following four inquiries to achieve this:
What is the problem?
First, brainstorm all of the problems and issues that you have – a tool such as CATWOE will help here. CATWOE is a technique that provides a framework for defining and analyzing business stakeholder perspectives. It stands for Customer, Actor, Transformation, Worldview, Owner, and Environment. As you do this, think about the following questions:
- What’s bugging you? And what annoys your customers?
- What’s out of balance?
- What could work better? What could you improve?
- What are your customers or users complaining about?
- What challenges do you have?
- What’s making you take action?
What is the impact?
Next, come up with ideas for how the issue affects you, your company, and other stakeholders like clients, partners, and rival businesses.
Make a list of all of your stakeholders and note the impact the issue has on each of them, both positively and negatively.
You can do this by posing questions like:
- Who does this problem affect, directly and indirectly?
- Why is this problem important to them? What concerns do you have about it?
- Who’ll benefit if you don’t deal with the problem? And who’ll benefit when you solve it?
What is the information?
Now, gather details regarding the issue. What is your knowledge on it? What are you unaware of? Has this or a comparable issue been addressed before? In that case, what transpired, and what can you infer? Make sure you have proof that the issue actually exists.
Read: Tips to Recover from Job Loss and Bounce Back Financially
What is the vision?
Finally in this step, identify your vision for the future once you’ve solved the problem. Hurson calls this the “target future.”
Step 2: Ask “What is success?”
In this stage, you’ll create your desired future by defining success as the result of putting a solution to your problem into practice.
A good way to do this is to use the “DRIVE” acronym. This stands for:
- Do – What do you want the solution to do?
- Restrictions – What must the solution not do?
- Investment – What resources are available? What are you able to invest in a solution? How much time do you have?
- Values – What values must this solution respect?
- Essential outcomes – What defines success? How will you measure this?
Step 3: Ask “What is the question?”
The goal of this stage is to come up with a list of inquiries that, if properly addressed, will address your issue.
Examine all of the information you acquired in the first two phases to accomplish this.
Step 4: Generate answers
By developing answers to the questions you created in the previous stage, you’re generating solutions to your problem.
Step 5: Forge the solution
You will now refine your concepts into a complete solution.
Start by comparing the most promising ideas to the success criteria you determined in step 2 to evaluate them. Select the answer that best satisfies those requirements.
Step 6: Align resources
This final phase involves determining the people and other resources you’ll need to put your idea into practice.