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15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/15-ways-to-increase-productivity-at-work.html

inc.com

15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work
There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time is critical. There are two ways increase your output--either put in more hours or work smarter. I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter.

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Track and limit your time spent

Only around 17 % of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. 

Using the right tool can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on daily tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.

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Take regular breaks

Take regular breaks

Taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. 

Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance.

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Set self-imposed deadlines

A manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. 

For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. 

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Follow the "two-minute rule"

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.

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Just say no to meetings

The average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.

Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting.

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Hold standing meetings

If you absolutely must have a meeting, there's some evidence that standing meetings (everyone stands) can result in increased group arousal, decreased territoriality, and improved group performance.

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Quit multitasking

Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. 

Make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

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Take advantage of your commute

This goes for any unexpected "bonus" time you may find on your hands.

Instead of Candy-Crushing or Facebooking, use that time to pound out some emails, create your daily to-do list, or do some brainstorming.

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Give up on the illusion of perfection

It's common for entrepreneurs to get hung up on attempting to perfect a task.

It's better to complete the task and move it off your plate; if need be, you can always come back and adjust or improve it later.

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Take exercise breaks

Take exercise breaks

Using work time to exercise may actually help improve productivity.

If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym.

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Be proactive, not reactive

Set aside time for responding to emails, but don't let them determine what your day is going to look like.

Have a plan of attack at the start of each day, and then do your best to stick to it.

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Turn off notifications

Turn off notifications

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. 

During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead, build in time to check email and messages. 

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Work in 90-minute intervals

Researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. 

They also found that top-performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day

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Look at something nice

Look at something nice

Outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements--like plants--can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. 

Jazz up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.

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Minimize interruptions

Brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. 

Minimizing interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door closed, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.

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Trim the fat

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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Feeling less productive

Many people feel unable to find time in the day to do their most important work. Re...

Drains and Incompletions

  • Drains are the tasks you have to do (commuting, personal admin, email correspondence, meetings, calls). These tasks drain your time and energy that you want to spend on priority work.
  • Incompletions are the items on your to-do list that you have not yet completed. They are related to work and personal items (responding to a simple email, or it can be a dream you keep putting off).

Identify drains and incompletions

If you are spending your time, energy, and attention on tasks that don't support your overall goal or priorities, it's time to re-evaluate.

  • Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and minimize distractions.
  • List all of your drains and incompletions. Write every last item you can think of, including the light bulb that needs replacing, and the conversation you need to have with a co-worker.

Automate Decisions

Automate Decisions
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  • Choose all your outfits for your week on Sunday and hang them in the closet in order
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Single Task

Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.”