11 Ways To Be More Productive At Work

No matter what you do for a living, it probably seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Well, guess what? There aren’t enough hours in the day. However, successful guys make the most of their working hours by working smart.

Here are some tips to help you work smarter so you can be more productive at work.

1- Prioritize your tasks

This is an ongoing task in itself. What is more important? Is a client waiting on your proposal to renew the contract? Prioritize your tasks based on ROI (return on investment). Any person can do this, but the trick is to know how. If you like schedules, make a calendar on a weekly or monthly basis. If you prefer lists, then maybe creating a priority list at the start of each day is the answer. Having priorities and knowing what they are will help you meet goals, but more than that, they will ensure that you focus on the things that will make you a star.

2- Leave at a specific time

If you know you’re leaving at 5 p.m. sharp, you’re likely to work more efficiently. There’s just something about deadlines that makes us thrive. If you say that you’ll leave work when you’re finished, you’ll likely run into two problems: First, with so much to do, how will you know if you’re finished? Second, with no specified quitting time, you’ll procrastinate. Setting a deadline helps you rise to the occasion and determine what’s really important.

3- Plan phone calls

Set some time aside to get all of your phone calls out of the way. Phone tag is a waste of time, and taking calls while you’re in the middle of something else can derail a productive project. Instead, think about when you’re best able to reach various people and call them then. Don’t forget to consider time zones and the calling habits of those you’re trying to reach. Of course, you can’t be too rigid about this; sometimes you need to pick up the phone. However, you can prioritize. And you should always return all calls by the end of the day because having a stack of calls to return the next morning will quickly ruin any schedule you set up.

4- Deal with things immediately

If something comes up and you can deal with it in a couple of minutes, then do it right away. There’s no point in postponing it. But remember, this tip only works for smaller things like fielding an inquiry from a client. Under no circumstances should you begin projects this way; you’ll never get anything done.

5- Keep your desk clutter-free

If you don’t need it handy or you don’t need it at all, it’s slowing you down. Organize all your files so that you don’t waste time looking for documents. Do the same for your e-mail inbox. Get rid of excess files and folders. As a rule, if you use it once a day or more, it can stay. Otherwise, pack it away.

Set your schedule, make a list, centralize your info, and forget the water — we have more ways to be more productive at work…

6- Set your own working schedule

Not all guys work the same. Maybe you’re a morning person, in which case you should do the heavy lifting then, because that’s when you’ll be at your best. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to save the more mundane tasks for the afternoon, when you’re more likely to be on autopilot. The key is to know your strengths and maximize them.

7- Streamline recurring tasks

There are some tasks that you can do in your sleep. However, those are the ones to reconsider. Are you performing them efficiently? Schedule those tasks when you know you’ll have a lull and make sure that you’re performing them without any superfluous steps. One way to make sure you work without waste is to watch a coworker perform the same task; you’d be amazed at what you can pick up by watching the other guy.

8- Have a running to-do list

This is a good way to ensure that you always have something to do and don’t waste any time looking for your next task. Write all your upcoming tasks on this list. At the end of the day, prepare a to-do list for the following day so that you can start working as soon as you get to the office. Keep the list handy and be sure to cross off tasks that you’ve finished; you’ll find satisfaction in knowing that something is completed.

9- Centralize all your information

Don’t waste time jumping from your computer to your email inbox to your smartphone. Centralize all pertinent information at one easily accessible source. No matter where you put that information, make sure you have a backup.

10- E-mail vs. phone

E-mail is an effective tool, but you have to know how to use it. Using e-mail is preferable when you need to send a statement to someone. When the problem requires dialogue, you’ll likely waste time writing. A good example of when to use e-mail rather than the phone is when an issue is more routine, like requesting more office supplies or confirming that the documents you sent were received.

11- Minimize distractions

If it does not work, it’s a distraction. Avoid hanging out with gossiping co-workers by the water cooler. Check your personal e-mail account only once a day on your break. Set a limited amount of time to surf the web — for instance, 10 minutes tops in the morning. Turn your cell phone off if you don’t use it for work and check your messages on your own time.

Produce efficiently

A lot of guys don’t usually put being more productive at work on their priority list. After all, it’s hard for work to compete with money, women and sports. However, there’s a good reason to improve at work.

Yes, you’ll be more successful, which will help you get what you want outside of work. But more than that, the more productive your time at work is, the more free time you’ll have to focus on other things.

Resources:

  • www.ineedmoretime.com
  • www.careerjournal.com
  • http://aolsvc.health.webmd.aol.com
  • www.cnn.com
  • http://archives.cnn.com
  • http://monster.typepad.com
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