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11 ways to become more productive

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Being productive at work is not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. It’s about careful preparation, smart use of your resources and the effective streamlining of tasks.

Here are 11 ways that will help you increase your productivity and become more successful.

Images: Thinkstock

Published in: Self Improvement, Career
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11 ways to become more productive

  1. Being productive at work is not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. It’s about careful preparation, smart use of your resources and the effective streamlining of tasks. Here are 11 ways that will help you increase your productivity and become more successful. 11 WAYS TO BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE AT WORK haysplc.com/viewpoint
  2. Plan tasks for specific times of the day based on their difficulty. Tackle your most challenging tasks of the day first. The sense of achievement from doing so will help you sustain your energy and productivity for the remainder of the day. Similarly, schedule your routine tasks – those which you can do with your eyes closed – around low energy periods, which usually occur towards the end of the day. PLAN AHEAD
  3. A really great way to make sure you don’t slack on your schedule is to let your team members know when you plan on completing a certain task. Now it won’t just be yourself you’re letting down if you miss the deadline. PUT PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
  4. Working to your maximum capacity for excessive periods will quickly lead to mental fatigue and exhaustion. The mind is a muscle also, and as such requires intermittent periods of rest throughout the day. If possible, try and work in 90 minute blocks with 10-15 minutes of downtime in between – helping to sustain your productivity for a longer period. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
  5. Just as many of us feel peer pressured into relinquishing our lunch breaks, many of us are also coerced into working long into the night. It’s important that you think about the bigger picture. If you leave in good time today then you’ll feel fresher and more capable tomorrow. Being productive is about making the most of the time available to you, not working for as many hours as possible. BE PUNCTUAL
  6. Your workspace has a significant impact on your overall mood and, consequently, how well you’re able to perform. We spend so much of our week at our desk that it’s foolish not to make an effort to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere for yourself during this time. OPTIMISE YOUR WORKSPACE
  7. Don’t shirk responsibility for tasks, but don’t overburden yourself either. Focus on the most important tasks to you, and defer everything else to your most competent team members. Teach your people how to hold the rod properly instead of fishing for them all the time. By spending time helping them grow in the short-term you can reap the long-term rewards of their added value and expertise. DELEGATE
  8. Work on one task at a time, starting a new one only once the previous one has been completed. Having the resolve to stick with one task is actually not that simple, especially when people are pestering you to lend a hand with theirs. You have to know when to say no to colleagues, and even your boss – here’s a Viewpoint guide to help you do so. PRIORITISE
  9. Sometimes you can get so caught up in a project that you can’t see the wood for the trees. Seeking the feedback of others can help you to gain a clearer perspective on the task, both helping you to complete it in quicker time and, from soliciting their feedback, to make the task as successful as possible. COLLABORATE
  10. Changing the way you think about stress can increase your productivity and overall chance of success. Reinforce positive thoughts and discard of the negative. Put together a manageable plan of action, tackling each task in order of priority. A systematic approach such as this will help you to rationally assess the urgency and relevancy of each project. CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS
  11. Getting things right the first time can be helped by remaining cool and keeping your focus. If you’re struggling with your workload and think that blitzing through each task might be the solution then think again. Your colleague, client or boss is unlikely to be happy with work that’s been done without your full attention and effort. GET THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
  12. Last but not least, just do it. The previous ten points are of no use unless you’re determined to put in the extra effort required to maximise your productivity. You’ll often find that once you’re in the groove and are busy getting on that it’s easier to keep working than it is to stop. JUST DO IT!
  13. Good luck! There are many different ways you can increase your productivity, but in order to benefit fully from them you need to be truly committed to the cause. If you have found this advice useful, here are some other blogs to help you effectively manage your career: • Stop waiting to be recognised • 6 leadership styles you need to succeed • Do you know when and how to say no?
  14. ABOUT HAYS Hays is a leading global professional recruiting group, the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. With over 8,748 staff operating from 244 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms, last year we placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs, and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. haysplc.com

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