Five Routines to Boost Productivity

Boost Productivity

Work smarter, not harder.  It’s an intention we all have at the start of each day.  Working smarter means having a purposeful focus that maximizes productivity.  Sounds great, but what does this look like on an average workday?  Consider these five routines to boost your daily productivity.

1.Create a Personalized Workflow to Boost Productivity

To boost productivity, start by knowing yourself.  What time of day is best for you to do your most challenging work?  When do you concentrate best?  When are you in the mood to be social?  Take the time to list out tasks that you complete every single day and create an ideal order based on your energy levels and preferences.  “Create a workflow that helps you perform your best work by matching tasks with your mood and level of motivation,” says Indeed.  “For many people, mornings are the right time to do the concentration-intensive work, while afternoons can be better for meetings, brainstorming, and collaborative work.”  Create a framework for your entire workday.  Order your work to motivate you with feelings of accomplishment as you complete tasks.

2.Minimize Interruptions to Boost Productivity

The distractions in today’s world are endless.  Minimizing interruptions means intentionally removing these distractions, blocking off time, and communicating your intentions to others. Larry Rosen, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University Dominguez Hills suggests that people put up a do not disturb sign when they need to focus on a task (American Psychological Association).  Today’s version of do not disturb might be to block off our Google Calendar every day with the word “busy” and communicate to coworkers that this is a time to be undisturbed to maximize concentration.  

Along these same lines, it is wise to create disciplined times to respond to communications like emails.  Chunking similar tasks together maximizes productivity.  For example, it is more productive to respond to many emails at once rather than one email at a time throughout the day.  Elicit the help of technology to avoid the distraction of your own cell phone. There are many ways to set limits, put your phone on do not disturb, or create ringtones for emergency calls.

3.Communicate with Coworkers to Maximize Productivity

Being productive means knowing how to best spend your time. What is your role in a project versus someone else’s?  How is new information being communicated so the team can avoid doing redundant work?  For example, did you spend three hours completing something that not does not need to be done because of a change in the scope of work?  How often should meetings be scheduled and are these meetings productive?  Forbes Council Member Ghaleb El Masri suggests that managers consider staff-led approaches to meetings.  Would a meeting run better if a direct report facilitated? “Too few workers are taught the techniques of running better meetings. Yet when managers give their direct reports the opportunity to facilitate the meeting, it boosts engagement. It sends the message that each employee plays a crucial role in the direction of the team. This fosters a culture of buy-in and collective ownership, where every person contributes to the overall success of the group,” says El Masri.

Informal communications with coworkers like hallway conversations or phone calls are also vital to boost the strength of our team and network.

4.Avoid Multitasking to Boost Productivity

The research is clear: multitasking lowers productivity.  “Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we’re getting more done,” says Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review. “In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don’t actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.”  Multitasking makes it much easier to make mistakes (like forgetting to include attachments to emails) and does not save time compared to focusing intently on one thing at a time.

5.Take Intentional Breaks to Boost Productivity

Being productive does not mean that you can never take a break.  Breaks are important for your body to move and your brain to rest.  Breaks should be encouraged in every business culture.  One suggestion on how to schedule breaks is the Pomodoro technique.  This suggests working intently for 25 minutes and then taking a five minute active break.  The more active the break, the better.  Stretching and mild exercises release brain chemicals to make you feel more motivated, says Indeed. Being productive also means working your entire day.  Coming in late or leaving early on a regular basis adds up to many hours of lost productivity.  

Establishing new routines takes practice.  Start small by changing one habit at a time.  

Artemis Consultants supports clients and candidates by providing research-based content.  Please consider our company for your job search and hiring needs.

-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Business Content Writer Mellody Melville

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