“Why do you think we work?”
Elbert Hubbard places a narration to this - “We work to become, not acquire”. Between the words of this passionate rhapsody lies most of what humans thrive to acquire at workplace besides the bread and dough! The sense of meaning comes from our purpose, to be able to give our best, to be able to create and contribute and to be able to leave our desk by the evening with a sense of satisfaction from the work we have delivered. In this greater meaning that lies behind each of our everyday work hustles, it is indeed a frequently raised question on how really do we accelerate our progress? How do we become more productive at work yet not become over stressed?
Being more productive at work can be synonymous to satisfaction and joy for most of us. When we are able to deliver our best value at workplace, we not just secure our position as one “top player of the game” worthy of promotion but we pave a success path for ourselves too, knowing and recognizing our right way to achieve the best for us. Being productive also ensures that you are ahead of the game, waiting to beat the next obstacle in line with full vigour and energy instead of dealing with the stress of not being able to meet deadlines or being overwhelmed with loads of tasks that are pressing upon your shoulders. Achieving an optimum level of productivity for yourself at work is more of a process with small steps that lead to your goal which duly demands discipline, dedication and desire. Here are some steps that can help you get better at work and increase your productivity:
Plan, Plan and Plan: The key step to begin with is taking the time to plan out your work. You might have a big project in line or a huge list of things to do for a Monday start, but when you begin writing them down, you not just get time to analyse your work better but save yourself from forgetting things on your list. Another great tip is to break your bigger tasks into smaller bits. Very unachievable goals start to look tiny and manageable once you develop the habit to decompose and fragment.
Create a To-Do-List: This is an important part whilst you are planning out your tasks for the day. A “To-Do-List” can be a great help in teaching you to take one day at a time and make the most out of it. Not only do you avoid your chances of missing out on things with this planner but you can add step 2 and once the list is made, start prioritizing your work. You can go about removing things from the list too, which can be pushed to the next day or those which weren't that important when you truly analysed. Remember to be realistic here and keep the list confined to achievable goals at a moderate pace.
Don’t Resort To Multitasking- This is a lesson to swear by, if you have loads of things to complete you have to be doing them one after another and not all together. Productivity demands a great deal of focus and to be able to put your focus onto something, you have to have one goal at one time. When you start to nurture this habit, you will start to subconsciously value quality over quantity, even at the face of tight and demanding schedules. This keeps your performance on track. Your focus plays a big part in determining your productivity.
Eat That Frog: In the famous self-help book by Brian Tracy ‘Eat That Frog- 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’ he talks about the golden rule wherein he describes this hypothetical situation- if your task for the day is to eat two frogs- one big and ugly and the other tiny, you start with the bigger one! As absurd and unusual is his way of explaining, he teaches readers of the importance of getting started with bigger, more difficult tasks and progressively moving to easier ordeals. This not just ensures that you get done with the harder work whilst you are at your best energy but saves you of the stress whilst you are procrastinating and worrying the entire time it’s not been done.
Communicate, Collaborate, Convey: Another big part of increasing productivity also depends on your abilities to mingle with your workmates. As untrue as this sounds, there is a great deal of time and efforts you can save when you give the right instructions to the right people, get your work precisely done, get crisp directions that help you create the best work in the first draft or work with hands that can indeed help you! You have to remember that asking for help isn’t a bad thing at all and thus don’t shy off in the times you need assistance. Discussions and talks really aid one to become more open, aware and productive.
Work with no distractions: This step barely needs an explanation! To be productive, you need to shut down the noise and shoo the distractions away. Turn off your email and phone notifications if you need full concentration. Use social media as a reward – a number of minutes browsing after you accomplish a major task. Shut your devices and media handles off before getting back to work. This tip can be life changing!
Breaks and Sleep: To be at your true best, you have to indulge in breaks, regularly and religiously. Allow yourself a small stroll around the office, go grab some coffee and chit-chat about the day with your colleague or probably distract yourself for a bit with a mobile game. Breaks are extremely important to energise your power to bounce back at a greater pace. You should not compromise on your sleep at any cost- a solid 7-8 hour sleep is necessary for your brain and your sanity as “Sleep is non-negotiable!”
Optimism and Passion: These two emotions can drive your truck to the finish mile in no time and in great power! Don’t forget to invest in your emotional wellbeing, keep making efforts to keep yourself happy and motivated, reward yourself duly and keep recharging your passion each time you feel a little off. Placing your alertness to your personal wellness indeed comes back to you as accelerated work performance and great productivity.
The last tip is to never stop believing in the importance of work-life balance. You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do. And thus you need to remember to never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life!