Contribution from guest blogger, Rae Steinbach.
We live in a fast-paced world, dealing with daily deadlines and struggling to get everything done. Today’s top leaders use some simple hacks to get the most out of their time given this new type of work culture, but anyone can use those same techniques to increase their own productivity or manage employee performance. Here are the top seven tips from the pros on how to maximize efficiency.
1. Plan Out Your Time
Schedule your day, but don’t overdo it in a way that adds to stress about time management. Assess the time it takes to accomplish a task and stick to it. By setting your own deadlines at home and at work, you can increase your efficiency up to 50%.
2. Meditate and Mentally Relax
Meditation does not always mean exploring your spiritual side. Scheduling time to relax and think about work goals, the tasks ahead, reminding ourselves what’s working in our lives, and – yes – maybe just going blank for a bit, greatly improves your decision-making skills and memory.
3. Take Breaks
Walking away from your desk or shifting to reading something non-work-related can relieve stress and boredom. Research is beginning to show links between higher productivity, better well-being, and improved concentration when we step away from multitasking every once and awhile. Let employees know that they should feel comfortable taking these breaks, and you can join them while they do so.
4. Reduce Your Email Inbox Stress
Merlin Mann, a writer and workplace blogger, coined the term “Inbox Zero”. It’s the idea that if we let our minds focus on what’s in our inbox instead of managing it, we lose productivity.
The concept is less about an empty inbox, and more about moving items out of your inbox and into your project management process to deal with at the appropriate time. Getting the big stuff out of the way first leaves more mental space to get the smaller projects done.
5. Remain Physically Active
Studies have shown that sitting at your desk all day can have negative physical and mental health effects. It can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and heightened levels of anxiety.
Encourage your employees to exercise before or after work or on their lunch hour, and keep your own exercise regime. In the workplace, hold stand-up meetings, stand and stretch once an hour, or take a quick walk to break up your sedentary time.
6. Focus on Strengths
Remember that your skillset is why you were hired. Work to focus on those strengths, understand what resources you need to accomplish your tasks, and consider how you’d address challenges in the workplace. By focusing on what you can do instead of what you can’t, you improve productivity.
7. Keep Engaged
Whether as a team or an individual, make plans for project goals, and communicate them to your colleagues. The strategy doesn’t stop there, however. Check in with your coworkers throughout the process.
Hold a team meeting daily or weekly, keep each other apprised of challenges and changes, and work together to solve them. By understanding your part in achieving a work goal, you are much more likely to remain focused and care about the overall achievement.
Productivity doesn’t simply mean getting a lot of things done in a set amount of time. Completing projects efficiently in the time you have without getting stressed or disengaged are equally important. By employing a few of these productivity hacks, you can improve you and your employees’ performances, remain engaged in your work and improve your overall health and well-being.
About the Author:
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.
Follow Rae on Twitter @araesininthesun.