In the world of business, time is money. For every second, minute, hour of the work day that you’re able to get something done, that’s another “penny” earned. That being said, not all of us are built with the innate ability to “get into the zone” and work productivity until it’s time to clock out at the end of the day. Whether you work from home or in the office there are distractions and poor working habits that can keep you from gaining progress throughout the course of a workday. That’s why having a certain system or process can make sure that you stay on target daily.
Check out these productivity hacks below that are sure to make you a better worker on the daily basis.
1. Set a Schedule
When referring to making a schedule, this is not in regards to your actual business hours. Setting a schedule in this sense means getting your work organized enough that you have a certain systematic process that you complete each and every day. For instance, maybe for the first hour of your day you check voicemails and email messages to see what some of your clients needs are, and then you spend the next hour responding to those messages.
Having some sort of schedule that you can follow helps to keep you on track. While there can be emergent tasks that may throw you off schedule on occasion, having a process makes it easier to remember all that needs to be done. There are even task management systems that you can utilize to ensure you’re staying on target. Adding important dates to your calendar or even having a task list to work from ensures that you’re getting everything you need to get done for the day.
2. Tune Out Distractions
Noise is pretty commonplace whether you work from home or in an office setting, however, it can also be a grave distraction causing your work flow to slow down. The best thing you can do is find ways that you can tune out some of those distractions so you can work more diligently. If you work from home, this is fairly simple. Turn off the television, and work in an environment where you’re free from common disturbances such as the kids or the pets. Something as simple as placing a do not disturb sign on your office door or desk lets the family know that you mean business right now.
Those working in an office setting on the other hand cannot control all of the noises and distractions. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you have an office door, shut it once you’re ready to get in your zone. If you’re in a cubicle setting, try to do things that will help you tune out the surrounding noise such as turning on some motivational music or putting on some headphones so you can tune out what’s going on around you.
3. Make Sure Your Workplace is Comfortable
There is nothing more distracting than working in an uncomfortable workspace. Having an office chair that has poor arm and back support, working from a desk that cramps your legs up a bit or even working from a poorly lit computer can be enough to get you off track. Organizing your office is your best bet when it comes to creating a more comfortable workspace. Making sure that you have a comfortable chair, a desk at the appropriate height and proper lighting are essential. If you work from home, this may mean investing in a few pieces of ergonomically friendly furniture. If you work in an office, it may mean talking with your supervisor or human resources department about getting you the office supplies and equipment you need to work comfortably.
4. Record Your Phone Conversations
Ever have an important conversation with a client and then forget some of the important points they made while talking to you? This is a surefire way to slow down productivity. You’re essentially left with two choices; call the client back and ask them the questions again or try to give them what they want based on the information you do remember. Either could be bad for business and your reputation.
The best solution is to consider recording your phone conversations. Investing in a call recording system allows you to automatically record client conversations so that you can assure accuracy. You can use the recorded conversation to make notes, to keep other coworkers up to date, or for training purposes (as in a call center when training new staff). This saves you a great deal of time and allows you to be efficient and productive in serving the needs of your clients.
5. Take a Break
Another productivity hack is taking a break. This might not seem like the best way to make the most use of your time during the work day, but it is necessary. When working a straight 8-10 hours without a break you begin to make mistakes. Your body is tired from having sat all day long at the computer screen. You begin transposing information, overlooking important facts, and so on. Giving yourself a few 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day allows your body to replenish itself so that you can work more efficiently throughout the day. Do some stretches, walk around, go talk with a coworker about something not related to work… whatever you do, get up from the desk and breathe.
Improving productivity in the workplace ultimately means assessing what your problems are and finding ways to remove them or work around them so that you can get more done during the day. Whether you’re losing a lot of time because your schedule is all over the place, your work environment is uncomfortable, or you’re not able to get a full understanding of what your clients needs are, getting those things under control can be fairly simple. By following each of the above mentioned productivity hacks, you are sure to see a great improvement in your ability to get more done.