Top ways to increase productivity at work and beyond

Metro Service
Evidence suggests that work meetings can be a time drain. Find a different way, such as through group texting, to solicit insight from coworkers.

■ Metro Service

In today’s competitive job market, individuals need to channel all possible assets to get ahead. Working more efficiently and improving productivity can be an advantage to anyone.
Despite the technological advancements available to help streamline tasks, many workers admit to being sidetracked during the workday and may need pointers to improve their efficiency on the job. Productivity at work can trickle over into habits that can be utilized at home and elsewhere. The following are several ways to improve productivity levels.

Determine how much time you spend on common tasks. Take a day to calculate how much time you’re devoting to certain parts of your workday. For example, is email correspondence bogging you down for several hours? Once you have a clearer picture of how you are spending your time, you can develop an effective plan to maximize your work hours.

Acknowledge that you can’t run like a robot. The human body does not do well with prolonged multitasking. One of the strategies for being more productive is to work for an hour to an hour and a half, then take a break.

Change your hours. When possible, explore flex time with your employer. Getting to work before everyone, or coming in later and staying after traditional hours can lead to greater productivity. There will be fewer distractions and less rush-hour traffic, and you can reap a greater sense of accomplishment. Consider working a weekend day and taking off during the week. Then you’ll have the added benefit of getting personal tasks done while others are at work.

Work as a team. Have some trusted people on your team to whom you can assign important tasks. Find colleagues that excel in certain areas and tap their strengths. With various wheels in motion, jobs can get done more quickly.

Stop multitasking. Psychologists have determined that multitasking can bog down productivity. According to the American Psychological Association, the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Individuals think they’re getting more done, but they may not be handling tasks effectively. Instead, focus on one job at a time and only move on once it is completed.

Write things down. A to-do list floating around in your head can become overwhelming. The physical task of writing things down and crossing items off the list one-by-one can help you sail through tasks effectively. If you’re a mobile person, jot down the list on the notes function of a smartphone or use a task app that syncs with calendar functions.

Schedule fewer meetings if possible. Meetings can sometimes be a waste of time. Before reserving the conference room, see if a resolution can be made via group text, email or other correspondence.

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