— October 5, 2018
No matter what kind of work you do, it’s important to do the best job possible. To make that happen, you’ll need a good attitude so that negativity doesn’t rub off on others you deal with.
Of course there’s more to it than attitude in order to be good at what you do. You need to be open to change and constantly learning and growing with the job. You also need to be timely, have good customer service skills, and stay productive.
But when it comes to productivity, you may feel that you’re already doing that. Still, there are ways to enhance and fine tune what you’re currently doing. That way you can be your most productive self as well as the most successful in what you do.
1. Use Only a Few Tools
If you want to be your most productive self when working, use only a few tools to help you out. In other words, don’t try to use every app that’s available.
Instead, use a few good ones that you learn inside and out and utilize to their fullest potential. Below are a few different tools you can use to be the most productive.
Calendar tools are a must when you have a busy work and home life. However, they can help you do more than just keep tabs on your schedule.
Some calendar apps let you keep task lists in addition to scheduling times and due dates to complete them. That’s a much more efficient method of keeping track of things than simply trying to remember everything.
Additionally, since calendar management can be done from multiple devices, you can manage your calendar from pretty much anywhere. You can set meeting reminders, invite others to events, and even calculate routes to get to meetings with calendar apps.
Do you send and receive emails while you’re working? I’m betting that you do. But you may not be utilizing all of the email tools you could be.
As an example, some email platforms let you create canned text. If you’re sending the same responses to different people over and over, save it once and reuse it. This is something I do to save time, improve productivity, and make time spent emailing count.
Time Tracking Tools
When calendars alone aren’t enough you might need to track time using other methods. For instance, if you need to bill clients based on actual time spent, you need to measure time accurately.
Another advantage to using this type of tool is that you can capture lost time as well. So, if your goal is to be your most productive, you can identify and improve those areas.
2. Prioritize Everything
Depending on your personality, having lots to do can inspire you to get more done. That helps me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. So, an additional motivator can be to prioritize everything on your “to do” list.
Before you can do that, though, you need to get everything added to your task list. Then you should order things by what needs to be done first, next, and so on.
Setting priorities to everything helps you find assignments that may be unimportant enough to simply cross off your list. At the same time, projects that are critical can be completed sooner. Furthermore, ordering them allows you to complete jobs one after another without wasting time deciding what’s next.
3. Do Quick Tasks Immediately
One of the tricks I use to be my most productive is to do any quick tasks immediately. If something is only going to take one or two minutes, there’s really no reason to put it off.
Delaying quick tasks can cause you to waste time later. You might not remember what you were planning to do which can create delays and lost productivity.
4. Establish a Routine
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do first? Prioritizing can help, but so can establishing a routine.
I find when I get into a routine, I work faster. I don’t have to stop and think about what comes next, which wastes valuable time. In fact, some routines become so automatic I can do them more than twice as fast as in the beginning.
Establishing routines with several tasks throughout the day saves you time on each of them. When added up you can squeeze something else into the time you saved and be more productive.
5. Don’t Waste “Found” Time
At times, everyone has a lull or dead spot in their schedule. Perhaps it’s during a commute or train ride. Maybe it’s while waiting in line at the store or when you’re on the phone. Such time periods may seem too short, or too inconvenient, to start a new project.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should waste this time. Take those moments to check email, texts, phone messages, or other forms of communication. Or, use the time to look over your calendar or meeting agendas.
There’s nearly always something you can do to save time and be more productive. In addition, those stolen moments can be just what you need to stay on track for the rest of the day. You just have to look for them and then use that time wisely.
6. Assign Team Leaders
It can be mass confusion when no one person is in charge of work projects. Therefore, the best way to avoid that is to assign one team leader to each thing.
By putting someone in command of collaborative tasks, it helps everyone to be their most productive. One person assigns portions of the work to the appropriate people and makes sure it is completed.
Obviously, that person is usually the boss or manager of a business. Or, sometimes it’s a supervisor or manager in training. No matter their position, the person in charge will delegate work so that large assignments get completed without duplication.
7. Regularly Review Incomplete Projects
You can use your calendar to schedule regular meetings with yourself to review work duties. This is another way to stay productive and not let things fall through the cracks.
Certainly you’ll want to pay close attention to the higher priority things on your task list. But you also need to look at the things you’ve put on the back burner too. They may have been low priority before, but they could move to a higher priority over time.
Consistently looking over work lists lets you make sure you get projects finished once you start them. Sure, sometimes things have to go on the shelf for a while if something else comes up. But eventually everything becomes a priority.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Some people overlook self-care when talking about productivity and being your most productive self. Nevertheless, this is one of the most critical components of being and staying productive.
If you aren’t eating right, sleeping well, exercising, and taking breaks when needed, your productivity will suffer. You may get sick more often, develop serious health problems, or burn out as a result.
When that happens, you won’t be any good to yourself, your spouse or partner, or your family. You won’t be working at optimum levels in your job, either.
Taking care of yourself enables you to not only care for everyone else, but to be your best at work.
Of course there are lots of things that make you good at what you do each day. But using these ideas can help you to be your most productive self and enjoy greater success.