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8 Influential Tips to Improve Your Work Productivity

Most of us can probably be more productive with our time in the office and thus more satisfied with our jobs. Here are some impactful tips to improve your productivity at work.

Image of a productive office work space

There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time is critical. Besides, who has ever gotten home from work proud that they wasted half the day on social media or pleased with themselves for not accomplishing anything on their to-do list. A productive day at work is a satisfying day. And when you boil it down, there are two ways to increase your output: either put in more hours or work smarter during your allotted time. Most people don’t really want to work longer, so that’s why we have put together these influential tips on how to be more productive at work.

Organize your tasks – By arranging your workday so that you tackle your most important priorities together, you will save time, be more efficient and ultimately produce higher quality work.  In addition, by starting your day with the most important task, you will increase your productivity and get your day off to a good start (some people call this eating the frog). Have a plan of attack at the start of each day, and then do your best to stick to it.

Be proactive, not reactive
Allowing incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day will mean you have done a great job of putting out fires, but that may be all you get accomplished. Set aside time for responding to emails, but don’t let them determine what your day is going to look like. Consider using a virtual receptionist service to screen, route, and handle inbound phone calls. Harness tools and strategies like these to cut down on interruptions.

Follow the two-minute rule
Entrepreneur Steve Olenski recommends implementing the “two-minute rule” to make the most of small windows of time that you have at work. The idea is this: If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. According to Olenski, completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later. Implementing this has made him one of the most influential content strategists online.

Don’t sit at your desk all day
It is important to get up,  get some water, go outside, or even take a lap around the building for a few minutes during the day.  “How is turning my back on my work more productive?” In the same way that a vacation is good for you on a larger scale, these short mental breaks will reinvigorate you and help you be more productive throughout the day.

Stand up for your phone call
It is amazing that the simple act of standing during a phone call will actually help shorten the call, thus saving you time. If you are standing you are less likely to be involved in idle chatting and you will get to the point of the conversation faster. Plus, getting the blood flowing a little will help you put your thoughts together in a more clear and focused  manner to avoid having to waste time trying to explain things or get your point across in different ways.

Learn to say no
Meetings are one of the biggest time-sucks around, yet somehow we continue to unquestioningly book them, attend them and, inevitably, complain about them. According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself if you really need to be there and whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting (which may be slightly more productive).

Don’t take advantage of Facebook in the office
Social media is a part of all of our daily lives. However, to save time you must have the discipline to not spend parts of your day seeing what your friends thought of the latest movie release or what they had for dinner last night. It may seem innocent enough to spend a couple minutes checking in on the latest. However, that mindless scrolling, even for short periods, adds up over the course of the day. Your time is better spent on productive work activities or a little walk if you do need a break.

Get a head-start on tomorrow by preparing before you leave the office today
The simple task of writing a to-do list is one of the most efficient ways of keeping track of your daily work requirements. By writing out a list for tomorrow before you leave the office at night, you will have an immediate head-start on your next day and be ready for your new priorities.

Not all of these workplace productivity tips necessarily jive together (2 and 3), but many do. So pick some to try, fine tune them to your work environment and demands, and soon enough you’ll notice that you’re going home each day with more accomplished than ever before!

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About Andrew Tillery

Born and raised in Oregon, Andrew has now put down roots in Seattle, because he refuses to call anywhere but the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing and Advertising, he spent some time learning Spanish and experiencing all that South America has to offer. It was while he was south of the equator that he uncovered an interest in writing that he strives to develop whenever the opportunity is presented. When Andrew isn't taking care of business at the office, he is throwing fuel on his fiery passions for sports and the outdoors.