Tips for Productivity at Work! Pt. 2

Last week we began our series on productivity tips, aiming to help you get more done while in the workplace! We mentioned the importance of starting your day off right and the concept of picking a focus word.

There is something beautiful about being productive; not only does it allow us to be efficient but also leaves us feeling satisfied. How great is the feeling of accomplishment? This week we offer you three more productivity tips. These tips are tried and true and we’re sure they will help you tackle that never-ending to-do list!

3. Make a List (And Stick to It!)

This is the most commonly used technique for getting things done. Yet, is your to-do list working for you? It’s easy to put out our to-do lists to the side but making your  to-do list a priority isan effective way to be productive. The key is to prioritize your list and stick to it!

Take Action:

  • Prioritize and categorize. Do you make a “master” to-do list? This is not a bad thing, but a catch-all list is going to be overwhelming and daunting. Create a master list in order to get everything out and then create separate lists based on different categories. Those categories can be places: home, work, grocery store and other. You can also categorize your list by time of day. Prioritize your tasks from most urgent to least urgent. Items on your list that are urgent are things that either need to be done soon (time) or are important. Making a list at the beginning of the day takes some time and effort, but it is worth it because it will allow you to stay on top of things throughout the day.
  • The key to taking advantage of to-do lists is to figure out what works for you. Try one method for a week, such as using one app on your phone, and then switch to another. At the end of the week, look back and take note of your productivity.
  • Stick to it! Put your list where you will see it. Using an app with reminders can also help you stick to your list. Set a reminder around lunch time to update your to-do list; crossing off your tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to prioritize for the rest of the day.
  • Start a list with overarching year goals, then break it down into monthly and weekly goals. You can then create your daily goals based on these larger goals to stay focused on the big picture.

Apps:

  • Any.do In our last blog post, we mentioned Any.do – a great option for organizing tasks by category and priority. Check out their very own blog post on how to sort your lists to your preference, by ‘Priority’, ‘Time’ or ‘List’.  Any.do is an award-winning app and has a very user-friendly design.
  • Wunderlist – Another great app for productivity, Wunderlist allows you to make actionable lists, share them, set reminders and organize all your “to-do’s” into separate folders. The latest update of Wunderlist includes features for the Apple Watch!
Wunderlist Productivity
photo from the Wunderlist blog

4. Listen to Music

The evidence is in; listening to music can improve your productivity. According to a New York Times article, research done by Dr. Lesiuk found that information technology specialists that listened to music while they worked were more efficient than their coworkers who didn’t listen to any tunes, “because the music improved their mood.” Not only were these tech nerds more productive, but also came up with more creative ideas at work. So when that three o’clock fog hits and you’re feeling unmotivated, popping on some of your favorite tunes can help you stay driven.

Take Action:

Apps:

  • Spotify – Spotify has a few features that other music apps do not. Spotify allows you to create collaborative playlists – share your playlists with your coworkers! Spotify premium also allows you to download your playlists to any device for playing music offline.

5. Reward Yourself (Create Incentives)

Staying motivated is key to productivity! One way to stay motivated at work is to create incentives for yourself. What are you motivated by? What do you get excited about? Think of a reward (such as a cup of coffee or going out to lunch) and use is as motivation to help you bust through your tasks.

Incentives can be done on an individual level or group level. Entrepreneurial writer, Patrick Hull, writes “Motivated employees can make all the difference in a successful company.” Rewarding employees with incentives does a business much good. Keep workers happy by offering “bonuses, perks, amenities, education, and positive recognition.”

Take Action:

  • Reward yourself with something healthy! A longer break to walk with a coworker can be an incentive.
  • Involve your coworkers. Race your coworkers to see who can complete a task (or number of tasks) the quickest.
  • If you’re a manager, boss or CEO – motivate your employees with benefits and perks. It will keep your employees driven and create an enjoyable work environment.

Productivity is about getting the right things done efficiently and not being distracted by the little things that burden us. Oh, how often we get off task. I can’t count how many times I was in the middle of doing something, got distracted by an email, and then realized about twenty minutes later that I had been pulled away from what I was initially doing.

Remember that just because something is urgent doesn’t always mean that it is important. Don’t get side tracked while fighting fires.
With a little effort and intentionality, productivity is possible! It’s also important to remember that productivity is a learning process and there’s always room for growth. Try out these tips and let us know how they work for you.

 

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