Why you’re not as productive as you could be

In a world where time is money and every minute is filled with something, maximum productivity is vital. Everything is constantly speeding up, tasks have to be completed more quickly with fewer steps. The modern business world needs things to be fast, smooth, and efficient. That’s why professional productivity is absolutely essential in order to find success, and there are lots of different ways you can go about boosting yours. Here are just a handful of tips that might help make you more productive, and give you new ideas about what else you can do to use your time more profitably.

1. Get up earlier

You might hear you mother’s voice ringing in you ear with this one, but most of us would admit that getting up just fifteen minutes earlier could make a world of difference. In large part, it’s a psychological effect; starting right sets the tone for the rest of the day ahead, and knowing that you got yourself up and out of bed early can just set you in the mind frame of productivity and organisation.

Additionally, it will help prevent you feeling rushed and behind schedule, an uncomfortable feeling which will follow you through the day and cause you to feel flustered and a little out of control, resulting in hurried and incomplete tasks. Set a tone of discipline and achievement right from the start of your day. Too many of us have a morning routine that’s cutting it fine, and getting out of this cycle can have real positive effects on your overall productivity.

2. Make time for personal matters early on

Use your spare time in the morning to give a little focus to matters that aren’t linked to your work. Read the paper, check up on social media, reply to messages and emails. That way, the desire to do so won’t be niggling in the back of your mind all day as you wonder what you might have missed and end up scrolling through Twitter in the middle of your work day. Get these things out of the way early and allow your brain a little rest and regroup before you dive into the day’s work. Replying to emails early can also be a great way to ensure that colleagues start work on tasks that they may have asked you about, so that things are being achieved even before you set foot in the office.

3. Use your commute

Don’t waste a chunk of time every single day of your working life simply sitting on a moving vehicle without achieving anything. Use it to plan out the structure of your day, find out what projects, clients and so on require attention, check how tasks you have delegated are progressing. There is a great deal that can be achieved from the seat of a train or tram. By the time you arrive at the office, you’ll know exactly the state of affairs and what you can get started on right away. There are a couple of really useful apps for working professionals that can help you to be productive whilst on the move.

4. Don’t be afraid to work from home

Sometimes the most sensible decision is to not even go into your place of work – something that is becoming more and more common as the way we work changes. There are certain tasks, for example, that could benefit hugely from being completed away from the distractions and requirements of daily life in the office. Working instead in an empty flat or house, or even in a quiet library or café, may be the key to being as productive as possible on these tasks. Sometimes, too, when the weather is particularly hot, or especially unpleasant, commuting to work can simply take up a great deal of time and cause you to start your day in a terrible mood, something that rarely leads to good work being done. Working outside of the office can be a great solution to a range of different issues that might arise, and it’s now easier than ever to stay connected whilst away from the office.

5. Turn off push and pop-up notifications on your phone

When you’re trying to be productive, these are simply unwelcome, irksome and persistent distractions which are better totally removed. Don’t let a host of applications, bored friends or arguing children distract you from the task at hand. A lot of trivial things are likely to arise while you are working, but these can be dealt with after the hours that you have set aside for a specific task. Turn these off, and simply check on things as and when you need them rather than having attention demanded from you by your phone or computer.

6. Consider teleconferencing

Are you spending a great deal of the time and resources travelling to meet colleges and clients? It is possible in many situations to replace your meetings with a conference call. If this is a potential solution, it’s one that you should seriously consider. It obviously saves a great deal of time that would otherwise be spent on travelling, and can make the meeting itself much more productive as people are likely to have access to any relevant documents, will be more focused on the topic being discussed and less likely to chat about the conditions of the meeting room and so on. By using an audio meeting, you can work right up to the time of the call, and simply dial in right from your desk – wherever it may happen to be at the time.

7. Actually talk to people

It may seem a little counter-intuitive, considering the rapidity and ease of typing, but talking to colleagues rather than emailing them can make you much more productive. This doesn’t mean you need to get up from your desk and wander around the office every time you want to check something. Instead, consider holding regular meetings or conference calls as a staff support measure, or even simply as and when the need arises. It saves a great deal of time and hassle on the miscommunications, mistakes and missed emails that can arise from using virtual messaging instead, as well as the meaningless threads that we can get into.

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