Career advancement is something most office workers expect when they first get a job. They are full of hope and expectations when they first start out, all fired up to conquer the world. However, years pass and little by little, that fire dies down, and they find themselves in a job they have come to hate and still getting the same low pay.
If this sounds familiar, then you need to understand something. The amount of job satisfaction you have is entirely up to you. A big part of your lack of success in the workplace is a lack of motivation.
You don’t like your job because you don’t think you are making a difference. You have fallen into a rut, and the only thing that has become important to you is getting your paycheck at the end of the month.
With that kind of attitude, you are sure to get nowhere. However, if you are reading this article, then there is hope for you yet. You know that you can be more productive, and there is a good chance that you can still get ahead in life. The only question now is how. Here are four effective ways to enhance your workplace productivity.
Use your time wisely
Business coach Kevin J. Donaldson said, “Just like us, successful people are also given 24 hours each day. The only differences between them and unsuccessful individuals are their winner mindset and self discipline.”
Instead of watching the clock, watch how you spend your time. You should spend your time in the workplace with focus and purpose so that you can get more work done. In order to do that, you need to plan your day.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
Economist Thomas Sowell observed, “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” Meetings are largely a waste of time unless they will have a significant impact on your job.
If you can manage it, beg off as many of them as you can and request the minutes instead.
Use the two-minute rule
Physical activity releases feel-good stress-relieving chemicals into our bodies. Every time you find your stress level on the rise, get up and move. You can stretch, run on the spot, dance or walk around the office. This gets your blood and endorphins flowing, making you feel happy and helps fight stress. Remember, stress can influence your body and emotions.
Chances are, your job is a good mix of big and small tasks.
Big tasks can take hours or even days to accomplish. In between, however, you will have a few minutes free to do smaller tasks. It could be to run a few copies of a report, follow up on an order, or confer with members of your team or committee about your latest project.
If you think a task can be accomplished in two minutes or less, do them it as soon as you get a window of opportunity, even if it is further down your schedule. You will get quite a lot of these little duties out of the way.
Create a to-do list
At the start of each day, write down what you need to get done. Make a schedule and stick to it, except when the two-minute rule applies. That way, you will not forget anything, and you can keep track of how much time you spend on a task.
This will give you a good idea of how much work you can actually do in a day. You can avoid taking on more than you can manage, and make you more effective at what you do. Remember that multitasking is a myth.
This might seem contrary to effective time management, but you can actually become more productive if you take breaks regularly.
Research suggests that taking short breaks during long tasks can help you concentrate better and get more work done. You especially need a break when the task requires intense mental focus.
Your brain can only process so much information before it starts slowing down. You need to your mind a chance to make connections. This is the basis of the Pomodoro Technique.
Taking frequent breaks can also reduce stress and the risk of developing health problems. Sitting for long periods restricts the production of fat-breaking enzymes in the bloodstream. People who spend 6 hours a day sitting at their desk are 18% more likely to die than those who sit for three hours or less.
Get up to get some coffee, a drink of water, or a quick chat with other employees every hour or so. Just take 5 minutes to do something else, like a two-minute rule task, if you can’t think of anything else. Your boss and your body will thank you.
Tune out distractions
Social networks, email, and text messages are big productivity busters for many employees. You are better off without these distractions.
Social media result in productivity loses of about $650 billion a year in the US. You don’t want to be a party to that. If checking your social networks is proving to be too great a temptation for you, install a software blocking app on your work computer to let you get some work done. Do your socializing on your own time.
Checking your email is also a major waste of time if you do it too often. You might think that checking your company emails all the time is being productive, but it is just another form of digital distraction like checking your Facebook page, except less fun.
Start scheduling when you will check your company email and the time you will spend responding to important ones, and turn off notifications for everything else. You can use your break to check your social networks as long as you walk around while you’re doing it. That should be the extent of your multitasking for the day.
Sharpen your skills
Are you good at what you do? You probably are, or you wouldn’t still be around, It isn’t enough to be just good, however. You need to be better. In order to get out of your rut, you need to challenge yourself, push yourself past your current level.
You have to continuously develop your skills and acquire new ones if you want to continue to be more productive as well as a valuable asset to your company. Polish your business writing skills at the very least; the ability to communicate well with your colleagues, employers, and clients guarantees better efficiency at work. If you need to prepare some kind of urgent presentation, websites like Assignment Masters can help.
You can also schedule participation in team building and self-development activities to establish better rapport with your colleagues. This will help you work better together, and this translates to higher productivity.
You don’t have to be stuck in a rut at work. You can realize your potential to enhance your workplace productivity by following these simple suggestions. As an added bonus, you will find that as you get more work done, your job satisfaction also increases. As former Apple CEO and visionary Steve Jobs said:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.”
If you spend your time productively and with purpose, you can’t lose. It is just a short hop, skip, and a jump to a successful and profitable career.
Linda Craig is an eager writer, blogger and editor for assignment help service https://www.assignmentmasters.co.uk/. Teaching, technology in the classroom and recent education tools are her biggest passion.