Employees clock about eight hours a day. One could assume that they spend eight hours going through the tasks, maybe seven and a half if they check Facebook.
A vouchercloud study found that the average worker is productive for only two hours and 53 minutes on a typical day. That amounts to 36% of a normal workday.
While this number seems astonishingly low, it’s no surprise when you factor in all the distractions during work hours — crowded offices, frequent meetings, and the ever-dinging notifications. It’s hard for one to stay focused on work.
Here’s the good news, though.
You can find productivity hacks that either increase your productive work hours or enable you and your employees to get more work done in less time.
Let’s go through the productivity hacks and find the best productivity tips at work for you and your employees.
Productivity Hacks for Your Business
Productivity helps you get more done in less time. The amount of time and money spent on each task decreases, leading to an efficient workplace.
While opening social media apps now and then is a clear time drain, many traditional business activities could also use some sprucing up by implementing tips to increase productivity.
Look at meetings for one.
Doodle shares that unproductive meetings cost companies $541 billion and 24 billion hours worldwide in 2019. That’s a lot of resources wasted.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are many tips to be more productive at work that will help you build a company full of happy, efficient people. Let’s get started.
- Define your values and goals
- Experiment with different productivity methods
- Discover what’s not working
- Try smaller steps
- Use productivity tools
- Limit distractions
- Make time for self-care
- Improve employee benefits
- Do less
- Find what works for you
Define Your Values and Goals
The ultimate goal of productivity hacks is to make your business better. But to figure out the best ways to make your company more efficient, you need to find your north star — your guiding principles and targets.
It helps you prioritize important tasks and become more productive in completing them. Productivity will look different at a company striving for innovation than one focused on higher output.
It also determines how you approach productivity. If communication is one of your core values, limiting customer calls to 10 minutes could undermine your long-term priorities. Still, you can find better tools to help your customers or train your staff to be more productive.
Experiment With Different Productivity Methods
When it comes to productive habits, you should check out various methods and see what works for you. Some of the major productivity hacks by experts are:
- Eat the Frog from Brian Tracy: Do the hardest task first
- Deep Work by Cal Newport: Focus on one demanding task for an extended period without distractions
- Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo: Work for 25 minutes; then take a five-minute break
There are also other productivity hacks and time management suggestions that have become popular tactics:
- Waking up earlier leads to higher brain activity, helping you get more done in less time
- Time blocking — dividing your day into time blocks and focusing on a single task during each block — gets work done quickly as opposed to multitasking
- 80/20 Rule — focusing the first 20% of your efforts for the day on tasks that yield 80% of your results — checks off important stuff on your to-do list earlier in the day
- Cleaning your space improves mental clarity
Play around with the different techniques and see which one works best for you.
Discover What’s Not Working
Do an audit of your team’s working hours. Identify the significant time drains in the schedule and find the deadtime in which employee productivity plummets.
This practice can be illuminating for finding deadtime patterns and bad habits. Is there a specific time of day when your employees waste time? Does procrastination spike if project deadlines are too loose? Has remote work increased or decreased employee output?
Also, get a better look at how long a task takes, which will help you manage your time better. Challenging yourself to write a blog post in 20 minutes might help you realize you can achieve the task in half the time it usually takes.
Get your team involved in this process. Each team member will have work productivity tips for your office that you might not have considered otherwise.
By brainstorming productivity ideas with your team, you will get valuable information to remove obstacles hampering your work efficiency.
Try Smaller Steps
Keeping a list is a great way to stay organized. But sometimes, your list of daily tasks can start accumulating into a list of weekly tasks, overwhelming you and your employees.
As a workaround, an easy productivity tip is to break a complex task into smaller tasks.
Instead of putting “Plan Holiday Party” on your to-do list, write:
- Call the venue
- Finalize the menu for dinner
- Confirm the centerpiece
- Send out invites
By splitting up difficult tasks into baby steps, you can make better progress toward your result.
Use Productivity Tools
Depending on the work routine at your company, many tools can help your business:
- Project management software
- Communication platforms
- Calendar tools
- Workflow automation
A top productivity tip is to determine your company’s needs so you can choose the best possible resource.
Maybe you require a project management system that can help with multiple tasks and sync your team’s online calendars. Or perhaps you could benefit from a team management platform where you can manage remote workers and build community.
With so many tools out there, there are options for every challenge.
Turn off Distraction
Distraction is one of the most common productivity pitfalls. If something is constantly vying for your attention, it can be hard to focus. Those constant phone calls, email alerts, or pings from Slack divert your energy from the task at hand.
Udemy’s report on workplace distraction shows that the less distraction, the better employees perform. After a reduction in workplace distraction, 57% of employees felt motivated to do their best and 51% of employees were more confident in performing their job.
Consequently, one of the best productivity tips is to lower the number of distractions in your office. You can do this by sending fewer emails, designating quiet workspaces, and encouraging employees to turn off notifications for specific periods.
Deep Work’s author Cal Newport suggests getting rid of all your social media channels to boost your focus if you want to go even further with your productivity habits.
Make Time for Self-Care
One of the best tips for productivity is to focus on healthy habits.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), healthy people are more productive. There is less chance of your business missing a deadline due to someone calling in sick. So make sure that you and your employees are practicing self-care.
You can also encourage every employee to build habits that help them feel like a productive person. Establish an office morning routine and plan regular breaks — even a short break for exercise, fresh air, or meditation can go a long way.
Improve Your Employee Benefits
While self-care can be an excellent step, you must make considerable changes in your company to counteract burnout and keep employees happier. A happy employee is a productive employee.
According to a study by Spring Health, important things for employees are:
- Reduced work hours
- Reasonable paid time off (PTO)
- Supportive managers
One of the simplest ways to increase productivity is to do less. Figure out where you can cut back, whether that’s for yourself, your employees, or your company.
That’s why learning when to delegate as a business owner is key to the efficient use of resources.
Also, automation can help with cutting down on time it takes for getting things done. Look for repetitive tasks or manual tasks that consume time but require no skill. They’re good candidates for automation.
Remember, saying no is also a productivity hack. It might be hard to turn work down but spreading yourself too thin results in poor products. As it will hurt your business, it is better to limit yourself to what you can work with.
Find What Works for You
Not all of these best productivity hacks work for everyone. Due to differences between various individuals and businesses, you’ll need to find the productivity tips that generate the best work.
Heed the advice of experts but know there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Maybe early birds who wake up in the morning make up most of the productive people at your company. Still, a night owl waking up earlier may end up grumpy and ill rested, unable to do any work.
Keep these things in mind and find what works for your employees. Maybe if they could sleep in and start working at 10, they would be much happier and have a much more productive time.
Final Thoughts: The Best Productivity Hacks — Productivity Tips for Work
Productivity hacks can change the way your company operates. By spending more time focused on actual work, companies can cut deadtime and help employees feel happy and satisfied.
The best overall productivity tips will vary person by person and company by company. But taking on one small task like decreasing the number of meetings, breaking down your list of tasks or encouraging employees to turn off notifications for an hour every day can make a big difference.