This article was originally featured in Insights For Professionals. We shared insights and ideas for improving productivity in your workplace.
Increasing productivity is an aspiration for many companies and individuals, but it can come in the way of work life balance. Although hard to achieve; high productivity whilst maintaining a good work life balance is possible.
Productivity or effectiveness is key. This is not just defined by the hours spent at work, but the value of the outcomes achieved. Are you and your employees simply passing away the hours without any real value being achieved, or is your company firing on on all cylinders?
Follow these four keys to help unlock productivity in both your personal and work life.
1. Reduce your reliance on emails
Emails can often be overwhelming. But the vast majority are for information purposes only. Hours can be wasted reviewing and replying to emails. If your inbox is constantly filling up, there are things you can do.
Try using tags to help prioritise emails. Categorise work emails so that you can simply see what you are working with. Limit replies to emails where it is clearly understand what is being asked. If you can’t understand what an email asks, give the sender a call or drop but their desk. If it’s not relevant, don’t answer.
It’s also worth setting up an out-of-office signature for when you are busy and allocating time in the day when you will read your emails and other times when you won’t.
2. Cut down on meetings
A recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review of 76 companies with some type of no-meetings policy found that productivity increased by up to 73%.
Companies banning meetings on one day a week saw an increase in productivity of 35%. Those companies keeping 2 or 3 days meeting free saw productivity increase by 71% and 73% respectively. The study also found that autonomy, communication, engagement, and satisfaction increased significantly whilst feelings of micromanagement and stress was reduced.
Obviously there will always be a place for meetings. But thinking about when to call a meeting and when to choose other methods can really help increase productivity and cut out waste.
3. Cut down your social media usage
Too much social media can lead to negative effects, both on efficiency and wellbeing. Anecdotal reports on the side effects of social media usage include brain fog and the inability to concentrate. If you or your employees are distracted by social media then rule it out of your work life and instead focus on tasks which will help you or the team move forward.
Smartphone apps can help. Apps such as Moment can help reduce screen time and categorise where your time is being spent. It can help see what is distracting and what is productive. Turning off notifications can also help you feel less compelled to constantly check multiple apps. Other apps such as Headspace and Calm can also help to revitalize concentration levels at work.
4. Tune out the news
News is important but it’s not the be all and end all. We live in a world where global news is streamed straight to our mobile devices, so if something important happens you will hear about. it. The downside though is that it is all too easy to get absorbed by the news, if you’re forever hearing the latest story 24/7 it’s easy to get consumed by it all.
It’s important to cut through the noise and minimise the time spent reading the news at work. Allow a set time in the day, perhaps before work allows you to catch up on all the latest news, but then focus on your tasks for the rest of the day.
Efficiency in the workplace
Bring technology into your company that can help your team progress with their goals and ambitions – not minimise progression and increase distraction. Job management software, such as Okappy, is a great step towards working with technology that improves efficiency.
Through small changes in your relationship with technology you can improve productivity. Cutting down on social media, unnecessary communications and meetings, tuning down the noise and implementing efficient job management strategies are key steps towards improving productivity.