Tips to increase your work productivity in the office or at home

April 17th, 2020
Tips to increase your work productivity in the office or at home


The more productive an employee, the more valued they are by their employers. This is true for all companies across all kinds of industries. If you want to deliver quality results, you should know how to manage your time and effort wisely.

The job market in Florida is competitive; the Sunshine State ranks third on the list of states with the fastest rate of job growth for 2020. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to be efficient at work. If you want to increase your output, you can either put in more hours or learn how to work smart. Better bet on the latter.

How can you become more productive?

Whether you report to an office or work remotely, you can improve your work habits with the following tips.

#1 Use the proper tools to manage your time

First, you need to know how much time you spend on your tasks. Do not rely on guesstimates, which are often inaccurate. Instead, there are many free and for-sale tools online that you can use to accurately measure how much time you spend answering emails, writing, going through social media, reading, etc. What’s more, these apps can also help you manage your time more efficiently.

#2 Enforce the “two-minute rule”

The rule states that any task you can do in two minutes or less, do it first. Working immediately on that task ultimately saves time, and there’s no danger of you forgetting to go back to it.

#3 Chop up work into intervals separated by rest

By dividing your hours into regular work-rest intervals, you make efficient use of your time, because the necessary rest period is built into your work schedule. The regularity helps you focus when it’s work time and relax when it’s rest time. Two of the most popular techniques are:

  • The 90-minute work intervals — A Florida State University study showed that elite performers — like athletes, musicians, and those who excel in their fields — are more productive when they work at intervals of 90 minutes or less, with rest sessions in between. Researchers call it the “ultradian rhythm,” wherein our bodies go through a rest-activity cycle every 90 minutes, regardless of whether we’re awake or asleep.
  • The Pomodoro Technique — This time management technique breaks down work into four 25-minute work intervals with 3–5 minute rest breaks in between. Then after the fourth work interval, you take a longer rest break of 15–30 minutes.

Is your business ready for a remote workforce?

Working from home is unavoidable in the age of COVID-19. You need to adopt a healthy and efficient remote working strategy so that your employees will be more engaged, less stressed, and more productive. Here are some tips to manage your remote workforce effectively.

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#4 Don’t skip rest breaks

Your body and mind need rest. Taking regular, short breaks in between work intervals helps improve your concentration so you can maintain a consistent level of performance. And speaking of breaks….

#5 Exercise during breaks

You can use your longer break times to exercise. Build physical activity into your daily routine. Go out for a short walk or do some stretching exercises. Get your blood pumping to keep your mind sharp.

#6 Take a more proactive approach

Most people are reactive — we’re distracted when the phone rings or an email comes in. So we end up putting out the small fires instead of finishing our important tasks. We should be proactive and take charge of our schedule. Do not let small distractions derail you. Instead, set aside time to answer emails, return calls, or respond to colleagues on Slack. And speaking of being proactive….

#7 Turn off all notifications

For many of us, it’s almost Pavlovian that we’re compelled to immediately respond to the sound of email, text, or chat notifications. We drop everything and check our inbox or phone. That’s why it’s best to turn off all notifications during your work hours to get rid of distractions.

#8 Minimize as many interruptions as possible

Some interruptions are unavoidable, like an urgent call from a client or your child asking to go to the bathroom. But you can prevent a lot of interruptions from disturbing you when you’re busy. Put up signs that tell people to leave you to your work. For example, keep your office door closed, place a “Do not disturb” sign on your desk, or mark your status as “Busy” on Slack.

#9 Set your own internal deadlines

A little bit of self-imposed stress can be helpful, especially when you have tasks that are open-ended. Setting our own internal deadlines forces you to focus and set a goal.

#10 Be discerning when setting or accepting meetings

Meetings eat up a lot of time. Worse, a badly managed meeting is a waste of time and effort for many individuals. Before you set a meeting, ask yourself if the objectives can be accomplished via an email or phone call instead. And you don’t need to say “yes” to every meeting invite.

#11 Stop multitasking

Psychologists have proven that multitasking isn’t an efficient way to work. Doing several tasks at the same time divides our attention, so we end up taking more time and effort versus if we tackled each task one at a time.

#12 Make smart use of your commute time

Your commute time is actually extra time for you. If you’re dying to do something when stuck in traffic, you can use the time to make a to-do list, do some paperwork, or compose an email.

#13 Stop seeking perfection

Confucius, Voltaire, and Shakespeare had similar sentiments: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Nothing is perfect in this world, so it’s useless to chase the unattainable. Also, the challenge of perfection can intimidate people from starting anything. So instead of desperately seeking perfection, you’ll do well to aim for good; you can always improve things afterward. Or as Nike says, “Just do it.”

#14 Look for ways to be happy in your place of work

A happy work environment helps increase productivity. Put nice things to look at in your office or desk. Find a work friend or two. Keep your space organized. Move around once in a while. Find reasons to smile.

Whether you clock in at an office or work anywhere, you can always find new and better ways to increase your productivity. You don’t need to work more; you just need to work smart.

Your productivity will also take a hit if things don’t work properly. There’s nothing more stressful than equipment and processes breaking down in the middle of a task. Keep your IT network in tip-top shape by partnering with HERO Managed Services. Our IT experts in the Tampa, Sarasota, and Orlando areas will keep your network stable and secure 24/7. And should you run into problems, you’ll always have a HERO at your side. Contact us today.

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