We’ve all been there - the work on your desk keeps piling up, and all you can think about is making a coffee and wandering over to the chocolate machine, stopping to chat to any colleague you can on the way.
You see, while you are away from your desk, wondering whether you want a Snickers or a Twirl, you don’t have to look at the mountain of paperwork piling up – and yet you silently chastise yourself for your blatant procrastination.
Being productive isn’t about being a workhorse or burning the midnight oil. In fact, it’s the opposite – it’s about being ahead of the game with priorities and planning while focusing on time management to ensure you leave the office without feeling guilty.
Here are some easy swaps to get yourself from lazy to productive:
1, Swap negativity for positivity
Being negative is something that practically everyone who is unproductive does. The inner dialogue is usually along the lines of “Why can’t I just knuckle down and get it done?” or “I’ve wasted time today, and now I’m late with that project.” Negative people lose confidence in themselves and their ability to do a job, often feeling like they have to double check everything with the boss. However, someone who is productive would look at this from a problem-solving angle i.e. “Why am I finding it so hard to get this work done - could I have planned this better?” or “I’m going to approach this from a different angle.”
2, Swap winging it for great planning
On the subject of planning, winging it generally doesn’t lead to great productivity. If you start each day feeling like work is a pick-and-mix and you will just tackle what you have the energy for, then you won’t feel productive. Have a look at all the work in front of you, and then make a list of what to tackle first according to importance. Often this can mean taking some time at the end of the previous day to organise what you are going to focus on. This leads to a feeling of hitting the ground running when you get into work, rather than taking time figuring out where to start.
3, Swap chaos for highly organised
If your desk is a mess, and you just spent 10 minutes trying to find a phone number, there is a good chance you are struggling with productivity. You probably don’t think you are less productive, after all spending a few minutes looking for a phone number is nothing. However, it has made you relinquish your focus, and once that is gone it takes a while to get it back. Highly productive people have systems in place to find what they want when they want it. They can quickly locate the information needed to support whatever project or activity they are focused on. Fewer distractions leads to higher productivity.
4, Swap old tools for new
Has your old, slow laptop ever made you feel like you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Maybe you cringe with embarrassment at your website or wish you could invest in a new, more comfortable work chair. If your internet connection keeps giving up on you and you are sick of seeing that little blue wheel spinning around and around it may well be time to invest in some new equipment. To be at your most productive you should surround yourself with the right resources - and that’s where our Knowledge suite can help. Putting in the right applications to make sure you and your team have everything needed to help reach optimum levels of productivity. Getting the right publishing software in place will maximise productivity and have better odds of success going forward.
5, Swap the tried and tested for new skills
Three words – continual personal development. We all need to be doing it, but often that pile of paperwork stops us from committing to the occasional training day, webinar or online course. However, if you want to be at your most productive then you will get the skills and training you need. Everyone at some point has struggled to find an answer or an easier way of doing something. Productive people have the motivation, drive and can-do attitude to find the answers and to get the training needed to make not just them, but those around them, more productive.
6, Swap ‘yes’ for ‘no’
This is probably the hardest swap to make. However, if you know what your priorities are, and you stick to them, it leads to more productivity. It isn’t just about getting work done – it is about ensuring that the right things are done and that goals have been achieved. This can often mean saying no when you are asked to do work that will take you away from your priorities. However, if you explain your reasons for saying no, the person asking should understand. Also, productive people are excellent at delegating, they don’t spend time on tasks that someone else can do. Instead, they focus on where their energy is best spent.
7, Swap nattering for laser-like focus
If someone is focusing on work it can be easy to get distracted when a colleague wants to have a chat about their latest diet, or the boss wants to spend a meeting talking about what his kids did at the weekend. It is easy for hours to be lost and work to suffer. However, everyone needs a break and chatting to colleagues can actually be a good way to unwind. Instead of getting distracted, a good idea is to schedule it in – for example, having a 10-minute chat over a morning coffee and then a natter at lunchtime. If work time is interrupted then the priority should be to get quickly back on track with a laser-like focus. Productive people are also able to concentrate on the task at hand and tune out distractions.
Being productive isn’t just about hitting goals and meeting deadlines, it also means that you are fulfilling promises to clients and colleagues, and you are committing to teamwork. It takes discipline and focus – but it is worth it. You see, being productive leads to a better work-life balance so you give your best at work and your best at home.
Having the right software in place will help you stay focused and enable you to tackle work quickly and easily. Our Knowledge suite is designed to ensure everything you and your team needs can be accessed quickly, and changes can be made with ease.
Now – what are you doing reading this blog? It’s time to put your productivity skills into practice and hit that paperwork!
If you're looking for more productivity tips from industry experts, then why not download our eBook on How to be more productive: https://www.pcs-publishing.com/productivity-ebook