January 22, 2018
Performance Management 01 December 2017
6 Simple Ways to Increase Productivity
Hannah Son

Productivity is critical to your team’s success. Business owners, managers, and executives all want to get the most from their employees, but if you’re failing to implement your own productivity strategies, then challenging your employees to be productive is fruitless. 

Everyone wants to get more done in their day and feel accomplished as each day comes to an end. If you and your team are not performing as efficiently as others, or want to accomplish even more throughout the day, consider these tips:

 

Minimize interruptions Maximize Productivity

This seems self-explanatory, but in this day and age, distractions are everywhere especially online. If you work from a computer, as many do, there is the ever present lure to check social media, watch videos and surf the web. 

Turn off notifications on your computer and phone, limit your time on social media and email. Use social media as a tool to increase productivity at work. Allow yourself a set number of minutes browsing after you accomplish a major task. 

As a manager, it can be even harder with the added pressures of managing not only your own distractions but those of your entire team. Here are some strategies you can implement in order to help your team reach their maximum productivity levels:

 

Edit their workload with Apps

Because it’s your responsibility as a manager or employer to develop an action plan that allows everyone to be more productive, don’t automatically say yes to any job that comes your way. Remember to consider each project with an eye to whether or not it takes advantage of what your team, and only your team, has to offer. Developing an action plan isn’t the easiest task but apps like Asana or Trello are easy to use and provide convenient access to information employees need consistently on the job.

With Asana, you can keep everyone’s tasks organized and know exactly what it going on at all times. We can not only keep track of the tasks we create for ourselves in a safe place, but we can see what everyone else is doing by creating various groups and inviting different members of the team to be included in those groups. This is a great organizational tool that keeps productivity high with far fewer distractions than emailing or using social media. 

 

Take Scheduled Breaks 

It might sound counterintuitive to improving productivity, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration and reduce distractions. As long as they are kept to a minimum, research has shown that “taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance.” 

Allow employees to take a short walk around the office or even down the street for a healthy snack or cup of coffee. Brief breaks can actually increase productivity by allowing you to return to your work with fresh eyes and ready to block out unnecessary distractions.

Bottom line is that when it’s time to work, work! Every company has those employees that chat about everything from office gossip to the latest TV show they binge watched over the weekend. Although interruptions during the workday are inevitable, minimize them to the best of your ability. If you have an office with a door, keep it closed, let people know that you’re trying to finish a project, sometimes even popping in your headphones (music on or off is your choice) can get coworkers off your back. 

Set boundaries for you and your employees and try your very best to abide by them daily. As a manager, your ability to minimize distractions as much as possible can single-handedly increase productivity for your entire team!

 

Stop Multitasking.

Multitasking is a productivity killer. While we often tend to think of the ability to multitask as an important skill that increases efficiency, it is quite the opposite. Research shows that productivity can be reduced by as much as 40 percent by the mental blocks created when people switch tasks. So instead, make it a habit to commit to a single task before moving on to your next project. 

By focusing on one task at a time and giving it your full attention before moving on to something else, you will boost your productivity tenfold and the quality of your work will not suffer. Focus on getting a maximum of 3 things done at a single time, this simple method has helped us at ProSky increase productivity and avoid over-extending ourselves.


Stop Unnecessary Meetings

Let’s be honest here, no one likes an unnecessary meeting! Meetings are time vampires and according to Atlassian, “the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings". Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting (which may be slightly more productive).” As a manager, if you believe that meetings are absolutely needed, then try a different type of approach. 

Standing meetings (yes they are exactly what they sound like), can result in increased group participation, more time saved, improved group performance and ultimately higher productivity levels. Same goes for walking meetings which will help encourage your team to get out of the office on a regular basis and enjoy some fresh air. If managers are making an effort to be active or take a break throughout the day, your employees will feel less guilty about stepping away from their desks as well.


Improve your Project Management Systems

Finally, improving your Project Management System through software solutions can cut down on meeting times and allow you to already be in the know on what projects are being prioritized and what everybody needs to do.

A great tool we use to collaborate with is ProSky’s very own platform! With our desk feature, everybody can log in over video and audio chats to work together on various projects. This handy feature also gives teams real-time interaction abilities such as draw/write things on the online whiteboard, take notes, and upload files. If you are an executive, you can have separate groups for your tech, sales, or marketing team as you oversee multiple groups at once. 

Achieving clarity around tasks and projects will greatly reduce the number of meetings you need to participate in. Visualizing projects can be helpful too, as it allows your team members to know where things are in the project pipeline, and it empowers them to know what to do next. Having the right software can be a game changer, take time to review whether or not you have the right infrastructure in place for managing your projects. 


If you feel the need to increase your productivity at work, take a step back, and think about ways you can work smarter, not harder. There will be great benefits to your business as productivity improves for you, your team, and the company as a whole. Looking for more productivity tips? Check out these posts: