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Productivity in the workplace

Here are a couple tips that I have thought of or have helped me in the past to stay on top of it all, your life can get busy quickly so here’s a guide to maximizing your effectiveness in the workplace, bookmark it, print it or have your boss hang it up on the bulletin board because this should help…

1. Stay organized.

To most people, it’s plain as day. But, to some it seems a pointless idea, not worth wasting time on. But trust us, it helps. Having a clean desk and an organized computer can help you find everything so much faster, but not just that, it makes you feel better about yourself and the workload seems so much lighter. Now, if you’re worried about people (especially your boss!) thinking you don’t spend enough time doing ‘real’ work, then depending on the situation you can reply with: “Just trying to keep on top of it all.” Or, to really stop your boss in his tracks: “It helps me work better.” Keeping everything neat only takes a couple minutes a week and will keep you at ease and productive. If you acquire this important life skill then everyone, most importantly your spouse will appreciate it.

2. Build a crude time schedule.

Most people have already done this, and you probably have as well. Does this sound familiar? “Wake up around 6:30. Have breakfast at 7:00.” It helps you stay on track, so you know approximately how much time it takes to drive to work or get coffee, so you’re always on schedule.

3. Plan tasks around your time, not the other way around.

Although you may need to create extra time for larger projects, try to keep all of your assigned tasks in a schedule. Estimate the amount of time required to do each task, and put them in so you know what to do and when. Try not to put all the bad stuff aside for last or you’ll usually end up working through the weekend. If you’ve extra time in your schedule, don’t slack off. You will have more time left over to have fun in the end. Always keep your schedule open in case there’re any surprises. Experiment with the times, and after a while you will be flying from one task to the next. Feel free to fix up your schedule if it’s not working for you, remember that nothing is etched in stone.

4. Take short breaks.


Although this seems like the complete opposite of what you are trying to do, taking a break of one to ten minutes to clear your mind and release tension can really help. Being more relaxed and comfortable, you will find it easier to work and be more productive. Try to stand up and stretch, or get a quick drink to refresh yourself and get ready to spend more time working.

5. Block websites

If you find yourself to be one of those people who can easily get distracted and spend lots of time on the web looking at anything but your work, then you may need some restraint. Getting a child website blocker or even some post-it reminders might help you stay focused and save those sites for your coffee break. Look online for some good, free open-source website blockers if you think it’ll help you get stuff done.

6. Backup

I have lost so much time this year resetting my computer to the way I like it. And I back-up twice a week. Imagine if I didn’t! I’d spend even more time redoing work I missed. So save yourself time by backing up frequently to a disk, external hard drive or server. You never know when gremlins will run away with your work.

7. Music

Some people may think it helps but usually it doesn’t. There is nothing wrong with listening to music while you work, but most people listen to the wrong type of music. I’m not asking you to listen to classical music… just don’t let it take up all of your attention. Music without lyrics, or music that doesn’t make you want to sing along is fine. Nature sounds are the best, try to just get some subtle background noise where you work if you find you work better with it. Some people work better in complete silence. Sometimes website background sound can be nice at a low volume, as long as it doesn’t get annoying.

8. Take courses

This may take a lot of your time out of your schedule now, but it should help in the long run. Don’t forget that your boss will love that you have a couple organizational type courses on your resume!

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