So, you’ve got your eyes on a promotion. You’ve checked the job description and you have the relevant qualifications and the right experience. But so do many of your peers and colleagues. So what’s going to give you the edge?
Improving your productivity and effectiveness in the workplace will help you stand out and ensure you’re the preferred candidate for that next step up.
Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Have you ever been so immersed in a task that you’ve lost track of time and anything else going on around you? You might call it being in the zone but it’s what Positive Psychologists call being in a state of flow. In this state, you feel energised, motivated and totally focused on the task at hand, increasing your productivity levels.
The basic conditions for flow are that you have the skills to complete your task but it still provides a level of challenge that you enjoy. There are also practical things you can do to help you find your flow:
The average office worker spends more than a day a week in meetings, eating into the amount of time available to do your work. To minimise the amount of time you spend in unproductive meetings, try some of the following tips:
Getting things done usually involves some collaboration with other people. Having good communication skills will help you build productive working relationships, which will in turn help you get things done. A large part of good communication is being an empathic listener. This means taking the time to really understand what someone is saying, rather than simply waiting for your turn to speak. Not only will this help strengthen your working relationships, but an understanding of someone’s perspective will ultimately help you get your own thoughts and ideas across clearly, in a way that’s relevant to them; and is therefore more likely to get noticed or acted upon.
Find out more about building productive relationships with our free online course; Emotional intelligence for success
It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but giving yourself time to rest and recharge is vital to maintaining productivity and focus. It’s tempting to work long hours and through lunch breaks in an attempt to impress, but that’s a sure fire way to burn out fast.
Instead, take regular breaks away from your screen or the task you’re working on. This will help you maintain concentration and motivation for longer, meaning that ultimately you will get more done.
To get things ticked off your to do list efficiently it’s important to manage your time effectively. There are many different ways to do this and some will work better than others. Try a few out and see which one works best for you.
Ivy Lee Method
- Stick to a list of six tasks each day, ranked in order of importance
Time Management Matrix
- Use four quadrants to organise your tasks and allocate time to each according to how urgent/important they are
- Work for 25 minutes at a time before taking a five-minute break
By finding ways to improve your productivity at work you’re sure to stand out and get ahead. For even more tools and tips, why not try one of our free online courses; Take control of your personal effectiveness and Time management and personal planning .