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Soft Skills to Boost Productivity
Seven Easy Ways to Optimise your Productivity
A recent study found that employees that worked 70 hours a week completed little more than employees that worked 56 hours. That, alone, demonstrates that been productive isn’t about working harder and longer; it’s about working smarter. Fortunately, along with the information in our infographic, there are some very easy ways to do just that as well as attending some professional training courses.
Take regular breaks – You can’t keep up a high rate of productivity for long without getting exhausted and stressed, so work in bursts with short breaks in between. This has been shown to improve concentration and creativity.
Do the worst first – Don’t put off you least favourite task until later in the day. Tackle the most dreaded duty first. Once it’s complete, the rest of the working day will look like a breeze in comparison.
Mono-task – Contrary to belief, the human mind is not made for multi-tasking. That’s when errors occur. Do one thing at a time and do it well.
Plan ahead and get organised – Start by planning the day ahead the evening before. That way, you’ll already have consolidated in your head what needs to be done before you begin work. Make the most of To-Do lists and productivity apps to stay organised and on track. Self-impose deadlines, even if there is no timescale. This will stop you putting tasks off.
Declutter – There’s a lot to be said for a tidy desk and a well-organised office. Studies have shown that those with a messy workspace are less efficient and more stressed than those that keep everything in its place.
Look after you – As we’ve seen, if you work too many hours, you become less productive. Those precious hours could be spent taking care of yourself, so you become more productive. Get at least seven hours sleep nightly, eat healthily, exercise regularly and spend time relaxing with friends or unwinding - all important if you want to achieve a good work/life balance and get the most from your working day.
Track your time and avoid distractions – It’s easy to get carried away surfing the web, or spend too much time on social media to avoid doing a job that you’d like to put off. Track your activities for a day or two to see just exactly where your time goes. You might be surprised by the results. Use that information to change your habits and optimise your working hours.
Try to stick to a routine, as that can eliminate productivity-killing stress, but be aware of the ebb and flow of your workload too and compensate for days when you might be busier than others.
And always keep looking for new ways to work smarter, not harder. See also our emotional intelligence in the workplace training.
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