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When it comes to being productive in the office, there are a lot of different things that can help. From finding ways to eliminate distractions to setting realistic goals and using time management techniques, there are a number of things you can do to get the most out of your workday. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to improve productivity in the office. Whether you’re looking for simple tips or more comprehensive solutions, we’ve got you covered.
Set realistic but challenging goals
One of the first things you can do to improve productivity in the office is to set challenging but realistic goals. This might sound straightforward, but it’s an easy mistake to make. Many people equate high goal setting with productivity when the opposite is often more effective.
For instance, if you’ve ever tried to work on a project and ran out of steam after just a few hours, you probably know how unproductive that feels—and how likely it is that this pattern will continue over time. The solution: aim for something more ambitious than what you think you can achieve at first. You’ll feel better about yourself and your accomplishments if you push yourself a little bit every day rather than coasting along doing enough to meet your goals each time.
If, on the other hand, you set too lofty of a goal and fail to achieve it every time, you’ll seem less productive because you didn’t meet your own standards. Eventually, people may notice that you’re not as good at setting realistic goals as you thought and will simply continue along like before. So make sure you push yourself enough to feel satisfied but don’t overdo it – this is one of the best ways to improve productivity in the office.
Constantly gather feedback
Gathering feedback is another great way to improve productivity in the office. Constantly ask your manager, colleagues, and clients how you’re doing. If you think things are going well but no one else does, it’s time for an intervention. You need honest feedback—including constructive criticism—to know what parts of your job could use improvement so you can do better next time.
If all your feedback is positive, consider whether it’s because everything really is fine or because nobody wants to hurt your feelings by pointing out that there’s room for improvement. Negative feedback can be easier to deal with if you keep the following two facts in mind: everyone has off days sometimes. When someone tells you what they like about your work, they’re also telling you what to keep doing so you can continue being successful.
If it feels like people are avoiding giving you feedback, take a hard look at how you approach them after meetings and ask for their feedback. Do you thank them for their time? Do you make it clear that your door is open if they want to talk more about the project or ideas related to it? If not, make sure these things are part of your standard routine, perhaps in an email immediately following the meeting, because this is one of the best ways to improve productivity in the office.
Get the right tools for the job
Yet another simple way to improve productivity in the office is to make sure you have all the tools you need. While it’s easy to fall into a trap of believing that the best person for the job should be able to do everything with nothing, this isn’t always realistic.
Take digital asset management software, for example. This can benefit internal and external users alike by making it easier for everyone to find and share content. However, even if you know what you need and where to find all the tools you need, this is not a simple way to improve productivity in the office without some investment. While free software exists, free options may be limited in terms of security and support—and they might not offer as many features as you need or want, which can slow down your work.
Automate your processes
The more skilled you are at your job, the less time it will take. If there are any tasks that you do frequently, or even just once every few months, get rid of them or create scripts to ensure they don’t take up your valuable time in the future. The more work you can outsource to software with no required training for users and scripts which others can easily learn if necessary, the better your team’s overall productivity will be.
Delegate, don’t abdicate
It’s tempting to handle every task yourself if you know how to do it, but this often results in wasted time and resources. For instance, an experienced designer can design a brochure for your company in a fraction of the time a newbie designer needs. So when possible, ask others with different expertise to complete tasks so you can focus on more critical or difficult work instead of making everyone’s process longer and less efficient by attempting to do it all yourself.
In fact, research suggests that even leaders who believe they’re effective at delegating aren’t good at it because only 25% of delegation is actually about what you say; another 50% depends on how well you support people after they receive delegated tasks, and the remaining 25% is about how well you monitor their progress. However, when leaders do it right, the benefits include increased job satisfaction among employees who feel trusted to do a good job without being micromanaged as well as increased accountability because fewer people are responsible for more work.
Enhance your communication
Everyone has their own communication style, but there are two general patterns for how people communicate that can indicate whether you’re more likely to be a source of frustration or help when it comes to improving productivity in the office.
On the one hand, some people prefer receiving information only once and responding immediately. Others need time to process what they’ve heard before responding because they tend to think through all angles of an issue—or they want to be thorough so everyone involved has the same information.If you need time to respond, try asking questions during meetings rather than afterward if it’s urgent.