Productivity Tips to Achieve More in Less Time

There are so many ways to increase productivity in the workplace. This article will provide some insight as to how you can successfully improve your productivity at work. Here are 10 different ways you can do that:

1. Keep track of how much time you’re spending and limit yourself

According to some research, only about 17 percent of people can estimate the passage of time accurately. If you thought you were good at it, think again. Rescue Time is a tool that might be useful in this case. It lets you know just how much time you spent on your daily activities such as on social media, replying to emails, word processing, etc.

2. Set self-imposed deadlines

While stress, in general, is considered to be a bad thing, controlled levels of self-imposed stress can actually be productive. It helps you focus on the task at hand and stay motivated. When it comes to projects or work with no deadlines, try setting a deadline for yourself, and stick to it. You’ll be surprised yourself at how much more productive you can be when you’re on the clock.

3. Live in the present

Distraction is the greatest hindrance to productivity. It is almost impossible to pay your undivided attention to a task in today’s world. Even if you made yourself schedule things usually don’t go according to plan. Notifications on your phone or other people can easily distract you and keep you from staying on schedule. Living in the present and concentrating on what’s in front of you will better your productivity.

You may have heard this and it may be cliche to hear, but you should still be doing these two things- First, get rid of whatever has nothing to do with the task. For instance, your phone, the internet or people might be distracting you unless they are essential to your task. Unless they are, shut them down. Period.

4. Take regular breaks

While this may sound counterintuitive, taking breaks on a maintained schedule can improve focus and productivity. Research shows that when it comes to lengthy tasks, taking short breaks allows you to maintain your level of productivity. Whereas if you were to work at a stretch, your performance would obviously deteriorate over time.

5. Stop trying to multitask

Multitasking is considered to be an essential skill for high efficiency, but this may not necessarily be true. In fact, it might be the other way round! According to psychologists, trying to accomplish several tasks at once results in loss of time as well as productivity. Instead, try committing to a single task before moving onto the next.

6. Be proactive, not reactive

Don’t allow your day to be dictated by your environment. Incoming calls, messages, even the weather can influence your mood but you shouldn’t let it affect your day and the goals you’ve set out for yourself. You should set aside time for replying to messages and calling people back, but don’t let these things dictate your day. Try to have a plan at the beginning of the day and stick to it as best you can.

7. Turn off notifications

If you’ve tried and tried to stay away from your phone and still fail maybe you need to try a different strategy. No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead, build in time to check email and messages. This is all part of being proactive rather than reactive (see number 6).

8. Work in 90-minute intervals

Florida State University researchers have discovered that the best performers are those who work in 90-minute intervals, and are more productive than those who work for longer than that at a stretch. Furthermore, they found that subjects work best when they work up to about four and a half hours a day. Sounds too good to be true.

As unlikely as it sounds, decorating your office space with aesthetically pleasing elements such as pictures, and plants, can up your productivity by as much as 15 percent. Spice up your workplace with small things that make you feel happy. It could be lights, pictures, quotes or just about anything you enjoy looking at (as long as it’s workplace appropriate of course).

9. Give yourself something nice to look at

As unlikely as it sounds, decorating your office space with aesthetically pleasing elements such as pictures, and plants, can up your productivity by as much as 15 percent. Spice up your workplace with small things that make you feel happy. It could be lights, pictures, quotes or just about anything you enjoy looking at (as long as it’s workplace appropriate of course).

10. Minimize interruptions as much as possible

Having a chat with a colleague even for just five minutes may seem harmless, but even such small interruptions affect your working pattern and result in a drop in productivity. While it’s impossible to avoid interruptions completely, you should try to minimize it to the best of your ability. This might mean keeping your door locked, putting your phone away, or for especially time-sensitive projects, working from home.

If you feel you must be more productive at work, putting in more hours at the office is not the way to go about it. Taking time to step back and think about how you can work smarter would be of more help.

11. Work faster and save time

When your boss tells you ‘time is money’, he means it in the most literal way a metaphorical phrase can be meant. It’s true that time is a valuable asset. This is why it’s important to be as productive as possible. Some would even go as far as to accuse you of ‘stealing’ company time otherwise.

In this competitive era, it is important to have management software in order to help give you an edge or at least keep up with the competition.

Any modern organization which aims to compete at the top level should invest in an ERP software which helps improve employee productivity, allows for better-informed decision making, smoother internal and external communication, and all these factors lead to better overall performance.

In order to have better competitiveness and achieve market success, it is essential that organizations optimize their business processes for better profit margins.

Keys to work faster and save time:

  • Single database for reports and information.
  • Rapid and better-informed decision making
  • Effective customer service
  • Portability

Keeping track of organizational activities, authorizations, and reviews, approve or deny pending permissions has never been easier, even outside of office hours.

Making employees more productive is the key motivation for implementing ERP software. Studies support the fact that at least 10% of companies who have implemented a new ERP system achieve their productivity goals. Needless to say, more productive employees are a valuable asset to any organization.

How ERP improves productivity

With a centralized database, you eliminate the need for backing up and updating data individually. Information can also be circulated throughout the organization much more efficiently, even at short notice. Repetitive and time-consuming tasks are reduced through automation. All these factors add to up to save your company a lot of valuable time. It might not seem like much, but imagine saving an hour, every day, for a year. However, the amount you save, it builds up. This allows you to free up time for other useful activities, boosting productivity.

Setting productivity goals is the first step to boosting productivity. Often businesses who have implemented ERP software fail to manage their tasks because they have no set goals. If you know what you’re shooting for, you’ll know when you’ve got it. Otherwise, you won’t have something to work towards. A well-defined metric for performance and assigned accountability goes a long way, though it might be difficult to quantify performance indicators. Reduction of errors and time spent on tasks that don’t add value are some possible performance metrics, among others.

Some areas where there will be a significant increase in performance are:

1. Improved customer service through improved processes

ERP systems these days are designed to facilitate faster and more efficient communication in response to changes. When it comes to retail customers, for example, especially online, it allows customers to cancel, update or make new orders, communicates those changes to the necessary databases such as updating stock, as well as appending shipping and invoices. Your employees are thus empowered to offer your customers a better customer experience.

2. Better informed decisions

Without an ERP system to facilitate decision making, they are made based on experience, gut instinct, and a lot of guesswork. A lot of valuable time is wasted on justification and redundant discussions. Thanks to an ERP software, your database is updated in real-time, keeping its integrity intact (no duplication of data or several versions of a single file), allowing for better decision making.

3. Higher employee morale

Technical difficulties and everyday struggles with tasks take a huge toll on productivity. In order to keep morale up, reduce the probability of errors, and make tasks easier to accomplish, a smoothly running system is essential. Although morale is not usually quantified as a metric, a happy employee is generally a productive employee.

Having an ERP software implemented also provides these additional benefits:

  • Any information updated via the software is automatically updated for all employees, given they have access.
  • Less manual labor in updating and propagating important information means more time is freed for doing more productive tasks. Improvements in decision making are imminent as more accurate information is available in real time.
  • Quality information results in more accurate predictions.
  • Elimination of errors based on duplicities.
  • Grant long-term profitability

An ERP business management system offers several advantages that allow companies to be more productive, in other words, accomplish more in less time. Any kind of edge over the competition should be taken advantage of in today’s competitive climate.

Conclusion

The probability of human errors is lessened thanks to processes being automated. You can save hours of precious time this way. Any accounts are matched automatically and updated in real-time, so there is no need to worry about such problems. If by chance an accounting error occurs, it can easily be traced back and located.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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