We live in a very competitive world, and this is reflected in all areas, including personnel but especially within the labor market.
Among the many qualities that are usually demanded and appreciated, one of those that companies take into account the most is the productivity and efficiency of the subject (how much they can do in the shortest possible time). It is a factor that is taken into account not only in hiring but also during the performance of a job. Likewise, over time this productivity should increase as the person gains experience.
But we can often feel doubt about whether we are being productive enough, as well as the intention to improve our effectiveness and productivity. How to be more productive? Let’s see it throughout this article.
- Related article: “Psychology of work and organizations: a profession with a future”
Tips to be more productive
Our productivity and effectiveness, whether at work or in any other aspect of our life, depends on a large number of factors.
The motivation we have is one of them, but not the only one.: our capacity for organization and concentration, how we handle carrying out tasks and the ability to accept and react to changes are other of the multiple elements or factors that influence it. That is why, in order to be more productive and effective, it is useful to take into account the following considerations.
1. What are you going to do today? Plan and organize the day
If what we want is to increase our productivity, the first thing is to organize.
Although in almost all jobs we must be able to adapt to changes and in some areas plans can change completely from one moment to the next, the truth is that it is essential to have a clear idea of what we are going to dedicate our work time to. and how we plan to do it. It can be useful to make a list or a checklist if we need it. In this sense, it is essential not to get overwhelmed: it is possible that we will not finish all the tasks we had planned.
We must also take into account that there will always be unforeseen events, so when planning it would be good to take into account the possibility that something goes wrong, lasts longer than planned or other intermediate tasks arise to be carried out. It is advisable that to our approximate calculation of how long it should take us to do something we also add half or at least an extra 20% of the calculated time.
2. Learn to prioritize
Beyond being clear about what we are going to do throughout the day, in order to improve our productivity it will be necessary for us to be able to prioritize what should be done first: what is faster and what is more important (which is why it is so important to organize beforehand and not leave the most relevant things for last).
Obviously we should leave the less urgent and unimportant tasks for later. An exception could be that which would occur If we get stuck with a task or it depends on others finishing theirsin which case we can do other tasks to take advantage of the time, if possible to be simpler, so that we gain confidence and save ourselves work for later.
3. Divide the tasks: make the complex simple
Especially when the task to be undertaken includes a large number of elements and is highly complex, it is convenient to try to separate it into different simpler and shorter steps or subtasks.
In this way we manage to organize ourselves so that the task to be carried out is much more manageable and the level of difficulty involved is reduced.
4. Eliminate distractors
By this we do not mean that you completely isolate yourself from the world, but we do mean that you try block or remove stimuli that might attract your attention when you are busy doing something else.
For example, wear headphones to cancel out ambient noise if you work on a computer, remove things you don’t need from the table, or work in places where the temperature, light, and noise are as stable as possible and without generating noise. interruptions. Don’t work in front of a television (unless it’s part of your job), leave your cell phone aside and don’t check your email every five minutes.
5. One thing at a time
It is natural and very common that while we are carrying out a task we are thinking about how we will do the next one, and even that we try to do several things at the same time. With the possible exception of the simplest ones, it doesn’t usually work: doing several things at once is the best way to do them wrong and have to repeat them, in addition to being able to invest fewer resources in each of the tasks and slowing you down.
Therefore, the most advisable thing (except with automated tasks) is focus on a single thing at a time so that we can direct all our attention and resources to accomplishing itsomething that will undoubtedly allow it to be carried out in a more agile and productive way.
6. Accept your mistakes and learn from them
We all make mistakes on occasion, no matter how much it may bother us to admit it. But people who get stuck in them and are not able to accept them will see their productivity greatly diminished. To err is human, and it is an opportunity to learn.
In this sense, it should also be noted that realizing mistakes is fine, but if we want to improve our productivity we should also try to find methods to make up for them or else we could fall back into them again and again.
Thus, one way to improve our productivity is to first assess and analyze where we are wrong or what parts of our work are weaker in order to be able to work on them. It is about learning from experience and being able to act accordingly, without martyring ourselves but assuming our responsibility.
7. Take short breaks
Human beings cannot be constantly focused on a task, given that our mental resources are limited. Although it may seem contrary to the idea of increasing productivity, it is advisable to take short breaks of a few minutes from time to time, so that our energy level can be maintained for longer as it is restored from time to time.
However, these breaks should be short and not excessively frequent, and should not be done when you are fully focused on a task. Approximately a break of five to ten minutes for every hour would be most convenient.
8. Train your abilities and educate yourself
An important point when it comes to increasing productivity is the idea of training one’s own abilities through various means. Elements such as discipline, reaction capacity, flexibility and willpower can be developed through techniques such as Mindfulness, physical exercise or the practice of cognitive stimulation exercises.
Also of interest train continuously, learning about the area in which we are working even if we are not required to do so. With this we could learn new techniques or methods that can improve our effectiveness and performance, in addition to being able to provide added value for our company.
9. Recognize and reward yourself
It is important to value and recognize our effort and our work, even if we consider that what we have done is simple. We are not saying that we do an exercise in narcissism, but that we allow ourselves to feel satisfied with ourselves if we believe that we have given the best of ourselves.
It is also recommended be able to self-reinforce and reward yourself with positive commentscarrying out pleasant activities for us at the end of the day or even treating ourselves to something from time to time.
- You may be interested: “Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources”
10. Eat and sleep well
A very important point to improve productivity is to eat and sleep correctly. Good nutrition and enough sleep can allow us to perform at our best, while lack of sleep, starvation, or not being well nourished will greatly reduce our potential.
11. Disconnect outside of work
Most of us have stressful lives marked by deadlines.objectives or time limits, something that, although for some it is stimulating, in the long run it can reduce our energy and affect our productivity.
In addition, we must remember that we are not just our work, but work is only one of the facets of our life.
It is important to be aware of what we are at work, but it is also important to be able to disconnect from it when we are not in the consultation/office/workplace. Rest and take care of our personal life and our leisure (it doesn’t hurt to have a hobby) it is something necessary that allows us to balance our energies in such a way that we can use them when we are in the work environment, increasing our ability to be productive.
12. Recognize your own limits
Perhaps it is the most counterintuitive element of all those indicated in this article, but the truth is that being able to know what our limits are helps us improve our productivity.
In this sense, first of all recognize what resources we have and how far we can go It helps us plan, as well as not take on an excess of tasks and demands that we cannot cover and that in the long run lead to oversaturation, frustration and loss of productivity.
Likewise, the fact of having them located also allows us to try to train and promote our resources at an appropriate pace so that over time we can gradually increase our capacity as much as possible and thus assume more responsibilities without reducing our productivity.
- Nelson, D. (1980). Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management. University of Wisconsin Press.