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The 8 Ways to Improve Productivity

You feel great at work when you plan to get things done and your day runs smoothly enough to say …

“Now that was a productive day”.

The key to productivity is consistency – to ensure that you have many days, if not every day, in a given month that you use your time and energy well! The goal is not to be busy but to add value by being productive.

Firstly, let’s consider what exactly is a productive day? In our opinion, by getting the important and strategic tasks completed, not the urgent ones. For a more formal definition, “Productivity” according to the business dictionary has a lot to do with efficiency and converting inputs into valuable outputs, in other words the amount of energy in resources, such as human capital and costs that you give and what you receive in return for the resources and efforts over time.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always a result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort – Paul J Meyer”

How do we make sure that every day is a productive day?

Listed here are the 3 suggested ways to become more productive during your day:

1.Reduce distractions

Distractions could be anything from emails that keep coming in, people who come to your desk to chat socially, the phone ringing, social media and even the internet. Set milestones and time limits on each task. Decide to dedicate time and prioritise each task you need to do and put in breaks between the tasks to get back to the call, answer the email, reply to the text and chat to the co- worker.  Reward yourself after you have completed each project.

2.Plan in advance

Planning your day in advance, before it starts is one of the most important skills in the workplace, it gives you clarity for the day and helps you to get the most important tasks done first before urgent things that are not as important get in the way.

3.Smart meetings

Meetings can be very valuable to establish clarity and get direction and agreement when people are working on a project together, however make sure that you set up 30 min meetings and make sure you have an agenda and stick to it, avoid wasting time discussing what is not on the agenda. Alternatively set up a ‘working meeting’ with a time limit – discuss what needs to be done and get together to get it done in the allocated meeting time.

As a manager, one of your responsibilities is to motivate your team and bring out the best in them.

Here are  5 more suggested ways for a more productive team:

4.Create a happy environment

When your team are laughing and enjoying work, they are more likely to get into what psychologists call “flow” and when this happens, automatically the result is to get more done.

5.Feedback

Employees need to understand what progress they are making, during and after,  a given project , always give valuable feedback to make sure the job can be done better, identify skills that need improving and then plan ways to improve the skills from that evaluation.

6.Business planning

Employees that feel “swamped” will not use their creativity. Give your staff the breathing space to add value and be creative in the tasks. If they are just rushing to get a job done it may not be very productive and the quality will not reflect value.  Read last month’s article about the 6 Ways to Create a Culture of Engaged Employees here  for more insight.

7.Create a learning culture

Employees can only be as productive as their skill allows them to be. Are you sending your staff for training to increase their skill sets? The better skilled an employee is, the faster the work can be understood and implemented.

8.Have clear goals

Imagine going to work every day without knowing what the company team goals are. Productivity is improved when everyone in the company knows the direction they are going and what is expected daily from them, everyone should be shooting towards the same target for greater impact, impact that will reflect on the bottom line.

For more assistance in creating teams that are productive and add value, contact us at A.T.A either via our website or contact info@atatraining.co.za

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