Being Productive at Work

Being productive at work seems sort of like an oxymoron. Of course we go to work to produce something. Isn't that the point? Well it would seem that sometimes the point is lost on us. Between stopping off for coffee, greeting co-workers, answering personal phone calls, confirming personal appointments and getting more coffee half the morning is gone. Let's not even talk about lunch time shenanigans. We are not as productive as we can be at work. It is estimated that the average American can get their work done (if they actually applied themselves) in 6.5 hours each day, so why does it take us 40 plus hours a week to get stuff together? Procrastination! That is the number one killer of productivity right behind disorganization and social loafing. How do we remedy this situation? Read on!

Organization and Planning
To become more productive at work organization is key. A literal step by step plan put in place will increase productivity. If the plan is adhered to. Setting up a daily diary keeping track of how much time is spent on which task really is a good learning tool and can help improve productivity. The diary should also note how much time you spend away from your work. You will be surprised to see how many trips to the water cooler you make a day. By keeping track of how many minutes is spent on a specific task the work day can be planned more effectively. Of course there will be times when all the planning in the world cannot account for the unexpected, but even if the unexpected happens you can take care of it and return to the plan. Planning is key to productivity. A plan organizes time into blocks that can be assigned to specific tasks, also an organized work area keeps a worker from feeling overwhelmed, and there is nothing worse than feeling like you are drowning in piles of stuff. A lot of times when items are disorganized it is easier to ignore it than to have to sort through stuff of course ignoring it does not make it go away but still it gets ignored.

Once you get that planner in place and review your work diary to see what tasks it is that you spend the majority of your time on, you have to prioritize. This seems simple enough, but often there are multiple tasks that are of equal importance. If you can get someone to help you, if you do not have the luxury determine which task is the most important and start with that, don't stop until you are finished. Then on to the next task and so on and so forth. Take breaks, stretch, walk outside for a minute if you can, but stay focused. Remember you are at work to work, and there is always room to increase your productivity even if you are on the top of the heap right now. Producers get noticed and your work will not go unnoticed.

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