When it comes to the working day, studies show that the amount of time at work we spend being productive could be as low as 53 per cent. That’s an alarming figure, given that roughly eight hours of our day is spent attempting to be productive – and we are clearly floundering. But how can we be more productive? There are the age-old tricks that include making comprehensive to-do lists and not flitting between projects, but surely the digital world has some more answers on how we can be more productive at work and therefore spend more time and energy on what we enjoy to do.
One of the biggest saps on our working time is waiting for decisions and information from others. Sometimes, we email just as someone goes on their lunch, and have to spend a long hour sat waiting before we make our next move. Other times we can’t catch the right account manager as she is in meetings all day long. Or maybe the boss has decided to skip Friday and your Monday deadline looms without their guidance. Improving communication channels is one of the key ways that growthsupermarket.com claims productivity can be increased. Cutting through the saturation of messages and notes, using channels like Slack can create working groups and allow urgent messages to come through at the right time, ensuring you are never wasting time with waiting time.
Breaking up larger tasks into smaller ones could be one way in which we cut through the meat and get to the flesh and bones of what we need to do. Delegation can also be a lifesaver by breaking one huge mammoth into tiny parts that are easily manageable by a capable team. Task management software is just one way in which the digital world can help us get our work done and feel fulfilled at the end of the day. From Asana to Accelo to Monday.com, each tool is tailored to a different office and a different way of working – but each one is determined to make your life easier by making your task management easier.
Let’s face it, we do procrastinate at work. Unlike Bill Gates, who loses $114.16 every second he procrastinates, sometimes our procrastination is our way of letting our mind chew through a task or idea. But there must be a productive way in which we can procrastinate to help the creative juices flow freer and get our jobs done once we’ve regained our motivation. Tied with separating a to-do list, procrastination from one task – e.g. finishing your cash-flow forecast – could give you the motivation to do another – e.g. finally getting around to sorting your desk out – where you happened to have left a series of notes that might help another task on your to-do list. Even doodling can sometimes unlock potential.
Being more productive at work isn’t just a state of mind, it comes from a series of tasks. Small steps can be taken in order to make bigger changes and make you more productive than the majority of the population.