7 work hacks for an organised 2016
Do your New Year’s resolutions include becoming super organised at work? Here are seven simple tips to help you increase productivity.
Have you ever wondered why some people are able to achieve so much while others struggle to get anything done? Chances are the efficient ones use a few productivity hacks to master their time. So if you want to make 2016 a more productive year at work, here are seven tips to help you out.
1. Write everything down
No one can remember everything. So the first step in increasing productivity is to write down everything you need to remember, no matter how big or small it might seem, and start a daily ‘to do’ list. If you really want to be more productive, pen this the evening before so you can get stuck into it first thing in the morning.
Many psychologists believe that the human mind was never designed for multi-tasking – too many projects at once can lead to distractions, information overload and sloppy work. So after you’ve written down the list of what you need to do, write down the order in which you need to get it done. Think about what’s urgent and important, what’s urgent but unimportant, what’s important but not urgent, and what’s neither urgent nor important. To really speed things up, see if you can delegate or offload anything that falls into that final category.
3. Get a routine
Whether we care to admit it or not, the human mind really loves a good routine. So, as much as possible, try to do the same things at the same time each day.
There’s another very good reason for doing this: our body’s natural rhythms mean that most of us are more creative at a certain time of the day (usually the morning), and more adept at administrative tasks at another time. Use this to your advantage and maximise your productivity by matching your tasks to your moods.
4. Batch tasks
Speaking of which, if you’re performing particular tasks at the same time each day it makes sense to ‘batch’ what you’re doing. By performing similar tasks you’ll get your mind into the wonderful routine we mentioned above and get the job done quicker.
For instance, rather than scattering phone calls or emails throughout the day, you’ll become much more efficient and productive if you do them all at once. The same goes for strategic work, writing reports or anything else you need to do.
5. Cut distractions
Distraction comes in many forms: talkative colleagues, internet shopping, social media, your mobile phone, and pointless meetings. Whatever your particular distractions, being productive means holding yourself accountable by identifying them and closing the door in their face.
An effective way to do this can be to use time-tracking software so that you know exactly how your day is spent. If it turns out the internet is your time thief, consider using an app that won’t allow you to open sites you don’t need for work.
6. Enjoy distractions
We’ve just told you to eliminate distractions, and now we’re telling you the reverse. The human mind works best when it’s refreshed, so a bit of time away from the task at hand can bring new ideas and inspiration and make you more efficient when you get back to work. Schedule breaks throughout your day so you can get up and stretch your legs and chat to people. Just make sure you put a time limit on them so you can get back to the task at hand and enjoy the benefits that a break brings.
Some people don’t notice a messy desk, others can’t work unless it’s completely clear. Whatever camp you fall into, our final tip is to declutter your desk by filing everything away. Better still, get rid of all your papers unless you really need them. You could even consider using your phone to snap a picture of the things you do need to keep so you can store everything on your computer. That way it’ll be quick and easy to find things when you need them. You also won’t have to worry about what to do with the filing every time you move desks.
It’s time to get started
By following these seven tips you should be able to identify and eliminate anything that’s making your work day less efficient. This will give you the best chance of making 2016 as productive as possible.