12 Office Trends for 2018December 21, 2017
[Infographic] Facts and numbers about paper and printDecember 28, 2017
On the down of the new year, we think about what we can do better in 2018 to increase our productivity. Business Optimizer considers some of the best approaches.
Over the last year, we’ve looked at many ways to improve productivity, here are some of our favorites.
1. Keep a notebook and pen on hand at all time.
Its surprising how many successful entrepreneurs admit to using a paper and pen to harness their creativity and keep themselves organized in today’s digital world. Whether you are a fan of Bullet Journaling or David Allen’s Getting Things Done method, “going analogue” can be a real boost to your productivity.
2. Avoid procrastination.
Procrastination is the mortal enemy of productivity. Logging out of your social media accounts is a great way to avoid digital procrastination, but other physical tips to help improve your concentration and focus include regular exercise, good diet and drinking plenty of water.
3. Don’t try to multitask.
Ok, let’s be honest people. Multitasking is a myth. It simply isn’t true that women can multitask better than men. Just because we ladies are expected to multitask in so many ways, it doesn’t mean that it is a productive way to work. Staying focused and tackling one thing at a time and doing it well is a far better and more productive way to work – and it’s better for your stress levels too!
4. Set self-imposed deadlines.
Are you the kind of person that used to leave all your college essays until the night before their due date? If nothing focuses you like a deadline, create some of your own – break your tasks and projects into meaningful milestones and set a deadline for each milestone. If necessary, find yourself a task buddy who can check up on your progress and make sure you’re sticking to the plan!
5. Write out your most important tasks for the day.
One of the great benefits of Bullet Journaling is that it helps you to see what on your “to do” list is really important. Whether or not you are a fan, getting out the pen and paper and writing a “to do” list for the day can help you see what’s important. Compile your task list either first thing in the morning when you arrive at your desk, or the night before when you are preparing for the following day.
6. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.
Once you’ve written out your “to do” list, add a number to denote which tasks you need to tackle first and then work your way through them one at a time. If the list is right in front of you throughout the day, it helps to prevent you getting blown off course by unexpected events or meetings.
7. Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks.
Once you’ve written down all the jobs you’ve got to complete and you know what you’ve got to get done in a day, it is easy to allocate time to each of them. What’s not so easy is making sure you stick to that schedule. Here are some of our favorite chrome extensions for keeping track of the time you spend on each task and stop yourself procrastinating.
8. Be proactive, not reactive.
How often have you reached 5pm and realized that you haven’t done the one thing you wanted to get done that day? The day can be full of unexpected events that blow us off course. The best ways to tackle this tendency is through good planning, and learning to say “no” to the meetings you don’t need to attend or the tasks for which you don’t have time.
9. Make meetings count.
Nothing has quite the power to suck the energy out of a normally productive workday than a long and boring meeting. If you suspect one of your colleagues has added you to the invite list of a meeting without really considering whether you need to be there, pick up the phone. Politely ask them to explain why they invited you – perhaps there is a good reason why they would value your input. If even they aren’t sure why they invited you, agree to duck out of this one and that they will send you the minutes afterwards – then get back to the work you really need to do. If you are the one organizing the meeting, read our tips for keeping it productive.
10. Give up on the illusion of perfection.
The need for perfection can transform a blank page into something terrifying. If perfectionism is stifling your productivity, learn to give yourself a break. Sometimes “good enough” is good enough. Besides, once you get started, you’ll realize that, good enough is an important first step along the road to perfect.