Productivity is the buzz word of the business world. While it is something the average employee works toward, it can often be confused with simply being busy. Busying oneself with extraneous tasks does nothing to help the company go forward and may actually hold it back from real growth.
There are few key elements of time management that are easily lost in the day-to-day tasks of business. Here are a few ways to reclaim productivity and reduce stress at the same time:
Focus on the important, not the urgent
Many items cross an employee’s desk in a day’s time. Most of them seem urgent, so they demand immediate attention. The truth is that when that employee looks back on his day, he may find he spent the day putting out small fires instead of fueling the fire of productive work.
The employee who wants to make great strides will decide what his goals are ahead of time. As much as possible, he will align his daily tasks to work toward those goals. Other items that seem urgent can be ignored, delegated or postponed for the important work.
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Simplify to strengthen productivity
The paradox of time management is that a person cannot manage time. It continues to march on. The real management is that of managing oneself within that time.
Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Filling those 24 hours with too many tasks is going to work against that person instead of helping him become productive. Simplifying the daily schedule is a great tool for productive, meaningful work.
Although the simplification process will look different for each person, a good rule of thumb is to remove one activity for every one added. For example, if one’s child decides he wants to take up baseball, perhaps a parent can remove him from the soccer team for that season.
It would surprise the average employee to know that much of the time he loses is due to his inability to get organized. Some of the things that can suck productivity are looking for things lost, making multiple trips to the copy machine instead of just one, and answering e-mails as they come instead of in one or two blocks a day.
It is beneficial to block like tasks as much as possible. Also, a productive person has a place on or in his desk for everything he needs and keeps it there.
Find ways to reduce stress
Even in a simplified schedule, it is possible to drive oneself too much. When at all possible, the wise employee will leave work tasks at work. Evenings are best spent with family and relaxing. This is not just a luxury. It also prepares an employee better for the following day.
Keep track of the destination
It will be difficult to keep the daily tasks in line with the goals made if they are not readily visible. The forward-thinking employee will write them down and keep them in a highly accessible place such as his planner or a bulletin board over his desk.
It makes a better work environment when employees are managing time as wisely as possible by following these tips. Simplifying to manage time better is the best way to make productivity happen.