5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity at Work - Rediff

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5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity at Work - Rediff

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  • 03/03/2015 5waystoimproveyourproductivityatworkRediff.com

    http://www.rediff.com/getahead/report/career5waystoimproveyourproductivityatwork/20150303.htm?print=true 1/2

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    5waystoimproveyourproductivityatworkMarch03,201512:44IST

    Thechallengeforthemoderndayprofessionalisaneverexpandingtodolistandanincrease in time spent on work at and away from office. The answer may lie inimprovingyourproductivitygettingmoredoneinlesstime.Thatseasiersaidthandonethough.Hereare5workhabitsyoushouldconsideradoptingifyouwanttodomorewithless,timethatis!

    1.Donotcall

    VenusWilliamssaid I focusonmygoalsand I try to ignore the rest. That is soundadvice.Considerthesheernumberofinterruptionsinourdayrangingfromemail,phonecalls, instantandphonemessagesand thatdoesntevencountcolleagues trying togetyoutojointheircoffeebreak.Studieshaveshownthatwemaybeinterruptedasoftenas73times ina typicalworkdayandthat itmaytakeas longas2025minutesaftereachbreaktogetbacktopeakconcentration.

    Clearlythefirstthingtodoisturnoffthedistractionsputthatphoneonsilent,closethatemailwindowandputoutthatdonotdisturbsign.

    Puttingthetaskathandattheforefrontoftheconsciousnessandlettingitoccupyallthefocusandmentalbandwidthiswhatwecallbeingmindfulaboutwork.

    2.Bustthemultitaskingmyth

    Behonest!Howmanyofyouthinkmultitaskingisoneofyourstrengths?Wevealltriedworkingonemailswhileonaconferencecallorcheckingourmessageswhileinameetingbutneurosciencetellsusthisisnotmultitaskingthebrainjustswitchesfromonetasktotheother.

    Thebadnewsisthatthereisasignificantlossofefficiencyeachwayduetothisswitching.StanfordprofessorCliffordNashputsitverybluntlyMultitaskersareterribleateverysingleaspectofmultitasking.Theyreterribleatignoringirrelevantinformation,theyreterribleatkeepinginformationintheirheadnicelyandneatlyorganised,andtheyreterribleatswitchingfromonetasktoanother.

    Themessageisverycleardoonethingatatimeanddoitwell.

    3.Theplantruth

    TimemanagementauthorAlanLakeinhadfamouslysaidthatfailingtoplanwasthesameasplanningtofail.Thissuggestsawaytoapproachtheworkdayinawaydesignedtoyieldmoreoutput.Startthedaybybreakingitinto4or5chunksof90orsominuteseachthatsaboutthelimitofconcentratedeffortthemindcantake.

    Buildinappropriatebreaksandtimeoff.Shortburstsofconcentratedeffortarethewaytogotogetmoredone.

    4.Jointheclub

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  • 03/03/2015 5waystoimproveyourproductivityatworkRediff.com

    http://www.rediff.com/getahead/report/career5waystoimproveyourproductivityatwork/20150303.htm?print=true 2/2

    Wehaveseenhowthemindswitchesfromonetasktotheotherandalsosuggestedtobreaktheworkdayintomanageablechunks.Anaturalextensionemergesthesuggestionisthatinthosechunksofconcentratedworktrytogroupactivitiesthatcallforsimilaractionorthatcanreducetheneedforcontextswitching.

    Anexampleisdoingsimilartaskslikereportpreparationoraddressingemailsinclumps.

    5.Thepathtoselfquantification

    Toknowwhereonehastogo,itisfirstimperativetoknowwhereonestandstostartwith.Selfquantificationisamovetotakeadispassionateviewofonesownworkhabitstoidentifythosethatarecausingtimeorefforttobewasted.

    Thisalsoallowsonetoidentifyexactlywhateffortisbeingputintoeachtaskandtheamountoftimebeingspentontasksthatmaynotbecore.Onceyouknowwhatisnotworkingthelogicalnextstepistobemindfulofthosehabitsandtoslowlyreducetheirinfluence.

    LetmeclosewithonemorequotePaulMeyersaidProductivityisneveranaccident.Itisalwaystheresultofacommitmenttoexcellence,intelligentplanning,andfocussedeffort.

    Truerwordsmayneverhavebeenspokenaboutthestateofpersonaleffortandachievementintheworkplacetoday!

    Photograph:hatalmas/CreativeCommons

    TheauthorisAVPSalesAmerica,SapienceAnalytics

    KhivSingh