Whether in the office or at home: every one of us has the feeling that we can work a little more productively from time to time. But in reality this is not always easy. Not only the employer is pleased when as many tasks as possible are completed in a short time. Employees also start the end of the day with a much better feeling. But what is the secret recipe for productive work? We have put together 10 tips for you.
Table of Contents
1. Avoid distractions
Regardless of where you work, you should try to create a tidy and non-irritating work environment. The tidier the desk and your office as a whole, the better you can concentrate on your actual work. Sources of interference in the vicinity, such as televisions, sweets or even a private mobile phone that displays new notifications every few minutes, should at best be avoided.
2. Stop multitasking
Even if multitasking often gives the feeling that you are working productively because several tasks are being processed at the same time, unfortunately exactly the opposite is the case. Studies 1 have shown that our brains are unable to focus fully on more than one task.
In fact, it just wastes unnecessary resources because the brain has to keep switching between these two tasks. Ultimately, this means that when we multitask, we take longer to complete these tasks and also perform them worse than if we concentrate completely on one task and work through the others one after the other. In total, the constant switching between tasks is said to lead to a loss of productivity of 40%. 2 .
3. Set clear priorities
So we’ve seen that you can work on many things at the same time without being really productive. And overtime should not be confused with productive work. Because only those who work more do not have to create more at the same time. Rather, it is important to keep a good overview of all tasks and to set clear priorities. Sort your tasks according to importance and urgency and, if possible, assign a deadline and a time frame for the individual tasks, ie the time in which a task should be completed. This will prevent you from wasting too much time on unimportant tasks.
4. Complete small tasks directly
A short but effective tip: Short-term tasks, ie tasks that would not take more than 2 minutes of your working time, should be completed immediately. The 2-minute rule 6 is a time management method and states that small but important tasks should not be constantly postponed, but done immediately.
5. Make to-do lists
Whether in the morning before starting work or in the evening for the next day: to-do lists help to keep track of things at all times and to prioritize tasks. In this way, you can structure your work in the best possible way, no longer forget tasks and can significantly increase productivity. In addition, it feels good to be able to check off tasks.
6. Try time management strategies
Various time management strategies have evolved over the years to help increase work productivity and prevent procrastination. We have briefly summarized the most important ones for you. Maybe there’s something you’d like to try:
Here work is broken down into 25-minute periods of productive work. This is followed by a 5 minute break. After four time blocks of 25 minutes each plus breaks, there is a longer break of between 15-20 minutes.
This principle provides that the most difficult and unpopular task of the day is done right at the start of work. This prevents tasks from being postponed. And once the task is done, you are directly motivated and in a positive mood for the rest of the working day.
Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule):
The Pareto principle states that 80% of your work can be done with just 20% of the time invested. The remaining 20% work is much more time-consuming and takes up 80% of your time. The strategy should help to determine and prioritize the most important tasks. Be clear about which tasks can be completed quickly and at the same time check whether the time-consuming tasks are actually worth the effort.
7. Use your productivity phase
Working productively for eight hours: That would of course be a dream for employers, but in reality it shows that this is just wishful thinking. In fact, according to a Career Bible survey 7 , the majority of workers (39.4%) only effectively work between 5-6 hours per day. Only 14.8% of those surveyed stated that they achieved an effective working time of 7-8 hours.
8. Use business tools
To support you in your productive work, there are a lot of tools for different areas. We would like to briefly introduce some of them to you:
Time Management Tools & Focus Time Blocker
- Apploye or Toggle : Sometimes you get so engrossed in tasks that you lose track of time completely. A real-time tracking function like Apploye or Toggl can definitely help here.
- Offtime: Offtime is recommended so that you are not constantly distracted by your smartphone. Thanks to the app, calls, notifications, apps or even social media channels can be easily blocked during working hours if desired.
- FocalFilter & Self Control : Windows and Mac also each offer a free app that simply blocks predetermined websites for a certain period of time so that you are not distracted in the first place.
- Big Stretch Reminder : Acts as a reminder to consistently follow break times.
Project Management Tools
In order to organize work better or to work in sprints, many good tools have established themselves on the market. Some notable ones would be Jira, Asana or Trello . Recently, Notion has also become particularly popular , which we currently use for our marketing team to better structure our work and create more transparent communication.
9. Don’t forget your break
Work, work, work… Many people are so engrossed in their work that breaks are simply neglected or even forgotten entirely. However, our body cannot keep up with this in the long run – at least not without a loss of productivity. If you want to work productively, you have to make sure you give your body a break.
10. Make sure you get enough sleep
Last but not least: Avoid lack of sleep. The body needs enough sleep to recover and recharge its energies for the next day. Too little sleep leads to lack of concentration, fatigue, more mistakes and less motivation overall. As a guide, most people need between 7-8 hours of sleep.
Also Read: Digitization, Home Office And Cyber Security