Here at Amilia, we pride ourselves on working quickly and efficiently to develop the best online registration software. However, sometimes it can be a struggle to maintain our individual productivity. We get tired, distracted and so on. However, as we strive to work more productively, we have been researching and trying different techniques that will help us avoid falling into that rut.
These 10 productivity hacks are techniques we have researched and tested. They work well for us and can work well for you too!
Try Daily Scrums
Scrums are daily meetings that that cannot exceed 15 minutes. Everyone stands for the duration of each scrum, where the goal is to help set a context for everybody's workday. Normally, a team of about 6-7 people will meet up and everybody has to answer the following questions:
- What did you work on yesterday?
- What are you working on today?
- Are you blocked on a project?
If problems are flagged, they can be dealt with on that same day with the help of the group of people. In this way, scrums help communication between all team members and make everyone accountable for what they have committed to do.
Start with Your Biggest Project
Many studies show, for most people, willpower is stronger in the morning when you are your freshest. Why not use this time to focus on a project that is meaningful and significant? Even if you don't finish it, some steps will have been taken towards your goal. If you start with something challenging, the rest of the day will seem a lot easier to get through.
Use Time Blocking
Time blocking is the process of setting aside a stretch of your workday where meetings, phone calls, or messages are not allowed to distract you. Although some people may have a love-hate relationship with this technique, it helps you stay focused and on task. When using time blocking, it's best to get into the habit of setting up these designated slots in your schedule at the same time every week. Also, decide in advance what you will be working on beforehand; it's not the sexiest form of time management but, so far, the results speak for themselves at
By taking breaks, we don't mean surfing the internet, chatting on Facebook or playing another round of Candy Crush. Give yourself short breaks that involve you getting up, leaving your desk and staring at something other than your computer. Go for a mini walk, visit other parts of the building, go get a coffee and chat with your colleagues. These breaks keep us from getting bored and tired. Moreover, if you feel stuck in the middle of a task, sometimes leaving it for a few minutes and coming back to it will give you a fresh perspective on a potential solution to the problem.
Everybody's been there: a long meeting where you barely say two sentences. You leave the room and, knowing that you are behind in other work that you have to get done, you may feel like your time could've been better spent doing something else. Before booking or accepting a meeting invite, think of the value that it will bring to your workday and vice versa.
Are you the right person for the discussion about to be had? Can you contribute anything meaningful to the meeting? These are all pertinent questions to ask. Also, try to schedule meetings for less time and invite fewer people. That, coupled with increased participation from everyone present, will lead to your time being spent more productively.
Change Your Work Setting
This is actually one of my favorite tips to be more productive. Whenever I'm working on something and I feel stuck or like I've hit a roadblock, I try to work on it at a different place than my desk. Sometimes, I go in a meeting room, to another employee's desk or to the nearby coffee shop. It is easier to do if you own a laptop, but you can also brainstorm and write some ideas down on paper. Sometimes, just changing your environment will help you be more creative.
Be Able to Say "No"
It is totally normal that you want to help your college when they ask you for some help or request some of your time; however, being productive means having some quality and uninterrupted time spent working by yourself, on your own tasks. Turning down colleagues when they ask for your help is hard but sometimes it is the best way to get your own projects off the ground and completed. Meetings can be rescheduled or even broken up into smaller time slots to accommodate everyone's busy schedules but saying "yes" to everything is only going to make it harder to focus.
Follow Through and Keep Your Word
This is a tactic that I also use to get myself to the gym when I don't really feel like going. I tell my friends I will be going to the gym that night and then I have to go because I said I would. It works well at work too. If you tell someone about what you will be working on (usually during your daily scrums), you feel an internal pressure to actually do it. Also, if you don't follow through on a statement like that, you'll look foolish to everyone who you spread that update
Your computer and your desk need to stay organized so you don't waste time looking for something important that was "right there" just a moment or so ago. Everything has a place where it belongs, so make sure it stays there. A clean desk will help you get in the focused. You can even schedule 15 minutes every week to clean your desk and computer. You will be very thankful in the long run.
This also applies to your digital organization as well. If you have shared folders that all employees at your company use, saving files in the wrong place or
Don't Answer Messages Right Away
Do you feel the pressure to answer your emails and/or instant messages (like Slack) right away? In our world of instant digital gratification, it's only natural to feel that nagging sense of, "I have to answer this person now." However, sometimes messages can wait, especially if its contents are not a priority. Why stop what you are doing to answer it?
Email and instant messages are a big part of distractions that can break your workplace concentration. So, when you see a notification pop up, evaluate whether or not it is necessary to answer it right away. If not, just keep working on what you are doing and, the next time you complete a task or take a mini-break, that person will get the answers they're looking for.
There you go: all of our best tricks to stay productive at work. We know that maintaining productivity is a constant challenge for all our team members. At Amilia, every department, from Marketing to Customer Success, continue using one or all of theses techniques. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: to get things done!
For more information on how Amilia's software solution can help streamline your organization's day-to-day and help increase employee productivity, download our features brochure now!