Let’s face it; we could all be at least a little more productive at our jobs. Truth be told, many of us are guilty – often through no fault of our own – of simply going through the motions, hoping to get through the day as painlessly as possible.
Productivity is a wonderful word in the business world. It means, ‘… A measure of efficiency vis-a-vis converting inputs into useful outputs; it is measured by dividing the average output over time by the total costs of inputs (resources such as personnel, material, energy, capital) during that period.’ Getting maximum productivity is business jargon for evaluating the costs of inputs versus the value of outputs derived from those inputs.
How pray tell is it possible to structure your workday for maximum productivity? Are there things that we can consciously do on a daily basis to improve our productivity? Absolutely!
In this behind-the-scenes expose, we’re going to take a look at 10 better ways to structure your days, as proposed by leading business experts. We are 100% confident that you will be able to implement these changes as part of your daily routine to get maximum benefit from every day. Without further ado, let’s hop over to the top 10 ways to structure your work day.
#10 – Adopt a goal-oriented focus every day
Remember that age-old aphorism, ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.’ Well, it’s absolutely true and this can be extrapolated towards goals too! Set goals every day – tactical goals – as part of your overall strategic plan. Daily goals are a fabulous way to track your progress as you work towards bigger goals. They also make every day an adventure, and an opportunity to achieve. Productivity enhancements are bound to follow.
#9 – Easy does it folks
Coming in hot at #9 is a curveball! Bet you never saw this one coming? In attempting to restructure your work day for maximum productivity, why would experts recommend taking it easy? Well, it’s simple really. If you try and rush to make dramatic changes to the structure of your work days, chances are something dramatic is going to happen – and it’s not good. Incremental change often has the best effect on productivity as opposed to dramatic change which can be disruptive and bring productivity to a grinding halt. Remember, ‘Baby steps gets you there!’
#8 – Check the weather forecast
We are full of surprises today, aren’t we? This is arguably the most overlooked way for you to structure your work day for maximum productivity. Did you know that by checking the 5-day weather forecast as well as the current weather forecast for your location, you will be much better positioned to complete your tasks, duties, and responsibilities. The elements have an outsized impact on how jobs play out, and if you’re not prepared for what the weather is going to throw at you, your productivity will take a serious hit. Remember the devil is in the details – the more you know, the better prepared you are. Download the weather forecast for the day ahead and make sure you’re always in the loop!
#7 – Put those distracting IOT devices away
Arguably the most difficult structural change to implement in your daily routine. Today, most every one of us is plugged into the Internet of things in some way or another. Whether it’s wearable technology with the Apple iWatch, AirPods, smartphones, tablets, phablets, virtual reality headgear et al, there are simply too many distractions all around. Open your desk drawer and pull all these encumbrances away during the workday. You will be absolutely blown away by how much more productive you are when you don’t have your attention being pulled in dozens of different directions.
#6 – Beat the traffic get and get an early start
For better or for worse, traffic and congestion is part and parcel of daily life for many of us. Unless you have the honour of working remotely, or for yourself and making your own hours, many of us have to join the rat race every day and then scamper on back home at the end of every day. Traffic is a bugbear. If you find yourself bumper-to-bumper, it may be worthwhile trying a few different alternatives such as carpooling, using public transportation, or leaving home a little earlier just to get there on time with less stress. These moves can invariably help to improve your productivity and lighten the mood.
#5 – Implement technological change into your work regimen
Did you know that there is something called robotic process automation? RPA is designed to eliminate monotonous, tedious, and a loathsome work that is conducted on a day-to-day basis. This includes invoicing, collecting data, analyzing data, responding to customer queries, and so forth. RPA software is but one technological change you can implement on top of your existing infrastructure to make your day more productive. Other tech changes include use of AI dictation software to cut down on the time spent typing, Slack and Trello for project management, upgrading to new operating systems from Windows to Mac, or implementing enhanced security protocols to allow hassle-free browsing on the Internet by using VPN services. Familiarize yourself with new technologies and see how it can impact your productivity.
#4 – Awaken the creativity within you
Creativity is an integral component of many jobs. Without a vision, a mission, and a plan, it’s tough to find inventive ways of making things work. There are some folks who believe that creativity and logic are mutually exclusive. In fact, even logical people have creative ways of addressing challenges. If you find yourself creatively stifled, this may be your mind and body telling you that you need to step back and reassess where you’re at. Sometimes you need to take a break and clear your head. A little caffeine, a little R&R, and a fresh set of eyes can always make challenges easier to solve. Sometimes it’s a matter of scheduling creative solutions for different parts of the day. If you find yourself too tired at the end of the day to take on a creative challenge – move it up to the beginning of the day when your mind is ready for it.
#3 – Get lots of exercise
Another one out of left field! You didn’t think that we were going to tell you that exercise would increase your productivity at work? Well, there is ample evidence to suggest that a healthy mind and body is just as beneficial to you the individual as it is to the work that you perform at your company. Stay healthy, be healthy, and be productive.
#2 – You are what you eat
Every system delivers output based on inputs that are fed into that system. Think on it for a second. If you are feeding your body toxic foods such as highly saturated fats, too much gluten, too many empty calories, and other horrid elements, you will invariably pay the price. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that our performance is heavily influenced by our nutrient intake. Savoury foods, nutritious foods, and wholesome foods are always better for your body and your mind. Use it or lose it!
#1 – Structure your time with a daily calendar
Did we save the best for last? Kind of! Time management is arguably the #1 best thing that you can do to increase your productivity. Do you start your day at the office cafeteria, chatting away with other employees ad infinitum? Or are you the type of person who gets to work and hits the ground running from the get go. Remember: some of us get better as the day drags on, but most of us tend to get tired and irritable as it approaches the end of day. Prioritise the tasks, duties, and jobs that need to get done most urgently, early in the morning. Leave the less important tasks to the end of the day. That way you will reach maximum productivity!