10 Tips For Working Effectively And Improving Productivity

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Increasing productivity and working effectively during your work hours can aid career development. Learning how to work efficiently can help you manage your duties better and positively impact your life. Knowing some simple tips to increase your effectiveness while working can help enhance your productivity and output. In this article, we share 10 tips for working effectively that can help organise your workday better.

Related: 20 Effective Tips For Working From Home During A Pandemic

10 Practical Tips For Working Effectively

Here are 10 tips for working effectively and increasing your productivity:

1. Prioritise your tasks

No matter the industry or role, most professionals perform several core and non-core duties simultaneously as a part of their job. Learning how to prioritise this task list for maximum efficiency can help you focus better. Instead of overwhelming yourself with many pending things to accomplish in a day, you can focus on a limited number of tasks and aim to complete them.

You can choose these items based on the urgency or the time they may take to finish. Alternatively, you can focus on getting the most challenging task done first. If you get them done before your workday ends, you can complete a few other tasks as well. This technique can also help you manage your time more effectively and alleviate pressure.

Related: How To Create A To-Do List (With Steps And Tips)

2. Add time limits for each task

Once you have a list of tasks to accomplish for the day, allot a reasonable amount of time for each item on the list. This way, you can create a realistic schedule for the entire workday and assign dedicated time slots for important tasks. Creating a schedule can help you become more focused as you know which task to do next. It can also help you determine how productive you are during the day and measure progress accurately. When structuring your day, do not forget to account for breaks to make sure you remain fresh and motivated.

3. Improve your organisational skills

Organisation skills refer to the ability to manage objects and resources effectively. Start by organising your workplace to remove any redundant documents or objects. A clean workstation with ample space to work comfortably can help you perform better. Similarly, devise a system that enables you to work efficiently. For example, if you think reverting to emails or messages takes up significant time, do it when you are travelling or after you finish urgent tasks. Similarly, find useful time and schedule organisation tools that can help you manage your workday better.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Develop a routine

Creating a predictable routine can help you get work done and manage time effectively. When you know what to expect, your mind is likely to focus on the task better. As soon as your workday begins, your habits and routine can help you get into a productive frame of mind and help work on the most urgent tasks.

Developing a routine can also help prevent time wastage, as you already know what to work on and how long you may be working. Depending on whether you feel more productive in the first half of the day or the second, you can create a routine that helps enhance your focus and creativity.

Related: How To Wake Up Early In The Morning (A Complete Guide)

5. Learn to communicate with your team members

Communicating effectively with your colleagues can prevent misunderstanding and reduce the chances of duplication of effort. Clear communication can help you collaborate with your colleagues better and solicit their support when required. Select a communication channel that works the best for you and your colleagues and use it frequently. Ask for clarifications and answer questions that your colleagues ask. Communicating clearly with the team includes asking the right questions, seeking feedback, listening attentively and giving each other updates.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definition, Benefits And Examples

6. Use organising tools

Use digital tools such as timers, to-do lists, reminders and website blockers to focus better. For instance, when you are working, you can use certain tools and applications to block notifications and updates from social media websites and instant messaging apps. Similarly, you can set a timer when performing specific tasks to ensure that you do not spend more time on them than allotted in your schedule.

Other than digital tools, you can also use physical tools such as diaries, planners and calendars to manage your schedule and appointments better. Such tools can help schedule meetings and prioritise urgent work, besides helping you remember important tasks for the day.

7. Limit distractions

Whether you are working from home or visiting the office, many types of distractions can hamper your productivity and focus. These can be in the form of chats with your colleagues, social media updates or personal calls. There can be several types of distractions within the workplace, such as loud noises, uncomfortable temperature or inadequate lighting. Anything that prevents you from focusing on your work, even if it is another urgent task that you get called for, can be a distraction.

Besides putting restrictions such as the ‘do not disturb' mode on your personal devices and limiting notifications, one effective technique is to create a list of distractions and pin it to your desktop or workspace. Whenever you feel distracted and think something urgent requires your attention, you can simply add it to the list to resolve later. This way, you can focus on your current task without the risk of forgetting something else.

Related: A Guide On How To Stay Focused (With Practical Tips)

8. Multitask, but only when you can

Working on more than one thing at a time can be helpful in certain situations when the tasks are easy or repetitive in nature. Similarly, when they do not require you to pay active attention or high accuracy, multitasking can be easy to perform. For high-priority tasks and items, multitasking can actually result in you taking longer to do two tasks than doing them individually.

For example, some people can participate in meetings and complete administrative tasks, such as filing their attendance sheet or invoices without losing focus on either. For most people, doing the same can be difficult if you are talking to a client on call and want to respond to emails simultaneously. Depending on the task and your comfort level, multitask so that you can perform different tasks adequately but not at the risk of increasing errors or inefficiency.

9. Plan in advance

Planning and organising your day in advance can help you create to-do lists, manage time and identify priority tasks better. Depending on the number of duties you have, it may take a few minutes to list and sort through your daily tasks and create an efficient schedule. Planning in advance also makes it easier for you to balance more challenging tasks with easier ones so that you do not feel tired in the middle of the day.

Whether you prefer to start your workday a little earlier than usual or stay back after the day is over, you can plan your time before the workday begins or do it for the next day before leaving. Doing so can help you start on a more focused and motivated note, as you already know what to accomplish and how to go about it.

Related: What Is Strategic Planning And How To Do It In 6 Steps

10. Mark your progress

As you accomplish tasks and to-do items for the day, start crossing them out. Doing this can help you experience the progress you are making and motivate you to perform better. This simple way to recognise that you are effectively achieving the goals you had set out for yourself can work as a motivation booster and make you more eager to stay productive. You can also perform this exercise after your workday is over to review your progress. Doing so can also help you plan the following day better and create a record of micro and macro professional accomplishments.

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