Consistent productivity is essential to achieving both collective and individual workplace goals. Whether it’s landing a new client or completing a creative project, you’ll need to stay on task throughout the workday to make it happen.
However, the workplace comes with a variety of distractions. Coworkers, social media, and even snack breaks can all pull you out of your workflow. Even working from home isn’t totally distraction-free, particularly if there are roommates or other family members at home with you.
Here are fivesteps your team can take to boost your productivity and get more done each day.
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Use today’s vast array of technology options to your advantage when developing your workflows. When implemented strategically, technology will help you get through your to-do list more quickly and work more collaboratively with your team members.
Video calling software, a messaging app, and a screen recorder are all helpful tools for collaboration, particularly if your organization has a hybrid work model. These advanced video and file sharing technologies allow you to work seamlessly with teams on the other side of the country — or the world.
Project management software programs are another must-have technology for teams working remotely. These programs allow you to create, assign, and track tasks for your entire team in the same place. They also send automated reminders to ensure important tasks don’t get forgotten. They also typically use cloud technology, which means they are conveniently accessible via a web browser anywhere you have an internet connection.
When implementing new technologies, start small. Don’t overwhelm your team with too many new apps at once, as this could end up being more confusing in the long run. If you’re implementing new softwares, start with a free trial to ensure all team members will benefit.
The Pomodoro method is a simple, straightforward technique that anyone can use to improve their focus and productivity. It works for a wide variety of tasks, and all you need is a timer.
Start by picking a task you’d like to work on, and set a timer for 25 minutes. During this period, focus all your energy on the task. Avoid checking your phone, talking to coworkers, or multitasking. When the timer is up, take a small 5-minute break. Repeat this process four times and then take a longer break.
The Pomodoro method traditionally uses 25-minute work periods and 5-minute breaks. However, you can adjust the length of each segment to fit your needs. This method is particularly effective because it breaks work down into small, manageable sessions.
Meetings are often necessary when working with a team, but they can also be a huge source of distraction. Conversations get off-topic, eating into your limited work time for the day.
To prevent this from happening, be discerning when scheduling both in-person and remote meetings. Before putting a meeting on a calendar, stop to consider whether it’s truly necessary. In many cases, communicating via email or instant messenger is a viable alternative.
When you do need to take a meeting, use an agenda to stay on task. An agenda lays out goals and topics for the meeting and designates who will be speaking when. When you sense the meeting heading off-track, gently direct everyone back to the agenda to keep things moving forward.
Productivity looks different for every employee. Some people thrive in the office, while others prefer to work from home. One team member may be most productive early in the morning, while another doesn’t truly get going until the late afternoon.
Consider using flexible scheduling options whenever possible to maximize your team’s productivity. Maybe you have a set block of time for meetings each day, but allow your team to work asynchronously outside of that.
When your team chooses when and where to work, they’ll be more likely to live up to their full productivity potential. They’ll also be able to work around distractions like illness or family obligations rather than trying to work through them.
Staying motivated is a major productivity challenge, particularly if you have a long to-do list to tackle. Setting realistic, tangible goals gives you something to work toward and can help keep you on the right track.
If you’re working on a large, multifaceted project, break that project down into smaller goals. For example, if your overarching goal is to launch a new website by the end of the year, break that down into smaller tasks. Checking off small tasks like choosing a layout and writing the copy will feel rewarding.
It’s also important to remember the “why” behind your goals. Think about the positive things that will come from achieving this goal. For example, launching a new website is an opportunity to rebrand your business and potentially attract new clients. When you’re struggling to stay motivated, think of this end goal to help keep you going.
Ebbs and flows in productivity are a normal part of work. If you’re in a slump, don’t be afraid to switch things up and try a new strategy. Sometimes a new approach is just what you need to get back in the groove.