5 Ways to Become the Most Productive Employee You KnowAUTHOR: Kayla Matthews
Visiting the coffee maker for the sixth time today? Sometimes, you’ve just got to get things done on deadline, or maybe you’ve got a big evaluation coming up and want to prove to your manager you deserve that raise.
Startups and corporate enterprises alike award productivity. However, sometimes the trick to being more productive can be more complicated than just turning up the wick. You can think about doing more, but what are the habits that allow you to deliver on the promise? Here are five things you can try.
1. Avoid Unnecessary Meetings
Meetings are where executives spend all their time, so they must be important right? Contrary to what you might think, meetings can be significant time-wasters.
Whenever possible, streamline what you want to accomplish with a meeting into a shorter task. Maybe you can work something out with a quick one-on-one or even using tools like email or office messengers.
People tend to hijack meetings. They might use the meeting time to discuss a different agenda or even just to chat. Having rapport with your teammates is good. However, you could be getting things done in that time.
2. Learn a New Skill
Many of us can relate to a workflow that has a bottleneck in it. Maybe you have to wait for another department to assist with a project before it can progress to the next step. But what if you understood how to accomplish that part of the task yourself?
Part of advancement is continuous learning, and a good employer should recognize and encourage this. Look for ways to enhance your productivity, focus and communication skills with YouTube videos or podcasts online. With countless opportunities and mediums available online for you to learn and develop new skills, this is a great way to improve productivity if you haven’t already begun.
3. Keep Yourself Fresh
You deserve credit for putting in those long hours, but consistently working yourself to the bone might not have the desired effect on your productivity. When you’re burnt out, the quality of your work will suffer, and you might even have difficulty staying on-task.
Rather than trying to do everything at once, take a measured approach to your work and be comfortable with allowing yourself a break here and there. Taking your mind off projects will let you look at them with new eyes when you do come back. Bringing your work home will only make you resent it when you’re back in the office, so if you’re too swamped to have a healthy work/life balance, ask for help instead of trying to do it all yourself.
4. Work on the Road
We are living in the new industrial revolution, and this time the focus will be on the Internet of Things (IoT). One of the ways network-aware devices integrate into our life and workplace is through the constant connectivity high-speed internet has brought, and you can take advantage of that by working during your commute.
For example, with a simple headset, you can attend meetings from your car just by voice conferencing in. Do you ride the train? Why not jump on a virtual private network (VPN) and access your projects from the office to get a head start on the day? We spend years of our lives just making the schlep to and from work, so you might as well take advantage of some of that time.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Many companies evaluate employees using a goal-based system. It sounds simple, but this type of evaluation can backfire, and often does when employees aim too high with what they propose to do.
Remember that goals should be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Limited. Think about what that means. Remember that you’ll probably have other tasks pop up during your quarter, half or year that will require time you could have spent on your goals. Build them out so you have a positive takeaway, but one that you don’t feel overwhelmed by.
Everyone prefers to work a little differently, and it takes proper management on top of your efforts to ensure remove obstacles and continue progressing toward your goals and deliverables. If you follow these five pointers, you might find that things fall off your to-do list just a little bit faster.