Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Have you ever noticed how some of your co-workers manage to get their work done, while you struggle to produce even half the amount of work? While you can try to convince yourself that itís quality over quantity that is not always the case. Itís important that you develop habits which will offer both quality and quantity Ė especially when employers are trying to do more work with less people. Believe it or not, there is a solution to the productivity problem.
Document your conversations, especially if they end up in a ďto-doĒ format. How much time do you spend trying to recall conversations with your supervisor or co-worker? You canít remember if they wanted the report this evening or tomorrow. What information did you need to include? Take notes during the conversation. This will save you from wasting countless minutes trying to recall exactly what it is you are supposed to be doing.
If itís not needed at the moment, donít put it on the desk. How many times do you sit at your desk in the morning and pull out everything you think you may work on that day, only to find you didnít get to it by the end of the day. Donít pull out work unless you need to work on it at that moment. Otherwise you are creating unnecessary clutter you will need to sift through. It also creates more room for error by placing important documents in the wrong folders.
Tackle one item at a time. Sure you need to multi-task, but remember you only have two hands, two eyes and one mouth. How many times have you had someone at your desk for a work-related matter when you stopped the conversation to answer the phone? Do you even remember what it was you were talking about before you picked up the phone? Perhaps youíve even forgotten the phone call details. If you have someone at your desk, consider letting incoming calls go to voicemail unless itís imperative that you answer it.
Leave the social networking at home. How much time do you spend checking Facebook, Twitter and your personal e-mail? If you spend hours at this at home, you are probably spending a lot of time on it at work if your company provides Internet access. Just one quick peek can turn into thirty minutes of mindlessly reading posts or responding to e-mails.
Finally, donít make everyone elseís emergency your own. Everyone feels that their request is more important than the next. Learn to discern the truly important from the requests that can wait while you finish up the current task on hand. Making everyone elseís emergency your own is a recipe for a stressful disaster.
Donít expect changes overnight. Learning to increase productivity will often be a work in progress but donít worry you will get there.