In a work culture where a "less is more" philosophy seems to reign supreme, it's ironic that more and more tools to increase productivity continue to hit the market.
With an internet that's already oversaturated with digital advertising and an online marketplace stiff with competition, it can be hard to pick and choose exactly which tools (if any) will maximize your company's producitivty and efficiently spur your company's growth.
But who says you need to sift through the online chaos? There are tried-and-true methods for being productive at work that don't come equipped with an attractive landing page promising to make you work better and faster. While such programs may help some companies, the price tag isn't always on the consumer's side.
Here are four effective practices that will help you increase productivity at work––and inspire creativity in the process.
Daily goal setting & tracking
For the uber-productive employee, this may seem like a no-brainer.
For others, however, maybe not so much. Beginning your day by goal setting and ending your day by reviewing a completed checklist is not only a useful tool, but it's highly suggested in the workplace for a couple of reasons.
Not only does goal setting give you an umbrella picture of what your day should look like, but it helps you effectively map out your morning and afternoon so that those tasks will get accomplished in a timely manner.
Since not every work environment is a quiet haven with soft jazz playing in the background, it can be a struggle for some employees to stay on task. Daily goal setting will help.
Weekly team huddles
Gathering with your work team weekly (or even daily) is a great tool for getting team members on the same page.
While every company has their own processes and culture when it comes to cross-team communication, there's typically no better way to communicate than face-to-face.
At CEA, we hold a team huddle every morning at 9:00 am sharp and discuss our current and ongoing projects with one another. We can offer help to other team members, understand their workload and adjust our days accordingly if the day calls for collaborative work.
It's okay to say no
For particularly hard workers, reading this headline is like reading Greek. It's completely foreign.
But really, it's okay to say no sometimes. Your workday will inevitably be filled with co-workers interrupting the project you're trying to accomplish in order to gain ground on their own project.
While every employee is a member of a grander body, at the end of the day, you're at work to get your work done and contribute to the team primarily from filling your role well. And if you're consistently being interrupted with tasks that force your own tasks to move to the backburner, your work efficiency will inevitably suffer.
Barring a last-minute, deadline-driven firestorm at work, it's okay to ask for 15 minutes to finish a thought, rap up an assignment or take a mental break before helping to shoulder the work of another employee.
One thing at a time
At the risk of sounding cliché, taking your day one task at a time is a proven best practice for optimizing productivity in your workplace.
When your mind is a mixed cluster of current projects and others on the horizon, your effectiveness at work will likely take a hit and your stress will likely pile up.
Focusing on one single task at any given time will help declutter your mind. You'll also find yourself working toward your goals with more efficiency and focus.
Always Be Improving
While some of the most productive methods have been used in the American workplace for decades, we're always looking for new ways to better our process, inspire more creativity and boost work efficiency both in our agency and in our industry.
Is your workflow working for you? What are some practices already employed at your workplace to improve productivity?
Take a look at some of ours: