To understand how to increase productivity, we must understand what productivity is.
The definition of productivity is “the effectiveness of productive effort”.
Productivity is measured by the rate of output per unit of input. To be able to increase this rate, we must appreciate what affects our efficiency. We have put together a list of issues to factor in when trying to improve productivity.
The first and possibly the most significant issue concerning productivity is multitasking.
Think of an example of multitasking. Have you ever had a co-worker claim to be a productive multitasker or heard the adage that women are better at multitasking than men?
Recent studies prove these to be untrue. People forced to multitask end up performing significantly worse than those forced to work sequentially.
Furthermore, women are not better than men at it! (Buser & Peter, 2012).
So, when trying to improve your productivity or your employees’ productivity, it is best to steer clear of multitasking.
With the impact of COVID-19, there has been a significant shift towards working from home. You might feel it is more enjoyable, but just how productive is it?
Even before COVID, according to a Harvard Business Review interview in 2014, very much so! In this study of one group of workers from one organisation over nine months, findings were that at-home workers are happier, less likely to quit at that time, and more productive.
In another study reported by Harvard Business Review, compared to 2013, knowledge worker respondents in 2020 felt their work was more important and they feel important. They also indicated their work was less tiresome, less easily offloaded and contributed to the company’s objectives.
Lockdown helped people focus on the work that really mattered and take responsibility for their own schedules.
Consequently, as restrictions ease and we are allowed to move back to the office, maybe you should stop and think. A more flexible hybrid arrangement allows you and your employees to stay at home to complete a proportion of expected work where appropriate. This approach is in the interests of higher productivity and happier staff.
How To Increase Productivity
When it comes to productivity, what works for one person, does not necessarily work for everyone! It is worth trying out some tips and tricks and seeing what works best for you.
Here are some tips you can try to increase productivity:
Productivity Apps and Writing It Down
There are many productivity apps available to help you manage your tasks or even a good old-fashioned diary. A productivity planner will help you organise your thoughts, allowing you to set out your tasks in a sequential manner and avoid that dreaded multitasking.
Even the most productive people, though it may seem so, do not work for hours on end. There is a limit to how long you can concentrate in one sitting, and with the help of scheduled, well-planned breaks, you can boost the time you are working to be more productive!
Start Now, Think Later
Do you ever get stuck trying to plan out a task and waste time thinking about it but never really start?
The best advice is to use a start now, think later approach. Often, simply by the act of starting your task, you will find yourself thinking by doing rather than doing by thinking. This action will allow you to throw yourself into what needs to be done and increase your output!
If you find yourself getting caught in the multitasking trap and feel you’d like some support to increase efficiency and productivity in your business, reach out to On Point Support.