Productivity is measured not by the quantity of time you have spent at work but by the quantity and quality of accomplished tasks. You can spend 12 hours inside your office, but the question is: Did you spend the entire 12 hours doing quality work, or were you just spending much of your time chatting with friends on Facebook and playing online poker? If you want to maximize the use of your time and become productive at work, here are some of the things you must do:
1. Know what you can and can’t do.
There is a very good reason why hiring managers ask prospects about their strengths and skills. The reason is they don’t want people to be doing things they couldn’t do. This is true whether you are a manager or an employee. Don’t take on responsibilities you think you wouldn’t be able to carry out in the long run.
2. Stop multitasking!
Some people think they finish more work by doing several tasks at the same time. However, multitasking gives you an illusion that you are accomplishing many things. Now look at what you have done at the end of the day. Were you able to finish any of the task? If you were, then how is the quality of the accomplished task?
Multitasking means you have to spread yourself over a number of undertakings, often resulting in spreading yourself too thinly on multiple duties. Multitasking doesn’t lead to efficiency, but poor work quality. Most people do best carrying out one task at a time and finishing it before jumping to another.
3. Spread work load.
Some managers have this habit of being on top of everything. They are afraid to delegate tasks because they don’t want unacceptable outcomes. This kind of behavior springs from lack of trust in one’s team, and this is an unsuitable attitude. First, you cannot handle all tasks on your own. You have to delegate most tasks to your team members. Second, you should trust your workforce; otherwise, replace them.
When you delegate tasks, make sure you distribute them accordingly. There is an appropriate person for each type of task. This is why it’s crucial that you know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your members.
4. Conduct essential meetings only.
Lengthy meetings can disrupt your employees while at work, and if you do this every day, you are stealing their time that can be used for accomplishing more work. Do not schedule meetings for the sake of scheduling meetings. If your purpose is to monitor progress, you can do so without making everyone’s work come to a momentary halt.