3 Jun, 2016

Four Steps to Increase Productivity

by Kid Harwood / CEO, Incubox

The weekend is over, and unfortunately the unsightly t-shirt tan you’ve developed counts for little in the face of the list of tasks that are waiting for you back at the office. Even if you’re feeling well-rested, getting back into work-mode after the weekend can take a little longer than usual. But do not despair; even the most successful of entrepreneurs can fall into lulls. Use our four tips, and make the rest of the week as productive as you can.

1. Prioritise

Make a list of all the tasks that you need to complete over the upcoming days and identify those that are the most pressing. This could mean picking out the tasks that have the closest deadlines, or equally the ones that take the longest time to complete. This might sound obvious, but it’s definitely something that people find easier to say than do. That important piece of work you’ve been putting off isn’t going to go away, and the longer you leave it, the less time you’re going to be able to commit to it.

2. Capture all creative ideas

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning.” – William Faulkner

We can’t all be as fortunate as William Faulkner, so getting started with a piece of work that requires creative thought can sometimes be problematic. For the most of us, inspiration doesn’t come in a constant stream; it comes in sporadic, unpredictable bouts. Sometimes you’ve got to go the extra mile to get your creative juices flowing. Get your pen in your hand, your notebook in front of you and start jotting down all of the ideas you have. Not everything you write down will be useful, it might not even be coherent, but by getting your thoughts down on paper, you’ll find it easier to organise your ideas.

3. Remove all distractions

Believe it or not this can be achieved without the use of a sensory deprivation tank or a journey into the wilderness. Identify what it is that is keeping you from concentrating fully on the task at hand and attempt to distance yourself from it, for an achievable, but still substantial, amount of time. If you can work to music then plug yourself in, log out of Twitter and don’t even think about checking your emails. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done in as little as thirty minutes of fully focussed work.

4. Find and use the right tools

SThe internet is awash with online tools, apps, extensions and add-ons to help you manage your workload and increase your output, so take advantage of them. Whether you struggle organising your time, getting everyone in your team singing from the same hymn-sheet or even staying on-task, there’s an online tool to help you out. The Google Chrome Web Store and the Firefox Marketplace are great places to find these (mostly free) tools. Browse their respective selections and see how they can help you to work smarter.