10 tips to be more productive at work

In view of the latest report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in which Chile appears as the sixth country with the highest number of hours worked per year, with a total of 1,974, the consulting firm HumanNet provided a series of tips to be more productive at the office.

The report states, among other data, that national workers work about 200 hours more per year than the average of the member nations of that entity. At the opposite extreme is Germany, with only 1,363 hours per year.

In this context, the director of HumanNet Consultores, Andrés Cardemil, shared the following tips to increase labor productivity:

Set a simple and achievable goal every day (or night). You cannot achieve a goal that has not yet been set. Therefore, without seeking great daily aspirations, try to be very clear each day about what you would like to achieve at the end of the day, which should be concrete and as far as possible “measurable”.

Plan and organize the day. Before starting the day, first define what you will do, and then quickly and mentally draw up a ranking plan that identifies the most important and the least important of the day ahead. This way you will be able to identify priorities at a glance.

Find the right space and time. It is always important to be comfortable and have the right space for the work you will be doing. It is not convenient to schedule activities other than what you have planned to do in that time and place.

Start with the hardest part. First try to get the heaviest or most complicated things out of the way, that is, the most difficult tasks, in order to clear the path. Then, everything will become much easier, because you will increase your speed. It is like putting the big stones first in the jar, then the smaller ones, then the sand and finally the water.

Avoid the distractions of the phone and social networks. To achieve focus, you should avoid all distractions that are generated through social networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), either from your tablet, smartphone or PC, keeping certain Apps that do not contribute to the fulfillment of the objective sought in the immediate.

Classify and group similar or related tasks. For many people it is easy and tempting to want to perform several tasks at once. The idea is to avoid dispersion as much as possible. Whether you are writing, calculating, reading, taking notes, making calls, answering e-mails, or putting together a business proposal, the idea is to keep the activity of the same type. It has been found that by grouping tasks together, the tendency is to do them better and complete them faster.

Increase speed: Set specific goals against a defined time. The idea is to move fast, to “make it short” as a young person would say today. It can be helpful to set a timer in front of you, to meet self-defined goals in a set time. E.g. Complete three pages in 1 hour, answer an e-mail in 20 minutes, make 5 phone calls in 40 minutes, etc. With this method, a sense of urgency is given to tasks, concentration increases and better results are generated.

Seek help or support from people or programs. If you are feeling stuck on a topic, or are making little progress, try to answer the question: what program or App can I use or what person can I turn to for help? Don’t try to be self-sufficient in everything, remember that there are people you know who are more expert than you in a subject. And, besides, today there are many programs that were invented to make our lives easier.

A break to clear your head: you should also recreate. A healthy break, or a little recreation is not a bad thing. Especially when you have already made a lot of progress or completed a defined activity, or when you have already reached a goal. A good idea is to self-define rewards that motivate you to finish a task. E.g. “When I finish this letter and send it, I will go for a coffee”; “When I finish the proposal, I will watch the video that was sent to me by WhatsApp, not before”, etc.

Healthy eating, sufficient rest and no sedentary lifestyle. Eating healthy and at appropriate times, strengthens the defenses and avoids getting sick. Practicing some physical activity or sport, helps in the same direction. Yoga, pilates, cycling, running, swimming, tennis, soccer, or any group sport, martial arts, or even going to the gym with a defined routine, will undoubtedly be better than sitting and watching TV. Likewise, at the end of the day, going to bed on a schedule that allows for 8 hours of sleep, will allow the person to have an adequate and restful rest, all of which contributes to your productivity for the next day.