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A shorter workday and other tips for increasing productivity

Increasing productivity is always a good thing. We all want to be more efficient to get more done with less, or in less time. Boosting productivity in the workday is a great thing to strive towards for all businesses but it’s vitally important to not confuse productivity with time spent working. There are a number of different techniques that one can employ to try to help boost productivity, including potentially shortening the length of the workday.

Thanks to technological advancements and the growing rate of automation, an eight-hour workday may not be necessary. Much of the tedium that took up long office days in the past can now be streamlined and cut down on significantly. With this in mind, it may be advantageous to break up the shift patterns of your employees into smaller blocks. Allow people to focus on the things which they are best at, and the things they most enjoy, and then set them on projects with these areas in mind.

Over a shorter time span, it may be the case that these employees will take to such projects with much higher efficiency and with much higher enthusiasm. Keep in mind here the Pareto Principle, sometimes called the 80/20 rule: Typically, 20% of time spent focussing on the task that will deliver around 80% of your desired results is the best way to boost productivity.

Aside from this, there are a number of other things that can help. Making sure your days are always scheduled and planned appropriately in advance will cut down on time spent figuring out what to do next. This may seem an obvious at first, but practicing such foundational habits is a good way to ensure productivity will never dip below a certain level at the very least. Making a to-do list can also help greatly with this process; as it allows for the prioritising of tasks more easily within a larger schedule.

Try eliminating distractions when settling down to tackle a task or project; this can mean both bodily distractions such as hunger, but also distractions such as emails, phones and other co-workers. Removing these factors that draw you away from your work will help keep you focussed and on-task.

Finally, take some advice from Mark Twain and “eat the frog”. This is a productivity tactic that essentially means that if you have a daunting or difficult task (the eating of the metaphorical frog), then tackling this first and removing the dread of it hanging over you and effecting your other work throughout the day.

Adopting these tactics is a sure-fire way to help boost your productivity and the productivity of your employees throughout the day and will hopefully allow your business to operate far more efficiently.

What do you think?

Written by Avery

Business/Finance Blogger. I provide insight, business advice and consultancy to small and medium size businesses. Get in touch on Google + or follow 3_Business on Twitter

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