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Today's Question: How do you keep yourself – and your team – operating at maximum productivity?
1. Insist on Work/Life Balance
In order to maintain optimum workplace productivity, I ensure that I maintain my work/life balance. This includes stepping away from my desk and taking a walk to clear my mind at lunch and setting some time aside in the evening to allow myself to disconnect from my devices and upcoming work tasks. By giving my mind some time to rest, I am ensuring that my productivity is at its maximum during my working hours.
— George Bradley, Circa Interactive
2. Move a Little
Low-level physical activities, or non-exercise movements, have a more positive impact on productivity than most people realize. Ten minutes of movement is all it takes to increase mental focus.
One of the fastest ways to incorporate more movement into the workplace without drastically disrupting the physical environment is to provide employees the opportunity to simply stand up. Alternating periodically between sitting and standing will boost energy during the day. In addition, increasing low-level activity increases oxygen intake, which can help boost brain function and productivity.
— Betsey Banker, Ergotron
3. Reward Hard Work
One of the most effective ways I keep my team productive is by giving them incentives. Offering incentives like more vacation days, taking off early to pick up the kids, and bonuses really makes my employees feel appreciated. It encourages them to increase their productivity. A positive work environment creates happy employees who feel engaged and accountable for their actions. My team is more willing to contribute when they are personally invested in the success of my company.
— Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco
4. Be the Early Bird
Waking up to start my day while others are still sleeping gives me a huge motivation boost. Taking advantage of being productive and knowing people are lying in bed makes you feel like you're already one step ahead of everyone else – and you are! It allows time for meditation and exercise with little distraction. Rising early sets a positive tone, and I feel more energized throughout the day.
— Thomas Fallarino, Empire Executive Offices
5. Write a 'Don't Do' List
I use a 'don't do' list. I write down the things that sabotage my productivity to remind myself not to do them. For me, this includes phone calls longer than 15 minutes, checking email multiple time a day, social media, and checking project statuses more than necessary.
— Brad M. Shaw, Dallas Web Design Inc.
6. Stop Micromanaging
At one of our monthly management meetings, a senior manager pointed out that there was a lot of micromanaging happening within teams. Once we replaced that micromanaging with simply setting clear and attainable goals and providing feedback based on the results of these tasks, we noticed a huge boost in productivity.
Micromanaging not only wastes the time of managers and leaders, but it also affects team morale and productivity, as employees will expect to be spoon-fed every step of the way.
— David Kosmayer, Bookmark
7. Keep Meetings Short
One of my biggest productivity secrets is that I keep meetings short. I schedule all of our team meetings for 30 minutes. The sooner we can wrap up our agenda, the better. If we can get everything covered in 15 minutes, that's great.
There is something to be said about discussing work matters in a drawn-out meeting to promote creativity and new perspectives, but in my opinion, so much more can be accomplished if you get down to business. Just be sure to let employees know you have an open door (and inbox) policy for any additional questions.
— Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation
8. Stop Multitasking
Though it may be a little controversial, we've found that discouraging multitasking is actually more beneficial to our team's productivity. Rather than trying to increase efficiency through multitasking, we encourage more focus on one single task, ensuring it is completed to a higher standard. This also relieves the stresses associated with juggling multiple tasks. Rather than doing as much as possible as quickly as possible, our team concentrates on doing one thing at a time, and doing it extremely well.
— Amy Kilvington, Blinds Direct
9. Set Aside Some Time for Real Work
In many workplaces, we use shared calendar systems. These often allow other people to hijack your time. To prevent this from happening and to improve workplace productivity, create recurring meetings for yourself. Reserve time for your own projects and daily tasks, such as email. If you block out time on your calendar, you will limit the amount of time you spend in unproductive meetings.
— Angela Copeland, Copeland Coaching