Simple ways to become more productive at work

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Although it sounds cliché, flattened organisational structures mean today’s professionals are expected to accomplish a lot more with less resources. There are times when one person may be working across three different roles, so how can one keep up with the pace of work without having to put in extra hours each week? ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar, notes that there are some simple ways to become more productive at work.

In a highly competitive job market, employees are expected to be productive in their roles – which often encompass more than one aspect. For example, someone managing posting schedules to social media pages may also be expected to carry out reporting on this, carry out community management and develop content for the pages. The good news is there are changes one can make to ensure they are more productive, today,” explains van den Barselaar.

Late afternoon, prepare your to-do list for the next day. “Be specific,” suggests van den Barselaar, “only include the tasks and activities that you must accomplish for the day, and list them in order of priority.” During the workday, focus only on what you have to do for the day, and focus only on one activity at a time. Take the time to measure your accomplishments rather than the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks. At the end of the day, review your list against the list of completed tasks, as this will give you insights into how much you can accomplish in a day.

A great way to find time to do the things that matter to you is to keep a time log for a month. Record how you spend your time each hour, every day. At the end of each week, review the entries in your log. You may discover that how you think you spend your time is very different from the reality. Your discovery will allow you to see where you could be using time more effectively, by enabling you to identify factors like repetitive tasks. “This way you can come up with solutions to ensure you are using your time most productively,” says van den Barselaar. For example, creating a template for any of the tasks that you complete repetitively each day or week.

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