Hopefully, 2019 was a year of success for you. Here at Fisher’s Technology, this past year has been one of phenomenal growth and business expansion, and we’re especially excited for what 2020 holds.
When we sit down and talk with our customers, one of the most common things we hear from them is that they want to focus more on increasing productivity. This can come in the way of more deadlines met on-time or higher sales, but it can also come in the form of higher individual productivity. When project contributors or team members are better at performing their specific roles, everyone wins—a rising tide lifts all ships, as they say.
To help get you and your team off to a great start in 2020, here are a few productivity tips to think about incorporating in the new year.
Task Time Budgeting
One of the easiest ways to lose track of your work is to allow certain tasks to monopolize your time. This is incredibly common and perfectly understandable; often, we get mired in a task that requires our full concentration, and before we know it, hours have passed and we find ourselves behind in other areas.
This is where the power of task time budgeting can provide so much value for productivity.
When you look at your calendar or to-do list for the day, take a brief moment to assign a time estimate for the tasks you have at-hand. For example, if you know you need to create a report before noon, think about the investment of time that report is going to take, and then stick to that time budget.
If you end up going over your time budget for a certain task, that’s fine! Just be mindful of where your time is going, and try to keep your task time estimates realistic going forward.
By doing this, we think you’ll find that your day will suddenly open up with opportunities to do more in less time.
Schedule Breaks and Actually Take Them
Research has shown that taking regular breaks during times of intense focus can significantly increase overall productivity. For most people, a 10-15 minute break every 75-to-90 minutes is all it takes to get the most out of the time spent focused on a task.
Breaks can include a short walk outside, a trip to the water cooler, or even a short meditation. Giving your brain a chance to catch its breath will do wonders in improving your mental stamina throughout the day.
Try to schedule breaks in with your workload, and consider having alerts sent to your phone or desktop so you don’t forget to take a breather.
Apply the “Two-Minute Rule” When Tackling Tasks
Ever heard of Steve Olenski? He’s a highly successful entrepreneur and a pretty big name in personal productivity circles. One of his frequent suggestions for improving efficiency at work is to identify tasks that will take fewer than two minutes to complete, and to prioritize those tasks above anything else.
This is known as the “Two-Minute Rule”, and it’s incredibly powerful!
The key is to not allow numerous, small tasks to disrupt the flow of more time-intensive ones. So, whenever you get the chance to knock out a short task, do it first before starting on something else. Your to-do list will thank you!
Consider Declining Meeting Requests, or Offering Alternatives
Many of us think that attending a meeting is, by default, inherently valuable for overall business. The unfortunate reality is that office meetings can wind up being long, protracted wastes of time. When you factor in the amount of time spent by everyone in the meeting and weigh that against what the meeting actually accomplishes, more often than not, there is a much more efficient way to get things done.
Before accepting your next meeting, stop and think if your physical attendance is absolutely necessary. Also consider joining the meeting virtually, or requesting a summary of the meeting from someone on your team who’ll be there anyway.
Even though there is something to be said for sitting around a table with your coworkers and brainstorming to solve a problem, this doesn’t always have to happen in the form of a scheduled event that everyone has to block out an hour or more to attend.
Audit your Office Equipment and IT Strategy
One of the hands-down most effective ways to enhance productivity is to take a long, hard look at how your company accesses data and takes advantage of office productivity equipment.
Thankfully, Fisher’s Technology is here to help with this effort. If you think an IT audit could help you overachieve in 2020, let us know. We’d love to assist you.
Lastly—Happy New Year from all of us at Fisher’s Technology!