Paul Wherly

How to be more productive in the office

It’s a well-known fact that office workers have a tendency to procrastinate in the working environment. With so many distractions, it’s easy to allow your mind to wander in the workplace, ensuring even the most basic of administrative tasks take far longer than necessary. Whether you work alone at home, in a private office space, or in a large, open plan working area, there will always be something there to take your mind off the job.

The IT Training Surgery

Let’s take a look at some of the top tips for increasing productivity in the office, to help you work more quickly and efficiently.

Sometimes it can be hard to maintain concentration during a long day at work. From time to time, we all allow our minds to wander, particularly if we are doing a mundane task. However, if you want to improve your efficiency in the workplace, you need to combat procrastination and make sure that your mind is completely focused on the job. The internet is one of the biggest causes of inefficiency in the modern office – if you work from home then it’s easy to be distracted by social networking sites, or by checking your personal email.

Internet Sites

Those working for larger companies may find that internet shopping sites and social networking sites are banned; however, even basic email or news sites can be a distraction from your work, so if you don’t need to use the internet, why not disable your broadband during working hours to increase productivity?

Background Noise

Background noise and chatter can also be distracting. If you work in an open plan office, gossiping colleagues can be distracting, so avail yourself of a pair of earplugs or tune into some work-friendly classical music to help avoid being caught up in office chatter when you have a lot to do. It’s best to avoid having the radio on or listening to music with catchy lyrics as these are likely to distract you from typing, spread sheet work or other office activities.

Set Deadlines

Having strict deadlines tends to make us work quickly and in a more concentrated manner; so, to combat daydreaming and help keep your mind on the job, imagine that your deadline is much sooner than it really is. If your job needs to be finished by the end of the day, tell yourself you have an hour or two hours to get it done: even if you don’t make your own, self-imposed deadline, you will work in a more efficient manner and you should be able to finish the task ahead of the real cut-off point. If you are working on a larger, long term project, break the task down into smaller sections and set yourself a deadline to complete each part; this will help to make the task feel more manageable. If you’re still struggling to get the job done after you’ve broken the task down, try offering yourself small rewards such as five minutes of fresh air or a cup of tea when you’ve completed another section – these might not be huge incentives, but they should allow you to make the most of these small achievements.

By avoiding common sources of distraction, and making a concerted effort to focus in short bursts, you should be able to improve your productivity in the office, making for a more efficient working environment.

What are your favourite tips for being productive in the office?

Shelley Fishel

2 thoughts on “How to be more productive in the office

    Hi Shelley
    I love a deadline! A book I once read suggested that you tell yourself how long a task takes and you complete it in that time. If you say 60 minutes, it takes 60 minutes. If you tell yourself 60 minutes for a task that’s 30 minutes then you will take 60 minutes, so measuring how long recurring tasks take and then sticking to the deadline means you’ll be more productive!

    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for that!

    I chunk my day. Meaning I set times for each item on my list. Today for example I am customising Timetables for some Excel training and have set this for 2 hours. Then I will do some book keeping for another hour. Just a different way of setting a deadline!

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