We are a task-related company, not a time based one. This allows us to work hard and play whenever (if done correctly). Meeting your KPI is incredibly important. Most of the team not only meet their KPI’s but do a whole lot more. Doing this means that we have to stay productive.
Everyone works differently, but below are some of our tried-and-tested methods to stay productive and produce amazing work.
You won’t have someone checking up on how much work you’re doing; this is up to you. While your mentor will probably check up on you along the way, it will be up to you to remain productive, manage your tasks and hit your KPI.
So what can you work on to make yourself work better?
Manage Your Time
Everyone has their own time of the day when they’re the most productive. For some people, it’s early in the mornings, others get a boost after lunch, and some work best after the sun goes down.
It’s a good idea to determine when you’re at your most productive and figure out why. Click here for tips on how to find out your most productive time.
Create a Productive Space
Since not everyone will work in the office, it’s a good idea to find a productive space.
Try and restrict outside distractions as much as possible. Let people around you know that your workspace needs to be quiet. And if you’re working in a cafe or around others, it might be worth investing in some noise-cancelling earphones.
When it starts getting cold, make sure to get a blanket and a heater near your desk. There’s nothing worse than typing with cold fingers.
In summer, try and find a place that’s not too hot. A little desk fan can help keep you cool and focused during these hot and humid days.
If you like to snack while you work, put your snacks close by. Make sure you always have plenty of water (or coffee!) – and don’t be afraid to take breaks. A good lunch break can help clear your mind and help you to remain productive for longer.
You need to tailor your workspace to best suit you. So get to know how you work and try out a couple of places around the house. Put in some effort to make your workspace more convenient and comfortable.
Optimise Your Software and Hardware
If your computer is slow, you’re going to be hindered. No matter how productive you are, anyone faced with ‘the spinning wheel of death’ won’t reach their full potential. You should make sure your CPU is fast, and your computer has a decent-sized RAM (4GB or over). These can be upgraded pretty easily as well.
Adding a mouse to your laptop can increase productivity by around 10%. There are plenty of affordable options that will make your workflow a lot smoother.
Another way to increase your productivity is by adding a second screen. Not only will this allow you to see your laptop screen more clearly, but it makes a huge difference when working online.
Have the Right Mindset
Sometimes just thinking about all the things you need to get done can be overwhelming. Or when you work hard the whole day and you still don’t manage to finish everything you wanted to. A great way to avoid this is by breaking your tasks up.
This can be done in a number of ways such as;
- Creating timely goals
- Setting deadlines
- Dividing your work into categories
Managing Your Tasks
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, the best thing to do is break it into chunks.
Create Timely Goals
Set yourself hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Keep track of what you’re getting done each day and what you need to put more time into.
Prioritise your tasks according to when they’re due. Even if they’re just self-created deadlines, try and stick to them. This way you won’t miss anything.
Divide Work Into Categories
Divide your tasks into categories. This can be according to type (writing/design), the websites you’re writing for or the time required for the task. Try and focus on one category at a time. And when you’re done with one, move on to the next.
Ways to Keep Track of Tasks
- Asana/ To-Do List
- Google Calendar/ Diary
- Slack / Reminders
Celebrate Your Victories
When you complete a few of your goals, don’t be afraid to celebrate. You work hard and you deserve a reward, whether this is a bit of exercise, a bite of chocolate, a glass of wine, or some quality time with your pets or an adventure.
Tools & Extensions To Help You Be More Productive
If you need some extra help being productive, here are a few of our favourite tools and extensions for staying focussed.
Asana is a great way to keep track of everything you need to get done (we try keep EVERYTHING in Asana). You can add in due dates, projects and there’s even a setting that allows for extra celebrations when you finish a task.
Whether you keep track of your work on paper or on Asana, there’s nothing like the thrill of ticking off a task – Or finishing your entire to-do list.
Slack is a great way to communicate with everyone in the company, but it also has some nifty features that can help you remain productive. You can use Slackbot to send reminders at a specific time.
You can connect your Slack with Google Calendar as well, this way it’ll remind you about any meetings you might have and show other team members when you’re in a meeting.
When you’re getting in the groove, Slack messages can be a bit distracting. The app allows you to snooze your notifications for 30-minutes or an hour, when you’re trying to meet a deadline or in a meeting.
We’ve all gotten lost in our Facebook newsfeed when we’re meant to be getting work done. This handy extension will replace your seemingly endless newsfeed with an inspirational quote, helping you stay focussed.
“You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, blown through 200 pages of Reddit, read every article in your Twitter feed, looked up your favourite band on Wikipedia, vanity googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, browsed through all your high-school crushes’ Instagram feeds, and lost a week’s pay playing online poker.”
We’ve all been there. StayFocusd helps you stay away from time-wasting websites. By restricting the amount of time spent on sites that suck hours out of your day. This extension allows you to focus on what you need to get done.
And, once you’ve used up your allotted time for the day, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the remainder of the day.
Rescue time is a great way to keep track of exactly what you spend your time doing when you’re on your computer. It’ll allow you to block the things that distract you and give you reports and tools to help you become more productive.
Time Doctor is another desktop app and Chrome extension that allows you to track the time you spend in your browser. It’s designed to increase productivity and help you manage your time effectively.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method that makes use of a timer to break the workday into intervals. These are usually 25-minutes in length and are separated by short 5-minute breaks (after around 4 Pomodoro’s you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes).
You only have around 25-minutes for each task, so you need to be productive within that time to get it done. You can download apps to keep track of your Pomodoro’s, use a kitchen timer or use your phone timer.
Over To You
We’d love to know more about your own productivity challenges and tricks. How do you plan your time, when is your most productive part of the day? Do you use tools, etc.? Tell us a bit about your productivity habits in the #Random channel.
Then click on ‘Complete’ and go to the next lesson.