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How do you increase productivity at work?

#accounting #finance

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Justin’s Answer

I have found that the first step to increasing your productivity all begins with organization and planning. Once you have a mental map of your day and the objectives you need to achieve, it makes it possible to increase your (and members of your team) productivity. Some key points that can help you and the team you will manage:

-Keep a running list of the day's goals, mark them off as they are completed
-Know your work calendar and understand what meetings you have the next day(s)
-Plan ahead and block your calendar for personal work time around those future events
-Leave some space in your day/week for the unplanned meeting or training
-(This one is VERY Important) Excessive meetings, calls, and discussion will limit daily/weekly productivity - Do not be afraid to decline or reschedule non-essential meetings/calls. You won't be able to reschedule them all, but the key is to focus on your deliverable and ensure that your schedule accommodates what you need to achieve a high quality work product.

Once you have your work day planned out, it is about breaking large tasks into smaller tasks until completion. There is no one solution to the productivity question as there are an infinite number of factors that can hinder or support your efforts. The best possible solution is the one that works for you, and is repeatable. Over your career you will find that you've used several methods depending on the job, task, and work environment.


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Iona’s Answer

Hi Quiana,

Being productive at work especially during the pandemic was initially very challenging for me and this is how I went about my day.
I spend 30-40 minutes planning my next day’s work before I sleep so that I don’t get overwhelmed with the next day's tasks.
During the early days of my career, I was introduced to a Matrix to categorize my day’s work which has been super helpful to me and I use it till date. It’s called the Urgent v/s Important matrix.
You draw a square on a sheet of paper and divide it into 4 pieces. The X-axis needs to have 2 fields called Urgent and Not urgent. The Y-axis has fields called Important and Not Important. Based on your tasks, you can just sort it accordingly and see which piece it fits.
The tasks that fall under the Important and Urgent quadrant, I do them immediately by setting the deadline. Then I move on to the not important and urgent quadrant and see if this is something that can be delegated or I’ll have to revisit this later. Then I move on to the next quadrant which is important but not urgent and get it resolved. I find it very rare that my tasks fall under the Not Important and Not Urgent quadrant(perhaps I’ll need to work on this!)
I follow the same matrix for my daily chores too. Other things that I personally found helpful were taking breaks frequently while working, staying hydrated, alternating 1-hour every day to exercising/hobbies, updating my skills relevant to my job by taking up courses, staying up to date on business updates.
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Will’s Answer

Hi Quiana,

Here's my approach:

Steps:
1. Learn your business/work and digital/technology skills
2. Breakdown business processes into sub-processes
3. Evaluate the efforts of digitization and possible business value-added on each sub-process
4. Apply digital skills to automate the low-hanging fruit (low efforts and high business value-added sub-process) or at least partially
5. Repeat 1 - 4 with an infinite learning mindset

Outside the loop, you might also want to explore mature platform-level solutions to streamline your business processes. The gained experience from steps above will position you well in a business liaison role for high-profile digital transformation which is storming almost all industries.

Good luck!
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Ross’s Answer

Do Your Heavy Lifting When You're at Your Best
Stop Multitasking
Prepare a To-Do List Each Night
Cut Down Your To-Do List
Delegate Properly
Eliminate Distractions
Plan Phone Calls
Break up Work Periods With Exercise
Be Optimistic
Get Enough Sleep
Take Care of Yourself

More info at https://www.thebalancesmb.com/top-ways-to-increase-productivity-2948669
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Gavin’s Answer

The key to productivity is prioritizing your workload. Planning your tasks based on their priority each day or each week will lead to increased productivity. Some helpful examples are:

- If you are having issues with managing your time and productivity a suggestion would be to classify your emails or tasks based on their priority so you can mange them in a more productive way. For example you could classify the tasks as "A", "B" or "C" tasks and give each a higher level of priority.

- Try not to get bogged down on one priority task if you are facing challenges. It is important to take a step back at times and just refresh. Maybe even go a tackle some of the smaller tasks while you think about what is needed for the more important tasks.

- It is also a good idea to ring fence your time. If you have deadlines coming up make sure to block book time in your calendar so you can focus and it will act as a reminder. Be selfish with your time and focus on priorities.

All in all, planning is key and it is a must when looking to increase productivity
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Sarah’s Answer

This is a great question especially if you are in a finance career path.

I have found that creating a to do list helps me with my production. I write down everything i need to get done for either the day or the week and then number them in the order of importance that I need to get them done in.

Also listening to music helps me keep my mind centered so that i can stay on task.

Just find things that help you concentrate and keep you on track
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Briana’s Answer

I have found tackling the biggest items on your list during your most productive time of day is the best. For most people that's in the morning, but maybe for you, you feel most re-charged after a lunch break.

I also highly recommend setting distinct times to do a task or work on a task and implementing 5-10 min breaks in between.

Make a list. If you write it down it will happen.
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Jeff’s Answer

Many of these answers are filled with insightful color. Having process in place is key, but also ensuring that the culture the team works in is strong is enormous. People work more efficiently when they enjoy what they are doing and like the atmosphere, the team, the firm, their purpose, etc. When I think about driving more productivity I think about identifying ways to improve culture, make sure the team feels their comments/feedback are heard and acted on (not all the time but some times). Cheers.
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Katherine’s Answer

Organization is key. I keep a running to-do list and review it first thing every morning. I use my calendar to block off time for certain tasks. I also put reminders in my calendar to follow up with colleagues, schedule meetings, or reach out to clients. I've found it most helpful to put reminders and tasks in my calendar so I can manage time around previously scheduled meetings. By using one device (calendar), things are less likely to fall through the cracks!
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A’s Answer

For me, I like listening to music to help increase productivity. Most of the music is "lofi" which doesn't have any words, so I'm only listening to instrumentals. I also like listening to piano jazz because I am not focused on the lyrics, and it helps me focus on my work. I can work for hours by just putting on my headphones which helps me focus.
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Keith’s Answer

Like many of the previous answers - productivity at work our anywhere else is based on some key factors. The first is focus - whatever task you are doing make that the only task. It allows you to get into the grove and work more productive. Second in bunching - group similar tasks together to gain efficiencies of scale - keep the groove on. Third is prioritize - which are the tasks or items that are most important and when are they do. Now Prioritization has to be number 1, but I listed as third is the first two are essential to think about when prioritizing.
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Megan’s Answer

Quiana - The most successful way for me to be productive at work is to plan. This takes time! Set time aside (30 min - 1 hour) each day if possible for the following:
- Your schedule
- Create a list of Action Items / To Dos
- Plan and prep for upcoming meetings
- Accomplish work tasks
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Amira’s Answer

I believe organization is key for being productive, including having a clean workspace. Also, what helps me is either night before or first thing in the morning I create a daily to-do list and mark tasks off as I complete them. To create my to-do lists I review my calendar and deadlines to prioritize what tasks need to be complete.
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Eric’s Answer

Time management skills are extremely important when trying to increase your productivity. This can be helpful with completing tasks on time. Having strong organizational skills also contribute to productivity. I would highly suggest creating a "to-do list" each day and cross off the tasks as you complete them. Good luck!
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Kavyashree’s Answer

Hi Quiana,

This is an interesting question and everyone has their own way of being productive at work. You cannot implement others rule to your own work life unless you have figured out what works best for you. From my personal experience, below is what I have listed. I hope this helps for you.

First and foremost essence of productivity I realized is to encourage self care. No matter what job role you are in, if you're physically and mentally good, half of your productivity is in place. You'll be active and energetic through out your day.

Next is how you manage stress at work. When one is stressed, your productivity is hampered. There will be a point where work load is exhausting, or may be that one day or the week is hectic. Please remember that you're not alone. These challenges are faced by many. As you climb up the ladder, the workload increases. It's all about how you categories your work.

Never adapt to being stressed in order to reach your goal. I sacrificed my health in order to meet my daily targets. I did well in terms of productivity but I lost my health. Later on I was not able to perform well due to health reasons, this developed stress and work kept piling. One fine day, I sat down and figured out how I could overcome and did a reverse mapping on my daily work. I realized, health and stress management was a main factor. Then I started focusing on these two and eventually I got back on track.

While workload and a hectic day is temporary, if you cannot manage stress, it would not only hamper your productivity but also your health. As a saying goes "If health is lost, everything is lost".

Apart from this, to increase your productivity at work, again there are many ways; few that I follow are listed below. Please note these are my general tips I follow and I would not be able to specify what best practices would work for you in productivity as that depends on the type of work you're into. I'm sure everyone's productivity lies on your company standards and what I follow for work may not work for you.
So below are the ones that anyone can follow no matter what is your job role.

1. I ensure my work place is neat everyday. So when I see my workspace, I feel good to start my day. You will feel positive through out the day at your desk. Hence it is necessary to have a positive work environment.
2. I take regular short breaks to calm or freshen up myself. Constant eye on screen and posture adds up stress on my body. Also it will deviate you from concentrating at work. I try to take walk breaks as well within my home (WORK-FROM-HOME) and try to rethink about my whole work structure during walks.
3. Be proactive about what you need to get your work done. I talk to my manager or the person I report to. I ensure to discuss about my work/productivity and be transparent with them. This way my manager will share some tips or best practices that helps at my work.
4. I'm a social butterfly. I engage my self in many social activities which promotes confidence and knowledge and many more the way your take it up.
5. Adding up to all, time management is a must. It is not rocket science. You need to prioritize which work or task is important and take one step at a time. If there are clashes at prioritizing the work, don't panic, just keep the person in charge to that task informed about the delays. It's simple.

Remember, life is easy. It's just the rules that makes it complicated. All you need to know is take one step at a time and you are there at your set goal.
I hope these tips find useful to you and all the best for your future.
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Lindsey’s Answer

I think this can vary from person to person so I would encourage you to try out the advice others have given and keep what works for you. For me personally, I make a list each week of what I need to accomplish and prioritize. As new things come up, I add them to the list. It helps keep me on task and focusing on the things that are important.
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Katie’s Answer

Hi Quiana - I find that it's helpful to block an hour of time each day (either in the morning, around lunch hour, or at the end of the day) to catch up on emails and other administrative tasks. It's important to have some time without meetings or other interruptions so that you can stay on track with work priorities.
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