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11 ways to improve your professional and personal productivity



By Alan Paul



Being productive doesn’t mean working more hours, in fact it means the opposite, working less hours. Being more productive requires a combination of mindset and having the right tools to help you get the job done.

COVID has really changed how we work and how we measure our productivity.

Productive people take the time to challenge their own status-quo and do so consistently, they adapt and learn quickly how making simple changes to their daily routine can improve their professional and personal productivity, and they are NOT workaholics!

The secret sauce, making the decision to change something, then actually doing it!

So here are few tips that I can share that have helped me continue to be productive while working from home and I’ve carried through into my return to the office.

Turn off email alerts. Your email is the single biggest distraction in your day and is a major productivity killer. Emails come in and the alert rings dragging you away from the task you were working on. It’s human nature, the alert rings and we immediately want to help and respond. You’ll be amazed at how much time you get back and the productivity gains that will be achieved by simply turning off email alerts and addressing emails at two or three set intervals during the day.

Stop email cc’s. People love to demonstrate how busy they are by including you in emails, tell them to STOP IT! Explain that you should only be included in emails if you are part of the decision-making process, if not, then don’t cc me in.

Nomophobia– no-mobile phobia, the fear of being without or losing your mobile phone, yes it really exists and it’s getting worse. Now I get that your mobile phone is an important work tool, but it can be distracting to your daily routine. Try taking it out of your pocket or off your desk and putting it away for periods of the day, once you get over the anxiety, and you will, you’ll actually get a lot more done.

Eat. We’re busy and at times we can push on through meal breaks because we just have so much to get done, but this can be very counterproductive. One of my team members taught me the value of stopping for lunch, moving away from my desk and sitting in the lunch room. By taking a full break away from the task at hand, eating and socialising with the team I went back refreshed, energised and all caught up on the latest news.

Exercise. COVID certainly delivered some benefits and one of those taking time for a walk in the middle of the day. Now my dog Bobby certainly loved this routine, I’d stop, eat, then take him for his daily walk, he’d listen to my ranting and ideas, but for both of us it was great time to get some fresh air, sunshine which got us both prepared for the afternoon. I’m now incorporating at least short walk into my daily routine now I’m back at the office as often as I can, and it works!

Drink water. Coffee is not water. Just a 1% level of dehydration reduces your productivity by up to 12%. Remaining hydrated with water reduces fatigue, improves your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. In addition, remaining hydrated throughout the day ensures your immune system doesn’t need to work extra hard to remove toxins from your body.

Try a little music. A recent study found that those who played music at work completed tasks more quickly and developed better ideas than those who didn’t. So who said a little Def Leppard doesn’t work wonders!

Use cloud software to work collaboratively. Cloud-based applications are everywhere, but try implementing one of the many applications available that allow your team to collaborate and complete tasks quickly, here’s my plug for sourceit, for those involved in procurement and managing projects, you’ll be amazed at how it saves you time and allows you to work with your suppliers from anywhere!

Have better meetings, or none at all!. If you’re going to have a meeting then please ensure there is a clear objective/outcome and all attendees know what that is. Now that most of us are back in the office, meetings can sometimes become just another social gathering, don’t fall into that trap. I love my job but I don’t want work more than I need to, so if you must have a meeting, keep it tight and ensure the objective of the meeting is met.

Work across platforms and devices. Working across platforms, devices and locations means you can pick up tasks no matter where you are on no matter what device. I’m an unashamed Apple devotee so I can easily pick up tasks straight from where I left off on any device which gives me flexibility. I do ensure that any application we use in our business can operate across all platforms and devices, it pays to check.

Have fun! Not overly complex, but make work a fun place to be. Remember we spend a lot of time with our work colleagues so we need to relax and enjoy each others company.

About Sourceit

Sourceit is a fast-growing provider of affordable procurement applications delivered via cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Sourceit empowers buyers by simplifying the sourcing and procurement process providing simple yet powerful solutions to help companies save time and reduce costs.

Sourceit offers three different software applications:

  • Sourceit Market – category specific, sourceit market is a source-to-pay application that specializes in the sourcing and job management functions for marketing services.
  • Sourceit Catalog – a procure-to-pay application, sourceit catalog allows clients and their users to order inventory and on-demand products and services from a single on-line catalog working with any number of vendors.

You can find out more at sourceithq.com