Most people desire to be more productive at work. It’s also true that many employees overestimate how productive they really are each day. One reason for this is that they don’t realize how much time they spend on tasks that don’t help them meet their work goals.
According to an article on the website Quotable, sales professionals may only spend 20 percent of their work day selling their product or service. However, people in all occupations struggle to maintain consistent productivity. Here are five tips that workers can start using right away to get more done over the course of the sales day:
Use a Calendar for Daily Tasks
Electronic calendars help to prioritize and keep track of ongoing tasks. Taking a few minutes at the start of the day to outline tasks by the half hour ensures that employees don’t forget to do something important.
Determine the Time of Day When Energy is at its Peak
Some people can get to the office and get their most challenging tasks out of the way first thing while others need more time to ease into the day. For them, energy could peak in the late morning, late afternoon, or even close to quitting time. The key is to recognize natural highs and lows in the energy cycle and take advantage of them as much as possible. This might even mean working a different shift if that is an option.
Employ the 2 x 2 Matrix
President Dwight Eisenhower was the first to name and use this strategy routinely. It requires workers to consider their tasks for the day and then create four boxes. With important but not urgent tasks, the employee has the luxury of deciding when he or she will complete it. Workers should complete tasks deemed urgent and important right away.
They can delay any task that’s neither urgent nor important for when it’s most convenient to complete it. It’s a good idea to delegate tasks considered urgent but not important to someone else when possible. Responding to a meeting request is a good example of this.
Take Control of the Email Inbox:
Taking a few minutes several times a day to check email can prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Each time an employee checks email, he or she should take an immediate action such as read, add it as a task on the calendar, save to read later, or respond if it’s possible to do so in just a few minutes. It’s also a good idea to periodically review email subscriptions and unsubscribe to anything that’s not helpful. Unwanted email only adds to the electronic clutter.
Push Back Against Constant Meetings:
Even a short meeting interrupts the flow of work and can leave an employee playing catch-up for the rest of the day. Every meeting that does occur should be a vital one. If there’s a way to distribute the information another way without taking up valuable work time, managers should default to that first.
These are just five tips to help improve productivity. Workers may enjoy using them so much that they naturally start incorporating other ways as well.