Productivity during the workday is a constant concern for managers and employees alike. The workday is ideally eight hours. In this industry, you are more likely to find yourself clocking out around the ten-hour mark, which constitutes, about 42% of your twenty-four hour day. If you spend eight hours a night sleeping, as we all should aim to do, then your ten-hour workday represents approximately 63% of your waking existence. During that 63%, how productive are you?
Lawyers work long hours on a regular basis, but does it really pay off? The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, as has been applied to management, posits that 80 percent of the work is actually completed in 20 percent of the time. In our hypothetical example of the typical workday, of the ten hours spent in the office, two hours produce substantive and quality work.
Pareto’s principle can encourage and teach us to direct our attention to the production of key results by focusing on effective and efficient work time. By honing and practicing the following tips, you can increase your own productivity at the work place.
1. Find the time
Often we complain that we do not have the time to complete all the necessary tasks. Time, like energy, is neither created nor destroyed; however, it can be lost and found. Investigate where and how you are losing or wasting time. Optimize the extra pockets of time in the once absent and unused moments. Similarly, find time in the morning. Get up bright and early; more importantly, start being productive as soon as you get out of bed. This may take some getting used to, but ultimately, the results will motivate you to continue setting your alarm clock a wee bit earlier.
2. Use your time wisely
Learn when to say yes and when to say no. Recognize the value of your time, and say yes to things that are well worth your efforts. Say no to things that can be delegated to another, and which do not truly benefit you or use your talents in any meaningful way. Focus your time and energy on tasks that will add to your overall accomplishments and success. Time spent on menial and unrelated tasks will only take away time that you could be spending on something that has much more value to your current position.
3. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy
In using your time wisely, it is important to remember that productivity does not mean working at full capacity all the time. This is a surefire way to burn yourself out by Wednesday afternoon. It is vital to balance and apportion your time and efforts accordingly to a variety of tasks. One of these daily tasks must be relaxation. Schedule breaks into your day. Whether this may be a walk during your lunch hour, a quick coffee with a co-worker, or catching the latest (and most hilarious) online video viral sensation; take some time for yourself each day to avoid work time fatigue. Taking breaks allows for a small mental recess for the brain and the re-energization of the mind, to ensure you can continue to be productive for the rest of your workday.