Regardless of title and function, we bet that everyone would like to be more productive. Productivity and effectiveness are increasingly important, especially at the pace that your list of responsibilities and to-dos grows, as it can quickly become overwhelming. These tips are for everyone looking for a more agile way of getting things done.
Before you implement these productivity hacks, you should remember that you’ve probably spent years developing your working habits — both good and bad — and change won’t happen overnight. Small adjustments can have a powerful impact in the long-run, but you have to be ready to be patient and cut yourself some slack: change occurs as a process, not as an event.
12 tips to be more agile
1. Create a reasonable To-Do list
To-do lists often fail because they are way too complex and include all sorts of tasks: big and small. Doing this will create a disparity in how you allocate your time and will easily turn your list into a procrastination catalogue.
2. Divide and conquer
Create a daily To-Do list from your seemingly endless list, and make sure all the tasks in this list are doable within your 8-hour work day. If you have a huge task that doesn’t fit in one work day, divide it into separate tasks that you fulfil within that time frame.
3. Take a look around you
Organisation, focus and work habits are all impacted by your workstation, so you must declutter and arrange your workspace to promote concentration and engagement. Remove unnecessary items and do a weekly sweep to remove old paperwork and distractions.
4. Change your relationship with your inbox
Spending too much time reading and replying to emails can drain your energy and your time, and constant email distractions can stop you from focusing on the task at hand. We suggest you pick a certain amount of fixed times to check your email and do it no more than three times a day. Be disciplined and stick to this plan no matter what. Your time management will improve instantly.
5. Start saying no
If you find yourself constantly pushing off tasks and feeling very stressed, you probably have too much on your plate already. So, before saying yes to anything new, evaluate what is really critical and urgent, and politely negotiate deadlines or new projects that come up. This is also valid for social breaks and random chats. Remember: you own your time, and not the other way around.
6. Don’t multitask
Thinking that you can do more than one thing at a time is a fallacy. Trying to complete multiple things at once makes you slower and more prone to make mistakes. We advise you to pick one task and do it. Everything else should be on hold, and that includes email, Slack, CRM, chat… Even your phone!
7. Take regular breaks
Your body and mind will perform better if you integrate regular intervals, including a breath of fresh air and a bit of walking or exercise in your daily routines. A quick walk after lunch will improve your alertness and will reinvigorate you for the afternoon better than any social media tour.
8. Do the most important stuff in the morning
Most productivity gurus encourage people to do this. As you start working, don’t let yourself be bogged down by meetings and lengthy emails: priorities and important tasks must come first.
9. Watch out for meetings
Evaluate your meeting attendance and push back when your presence is not absolutely necessary. Sometimes, an email will suffice. There are a set of meeting best practices you can implement to ensure an effective meeting culture. Our favourite is to always have an agenda, and to delegate a meeting owner who is responsible for not letting the meeting get off track.
10. Choose the right technology
Your tools should be productivity aids and not headaches. Functionality and performance are key. For example: if you are responsible for training, choose a training platform that is easy to use and can be quickly updated.
11. Clarify responsibilities
Everyone on your team should know what their job is and what that entails. Avoid duplication of task and design your work processes to incentivise transparency and accountability.
12. Foster a healthy work-life balance
There will always be more work to do. Always. When it's time to leave, you must get up and leave — go the gym, have a drink with friends, play with your kids, celebrate life... You can get back to work in the morning.
These are just a few of our favourite tips. We encourage you to analyse what your productivity challenges are and start by putting into practice the tips that you feel will make the most impact first.
To help you be more productive when creating video training courses, our Digital Learning Solutions team created a step by step guide of their own video training course production process.
Download it here:
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12 Tips to choose the right training platform (article)
Free tools for low cost professional looking video production (article)
What is instructional design and why you should care about it (article)
8 Common Misconceptions about Video Training (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you make your training more agile?