With employees spending well over 40 hours at work a week, it is more important than ever to increase efficiency and improve time management. So what can you do to increase productivity in the workplace?
Try incorporating a few of these tips from the employees at Red Branch Media:
1. LIST YOUR TO-DOS FOR THE DAY
Start your morning out by listing out the tasks and projects that you plan on working on that day. At Red Branch Media, employees list out their “6 things” every morning and share them with the team. The “6 things” should include one big task, two medium tasks, and three small tasks. This helps everyone stay informed of what the members of their team are working on that day, updates others on when to expect items you might be waiting on, and most importantly, it helps you stay on task, and in turn, creates fewer distractions.
Creating a list of daily objectives and tasks will help you plan out your days more effectively, make sure you’re maintaining focus on the most important tasks each day, and increase the overall efficiency of your team.
2. USE TECHNOLOGY TO STAY ORGANIZED
There are many different apps and additional technology software available to assist an employee’s organization and time efficiency. Here are some tools Red Branch employees use to help make their lives a little bit easier:
- Bitrix24 is a collaboration platform that handles the many aspects of daily operations and tasks. Our team uses it for internal communication, creating and managing tasks, and organizing key information on all of our clients.
- Evernote is a digital notepad. It syncs with the Cloud so that you can access your notes from your computer or mobile device. It allows you to share notes with anyone on your team.
- LastPass is a password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. It generates passwords and stores them, so you don’t have to! LastPass allows you to share passwords with two-factor authentication for extra security.
- Mixmax is the essential productivity suite for Gmail and Google Inbox. Reach out more effectively to clients and employees with many essential features such as:
- Track opens, clicks and downloads
- Schedule meetings and plan events
- Write faster with templates
- Personalize bulk emails with mail merge
- Snooze and set reminders
- Send later
- Embed polls and surveys
- Automated web previews of websites and links
Get up and get moving! Exercise is just as crucial for your brain and mental well-being as it is for your body and physical appearance. Red Branch employees are encouraged to take a 20-minute “brain break” every day. This may be in the form of taking a walk outside (if the weather permits), walking our hallway, or playing a game of ping pong or pool in the office. Taking a break to reset and getting some physical activity poses many benefits for your health:
- It can improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- It helps maintain muscle mass, weight loss, and prevents osteoporosis.
- It improves blood flow to the brain and helps brain health and memory.
- It can improve the quality of your sleep and help you feel more energized throughout the day.
4. FUEL YOUR BRAIN
The food we feed our bodies has a significant impact on the productivity and efficiency of our work. We eat 600 more calories a day than we did in 1970. This is very concerning. While calories aren’t always the problem, the source of the calories is what matters most. With that being said, we can’t fuel our body with just any kind of food.
Let’s compare a handful of M&M’s and a banana. Some might think that the chocolate and sugar in the M&M’s will give you that boost of energy you need to wake up, when in fact, they’re just empty calories that are causing a decrease in your productivity and a crash in your energy levels. Your mid-day snack decision of picking something healthy instead of a going for a scoop of candy will benefit your body and brain, and improve your productivity.
Red Branch’s “break room” is always fully stocked with LaCroix, water, granola bars, and peanuts. It’s always essential to keep your tank full to get you through the workday.
5. WORK REMOTELY
After your two month “Branchiversary,” Red Branch gives its employees the option to work remotely one day a week. Most employees work from their home when working remotely which provides them with the options and abilities to stay in their pajamas, sit comfortably on the couch or wherever they want, and easily make coffee or lunch. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that employees who worked remotely were not only happier and less likely to quit, but also more productive. Working in a quiet environment results in fewer distractions and increases productivity by getting more done in less time.
For the first two months of employment at Red Branch, we are also given the opportunity to get a change of scenery in the office. There is a large conference table with 20 plus chairs to choose from, two couches to lounge on, as well as a bike desk for those looking to get their exercise in.
6. WEAR HEADPHONES
It’s pretty typical to have distractions or interruptions throughout the day when working in a highly collaborative environment. These distractions or interruptions can cause a decrease in productivity and result in a less efficient workplace.
If you walk into the office at Red Branch, you will see that most, if not all employees are wearing headphones. Wearing headphones is one trick that employees at Red Branch have implemented to help decrease the number of distractions. Listening to music can also help motivate employees to get their work done. Additionally, headphones are the key to your own personal workspace.
I challenge you to give this a try. Put on your headphones, turn up your music (but not loud enough to disrupt your neighbors!) and hammer away at your work.
7. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD
Red Branch has the mentality: work hard, play hard, which means using the given hours during the week to be the most productive, complete tasks, and achieve goals in order to be rewarded. Every Friday, when the clock strikes 2 PM, “Power Hour” starts. Power hour is the last hour of the day to buckle down and get all of your work done before the weekend hits, and before Eatin’ Meetin’ commences. Red Branch employees gather around the big table to relax, unwind, and present their weekly accomplishments, all while enjoying some snacks and wine.
Red Branch found this increases productivity during the week because it’s something for every employee to work towards throughout the day.
“Don’t give up. The beginning is always the hardest. Life rewards those who work hard at it.”
With only so many hours in a day, we must learn to work more effectively and efficiently if we want to succeed. In order to succeed, making the most of your time is critical. At Red Branch Media, we’ve mastered the art of productivity. Aside from implementing these seven tips, Red Branch offers more insight into time management and work productivity.
This article was originally published on the Red Branch Media Blog by Jessica Thiem.