How to Be More Productive

30/09/2013 10:22 BST | Updated 11/03/2014 11:59 GMT

Productivity in the workplace is essential for businesses to thrive; particularly for smaller companies who rely heavily on a handful of staff to manage the day to day workings of the office. In such a competitive market, it has never been more vital for employers to utilise their staff's skills and ensure productivity is at optimum levels.

Being productive at work won't happen by sitting at your desk, staring at your emails for eight hours. To be productive you have to manage your time efficiently and with a few simple steps; you can make the most out of your work day and avoid those unnecessary late nights at the office.

Stay Motivated

It is widely known that motivated employees are happier, more enthusiastic, more driven and ultimately more productive. However, even some of the most motivated workers can occasionally experience a slump in their performance, so it is important to boost their morale to regain motivation levels.

One of the most demotivating things in the workplace can be to stare at a pile of paperwork or a list of tasks and not know where to begin. In order to regain your motivation levels simply think of the things you have achieved and the work you have done. By concentrating on your achievements and successes, you'll feel more motivated to accomplish further goals. You can also begin rewarding yourself for your hard work each time you complete a task or reach a milestone. This will increase your motivation and make you feel more enthusiastic about completing your objectives.

Stay Organised

Organisation is one of the cornerstones of productivity and when implemented correctly it will allow you to work more efficiently and effectively. Making lists and prioritising workloads can be one of the easiest and most valuable aspects of being well organised. You will always be able to stay on top of your workload if you can reference a list and crossing the job off once it has been completed will give you a great sense of satisfaction. With the advancement of technology there are a number of digital applications that can make this process hassle-free and can keep track of everything you need to do.

The simple task of making sure your desk at work is tidy can go a long way in staying organised. Studies have shown that cluttered desks can be a distraction from work and can increase stress levels. Making sure your work environment is pleasant and orderly will reduce stress and enhance productivity.

A fundamental part of being organised and keeping on top of things is to be realistic about your goals. By setting yourself unrealistic aims you are simply setting yourself up for failure or a late night at the office. By establishing small, realistic objectives you will be able to stay on track while still maintaining a sense of accomplishment.

Stay Focused

Dealing with more than one task at a time is impossible regardless of what people may say. Of course running all your objectives through your mind can appear as if you are being productive but in reality you are merely thinking chronologically at great speed, not simultaneously, which means that your mind is flitting from one thing to another. Don't fall into this trap; concentrate on one thing at a time until there is nothing more you can do on that particular thing and then start the next task.

Furthermore, it's important to understand that multi-tasking won't save time, and starting a lot of jobs at once isn't the most efficient use of your time. In fact it will only lead to increased stress levels and a lot of tasks only half finished. Instead of paying bits of attention to several different objectives, you might feel less strained and more productive if you take on one task at a time and finish it to completion.

Stay Positive

Negativity is something that many people will experience in the workplace. Whilst staying positive sounds like a relatively simple idea, it can be much more difficult in practice. Focusing on positives, regardless of how small or trivial they might seem, will allow you to concentrate on your achievements rather than the negatives. Whether it be a positive remark from a colleague or supervisor, accomplishing your goals earlier than expected or completing a difficult task, stay focused on what has been constructive about your day instead of focusing on the negative.