As much as we may wish this were not the case, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. Getting everything done on your to-do list during the workday can be an incredibly daunting task, especially when that list seems to just continue to grow by the day. However, making sure your productivity is at its peak is incredibly important; lack of productivity can be expensive. Here are some of the most expensive drains on efficiency and productivity at work, and just a few tips on how to manage them.
- Tracking time: When you think of productivity, you probably don’t immediately think of your timesheet, but that might be one of the first places to look. The U.S. economy loses roughly $7.4 billion daily (or 50 million work hours) due to improperly filled out timesheets. To help with this, consider digitizing your process for clocking in and making sure all your clocks are properly synchronized.
- Meeting management: There are few things worse than an overly lengthy meeting, and that’s true for both employees individually and the company overall. On average, 31 hours are spent every month in unproductive meetings, wasting $37 billion in the United States annually. Make sure you’ve got your meeting agendas well planned, and that all employees come to meetings with a thorough understanding of the goals.
- Email emergencies: Not all time spent at work is necessarily productive time, and this is especially true in the case of emails and communication. What may only seem like a few clicks every hour actually draws attention away for large spans of time, reducing effectiveness. Check your emails only as much as is necessary, and create a system for yourself that will help you sort through your inbox most effectively.
- Morning mayhem: Just because “the early bird gets the worm” doesn’t mean that every employee is going to be as effective at the same hours throughout the day. Waking up too early to try and get more work done might interrupt your circadian rhythm, making you actually less productive. As much as possible, structure your work day so you can get the most difficult work done around your peak productivity hours.
Even with only so many hours in a day, it’s possible to improve productivity and help save money and time at work.