7 Productivity Principles to Help You Work Smarter

Catchy “rules” to set yourself up for success and increase your daily productivity.

One productivity principle for the office is to only handle it once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re like most people, you spend eight or more hours each day work – but how much do you really accomplish during that time? Productivity “rules” are designed to help you work smarter, so you can get more done. If you are interested in upping your workplace performance, consider trying these productivity principles to see which ones work best for you: 

  1. Only Handle It Once (OHIO)
  2. 1-3-5
  3. SUG
  4. First 90-Minute
  5. Pareto Principle
  6. Milestones Approach
  7. Schedule distractions

Keep reading to learn more about each of these rules to help increase productivity at work.  

  1. Only Handle It Once (OHIO)

Procrastination sets in when you set something aside, forcing you to deal with it again later. To avoid this pitfall, learn to handle your tasks once and then move on. For instance, the single action you might take with every item on your to-do list might be: checking it off as complete, passing it along to someone else, or filing the information away.

  1. 1-3-5

This productivity principle is all about prioritizing the tasks you need to do each day. It centers on the presumption that you can only accomplish one large task, three medium tasks, and five small tasks – and do them well – on any given day. Holding to this principle means that you can complete the things you’ve set out to do instead of merely doing what you can.

  1. SUG

SUG is an acronym aimed to improve productivity. It stands for:

Seriousness: how important is this task?
Urgency: how long will it take to complete?
Growth: will this issue get worse if I wait to handle it?

When creating your to-do list for the day, week, or month, consider these three questions and prioritize workload based on them. This method will allow you to focus on completing the urgent tasks first, rather than work that may be easy but not as important.

  1. First 90-Minute

The first 90-minute rule is about starting your day with the first 90 minutes dedicated to your most important task. As people are usually more active, energized, and focused in the morning, this technique could help boost your productivity by helping you start the day feeling great about what you’ve already accomplished.

  1. Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, originated from Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto to describe the distribution of wealth in his country. The foundation of this idea has been repurposed to describe workplace productivity: 80% of the value of the day comes from 20% of the effort. Simply put, your time should be spent on the tasks that deliver the most results.

  1. Milestones Approach

Another tip to increase productivity at work is to use goal-setting. Before you begin a task, identify the goal you need to accomplish to be able to stop and take a break. Blocking your schedule up in chunks of time and working toward “milestones” can help you stay focused on more complicated and multi-layered tasks. Seemingly daunting long-term projects also become manageable when you break them up into smaller milestones you can feasibly work toward completing.

  1. Schedule distractions

Schedule 2-3 times into your calendar daily to give into distractions such as email, texts, and social media. You can then turn off notifications throughout the day and only check them during those scheduled interruption times. The idea is that you will be less tempted to check distracting notifications non-stop throughout the day, allowing you to stay more intently focused on your work.

These productivity principles may help you work smarter in the office by increasing your daily output and eliminating distractions. Try each of these techniques to find the ones that work best for you. Find more tips on how to improve workplace productivity here.

For more articles on life at the office, keep reading our blog.

If you’re not yet an EZ Office Products customer, call our local customer concierge to set up your business account at (608) 310-4300 today and learn how we can help you stay productive and efficient at work.