All employees want to feel valued with the work that they are doing for a company. However, many employees work hard and don’t see their efforts recognised by their managers or stakeholders in the business. The main reason they get overlooked is because stakeholders and managers measure value in terms of productivity.
As an employee, you need to know how to contribute to their productivity goals and the overall productivity goals for the business.
In this post, we are sharing 10 productivity hacks that you must use so you can easily demonstrate value to your bosses, be recognized for your efforts, and improve the chances of your career progression.
1) Automate what you can
There isn’t any real value in working hard. So look at the tasks that you are doing in your day to day role (or even your boss) and see if there is a way to automate any activities that require a lot of time. Use technology or software to automate as many processes as possible.
There are many new technology that relies on AI technology and scripts. You could seek an “Off the shelf solution” or have something custom-designed so that it will improve the overall productivity of the business, as well as saving your manager’s time and costs.
2) Commit to training
The business that you will work for will only be able to give you a certain amount of training. So you will need to invest in additional training that will help you be more efficient when working on different tasks. Statistics from DWS show that in the hospitality industry, a 5% increase in productivity will lead to a 15% increase in profit
Use the training opportunities to optimise your business’s processes so that it will improve productivity and profitability. Ken Okel describes an example from his experience in a restaurant in the video below.
Another form of training may include cleanliness within a workspace. This will prevent distractions and a loss in productivity from health and safety concerns within the workspace.
3) Use the SMART method for your goals
Image Source: Full function rehab & wellness
It is important for you to set goals based on the SMART formula. And it is even more important for the managers and stakeholders that you are working with to buy-into the SMART goals so that the team can work together productively.
Make sure that the goals that you set are:
- Time-frames are set (Time Bound)
4) Prioritize accountability
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t get things done is because they don’t hold themselves accountable. They may have a job, but just turn up to clock their hours. If you really want to impress your boss, you can demonstrate value and hold yourself accountable in the following ways.
- Show stakeholders how your tasks contribute to the business’s overall revenue.
- Show stakeholders how your tasks contribute to saving the business’s costs.
- Measure the tasks that you do against metrics that contribute to the organization’s profitability.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld coins his success to “Not breaking the chain of consistency” by holding himself accountable for writing new jokes everyday. This would give him 365 new jokes a year, which would then allow him to get more laughs, and then book more business gigs like shows.
Watch the video below from Jenn Walker to see how she applied this hack to improve her productivity.
5) Make it a habit to use project management tools
This will be a game-changer, since many people lack administrative and project management experience. Your goal is to document everything that your boss or stakeholders want. And then organise the tasks in a project management tool and allocate deadlines so that everything gets completed and the project moves forward.
Notes from meetings and status updates can be updated in these tools as well. You will need to see which tool works best for your organisation, however, you can start with Asana or Trello for free.
6) Make sure your documents are polished, so that your boss doesn’t have to do any additional editing
One thing bosses hate is having to do additional work because their employees haven’t checked their work before sending it onto them. Bosses can spend 30-120 minutes or more making edits on documents so that they are presentation ready. You can save them time by:
- Conducting spelling and grammar checks
- Conducting plagiarism checks (You can use online plagiarism checking tools to cross-check documents. Please beware of the consequences of plagiarism.)
- Use a checklist so that the document meets your bosses expectations.
7) Track your task level productivity using a Pomodoro timer
Set focus sessions to complete a single task. The easiest way to do this is to use a Pomodoro timer and set work and rest intervals so that you focus on getting your tasks done. You can use free online Pomodoro timers or download a Pomodoro timer on your smartphone.
You can also go a step further and record your time at the task-level using a time-tracker like Everhour or Harvest.
8) Use offshore staff to help improve your productivity
There are some tasks that are more cost effective to have managed by offshore teams simply because of the costs and scale that they can do the tasks at.
For example, in Australia, getting someone to do data entry will cost at least $17USD per hour. The same task done by an offshore team can be done for as little as $3USD per hour.
This means at least 5 people can be doing the same job as 1 person in Australia. Thus, productivity is scaled.
9) Be in a positive work environment
The work environment that you have will have a big impact on your productivity. Setup your ideal or dream office space, so that you can focus on working on the tasks that you need to complete without any distractions.
10) Prioritize your health
A healthy body produces a healthy mind. And when people are healthy, they are more vibrant, energetic, focused and productive. Make it a priority to put your health first. You should notice that the healthy habits positively impact your work productivity.
Some of the things you can do include:
Consume enough water each day so you don’t feel thirsty.
You can keep a 2L water bottle on your desk.
Consume a healthy diet that will keep you mentally and physically energised.
This includes consuming leafy greens, starchy carbs, healthy fats and lean protein. Also keep healthy snacks on your desk so you don’t feel hungry or get distracted by the thought of food.
Engage in sports and fitness activities outside of work.
You will enjoy social bonding and you will have more fitness in general. You will also learn how to work together in a team so that you can achieve the same goals.
You must keep in mind that your boss has their targets and goals that they must meet to secure their job. If you want to “Wow” your boss, you need to do productive things that will make their working life easier and help them to achieve their working goals. Use these hacks to help your boss, and demonstrate the right kind of value that will help you advance your career.