Think your productivity game is strong? Think again.
Fadeke Adegbuyi is the marketing manager at Doist, a company that has created top-rated productivity apps to help people and businesses work more efficiently. Doist operates completely remotely, with employees working from 25 different countries.
Sure, it’s easy to be productive when your boss sits two desks away from you, but what about when your job is completely remote? TalentLMS’s Ana Casic asked Fadeke to share her top tips and tricks for training and maintaining productivity in the workplace. This is what she had to say:
Can productivity be trained? If so, how?
Productivity is a skill that can be cultivated over time. Recognizing this, and taking an individualized approach to getting things done, will help you spend your hours more effectively.
Have a productivity system. Relying on memory to keep track of tasks and projects means information is bound to leak out. Have an organized system to capture everything you need to do. Use a digital to-do list, like Todoist, so you can move to-dos from your mind to an organized space. Alternately, use a google spreadsheet, a paper journal, or anything in between.
Regardless of your tool of choice, have a spot where you can add, prioritize, and keep track of it all: things to do, people to see, ideas that arise, appointments to keep, and everything else that comes to mind.
Do a weekly review. In the frenzy of daily life, it’s easy to confuse busyness for productivity. Without reflection, we can fail to realize we’re spinning in place rather than making forward momentum. A weekly review is a self-assessment of everything you’ve accomplished during the week, where you fell short, and what you can do better the following week to move towards your goals. Taking an hour out of your day on a Friday afternoon or Sunday evening can bring clarity to what’s been done and what comes next. Here are a few questions to include in your weekly review:
- What did I get done this week and what had I planned to get done?
- What did unexpectedly arise this week that curtailed my productivity?
- Did my actions this week move me towards my goals?
Don’t wait for motivation, create habits. If we waited for motivation to strike before taking action, most of us would get nothing done. Instead, it’s important to create daily habits and cultivate conditions that will help you get more done. Have a regular routine that makes space for deep work and focus.
- Try a productivity method. Use productivity methods like Getting Things Done, Eisenhower Matrix, or Pomodoro to build habits around how you approach work and add structure to how you approach your tasks.
- Experiment with classical condition. Listen to the same music playlist, start work with the same beverage, or always write in a particular location. Have a signal that lets your mind know “it’s time to work”.
What can companies do to help their employees be more productive?
Opt for asynchronous communication. The modern workplace creates a culture of distraction by encouraging an “always-on” environment, riddled with constant Slack notifications. Teams are constantly fighting interruptions and fitting work in between pings and shoulder taps. Instantaneous responses aren’t a sign of an efficient workplace, they’re a symptom of a distracted team.
Companies should promote deep work and focus by opting for asynchronous communication tools, like Twist. By using a form of communication that enables extended periods of distraction-free focus, companies can empower their teams to do their best work.
Optimize for focus. The modern workplace is often fundamentally anti-work. Calendar invitations for meetings can include dozens of people, and open floor plans lead to noise and distraction.
- Minimize meetings. If you hire people to do specialized work, don’t take up their time with meetings that distract from their core work. Regularly assess calendars for recurring meetings that may be unnecessary and replace status meeting updates with asynchronous updates instead.
- Have smarter meetings. For meetings that are absolutely necessary, keep participants to a minimum and meeting times short. Make the most of meetings by sending out an agenda ahead of time and keeping track of notes and action items.
- Allow remote work. Remote workers are often more productive than their office-bound counterparts. Give workers the flexibility to work from home where they can cultivate an environment optimized for focus. Default to trust and give your employees the space to exceed your expectations.