If you have followed the Singapore government’s rallies and speeches, you would probably have heard of this word −productivity . But what actually is productivity? Simply put, according to the National Productivity Council, productivity refers to the ratio of output to input, a measure of how efficient and effective the corporations are to turn inputs like labour and capital to outputs such as goods and services.
Incidentally, this word reflects a paramount meaning for Singapore as a whole. The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had predicted many years ago that in order for Singapore to shine on the world stage, we have to be more competent and productive to compensate for our lack of natural resources. And his foresight have indeed paid off. Singapore has evolved from a third world country in 1965 to a first world economy today.
To commemorate our founding father – Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I believe that we as Singaporeans, should continue to remember him and strive for this productivity push to propel Singapore to greater heights. While the government has been focusing on the enterprise level for things such as training for workers, investment in technology etc.; we can also aim for higher productivity on a daily basis. Let us take a look at just 5 simple ways below.
#1 Avoid meetings as much as possible
Have you ever wondered why you have to attend so many pointless meetings and then work OT after that? As a matter of fact, some meetings do not even involve you and just require the whole team to be present when something is announced.
According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Therefore, as much as you can, try to get the slip out of meetings as they can potentially grant you a few more hours where you can easily complete the remaining tasks on hand and go home on time!
#2 Put your phone away
Is it possible to work lesser hours and produce more? A resounding yes! And the answer lies in the work culture. In Germany, working hours are strictly working hours without all the distractions from the phone, such as Facebook notifications, office gossips and surfing the internet. That is the fundamental reason why Germany continues to be the industrial powerhouse of Europe.
Thus, we suggest that you try out a day without interruptions during work hours and do a comparison to see how much you can accomplish during this time. I have personally tried it and I do find it very effective!
#3 Plan your day
Many people often have a rough gauge on what they need to do during the day and the time required for various tasks. However, a research suggests that only around 17% of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time.
In order not to get caught in the time trap, try writing down the tasks on hand and allocating a certain time span you are willing to fork out for each assignment. It acts as a deadline and will intuitively push you to work faster and better.
#4 Take regular short breaks
It may sound counter-intuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration from a research study. Taking short breaks while you’re on long and tedious tasks will help you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance.
#5 Organize your office
When you constantly have to sieve through the piles of paper around your desk, it can be a really huge damper on your productivity. You can optimize your time by organizing your office desk into a neat and tidy one.
As for me, I have a makeshift dustbin so that I do not have to make multiple trips to the centralized garbage bin in the office. In addition, I consolidate all my stationery together such that I do not have to spend time searching for it when the need arises.
We have often heard of stories on how companies made an incredible leap in sales after adopting a productivity scheme, be it capitalizing on new technology or training programs. You can also read the case studies on Wing Tai Retail (holding company of Fox, Topshop etc) and Han’s Pte Ltd.
We believe the same goes for us individuals. The more productive we get, the higher output we will achieve and naturally, it will lead to increased salaries for most of us. While the 5 points are just merely a small part of what you can do to improve productivity at work, we do hope that they are useful to you and kick-start your motivation to be more productive.
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