Phone and laptop

It’s easy to be busy at work, but it’s a whole other animal to be productive. When you’re simply busy, you could be working for 8 hours with minimal returns or output. When you’re productive, you could be getting tasks done and doing high-quality work in 2 hours. This blog post will go over what it means to be busy vs. productive, and how to make sure you and your team uses time productivity for business success.

Keep a flexible schedule

If you live in areas with bad rush hour traffic, offering a flexible schedule will make everyone much happier and more likely to stay with the company. Employee retention means less training and orientations, and more productive work being done. Your employees will also be able to choose to work during the hours they are most productive, so if they work better after sleeping in, they can come in later. If they work best early in the mornings, they can come in early.

Unless your business has set hours where everyone must be online, flexible schedules are great for productivity. Just make sure there is at least an hour window when everyone is in the office and working at the same time to help with communication.

Track your time

Understanding where you spend (or waste) most of your time is vital to improving productivity while decreasing “busyness.” Once you and your team begins tracking time, you should be able to see who is spending too much time on non-vital tasks, who is managing their time well, and what the big time-wasters are. Then, you can train and adjust your team accordingly for optimal output. Just remember, it’s almost impossible to be productive for 8 straight hours, so be sure to offer breaks and periods for recharging.

Have a measure for success

How can you tell if one hour of work one day was more productive than one hour of work another day? You look at the output. Three hours of work with low or no ROI should be judged as inferior to one hour of work accomplishing a task with high ROI. Make sure not to waste your time by having a measure for success that you and your teams can strive towards. These should be small, attainable and measurable goals.

Eliminate (most) meetings

Most meetings are a waste of time. Before having one, make sure it’s absolutely necessary. If you can simply send an email or start a discussion in your project management software in lieu of having a meeting, do it. Meetings are dangerous time wasters because they take up the time of every single person in that meeting.

Stay organized

One of the keys to determine being busy vs. productive is to stay organized. With good organization, you don’t have to waste time hunting down information. You also have quick access to your goals and measures, so you can quickly determine whether your time was well spent.

What are your tips on productivity?

Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick