Sam Vincent
Sam Vincent
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

How to increase office productivity?

Everybody knows, there are only 24 hours in a day, so when it comes to productivity, we all face the same challenge and given that even the greatest ideas are only ideas until they are executed, the efficient use of your time is as important as anything else in business.

Productivity secrets are becoming more and more mainstream, mainly because people who tap into them seem to have twice the time and there is no better way to reach your goals than by finding ways to do more with the little time you've been given.

I think you will probably agree that when you leave the office after an ultra-productive day, it feels great; there are few workplaces that beat it. In my experience you don’t need to work longer or push yourself harder — you just need to work smarter.

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." —William Penn

If you learn to rely on productivity hacks that make you more efficient you will be able to squeeze every drop out of every hour without expending any extra effort.

So what should I do?

Never touch things twice. You shouldn’t really put things into a holding pattern, because dealing with things twice is a huge time-waster, don’t save an email or a phone call to deal with later, if it already has your attention act on it, delegate it, or delete it.

To pull this off you're going to have to eat some frogs, which means doing the least appetizing, most dreaded item on your to-do list. If you let frogs sit, you waste your day dreading them. If you eat them right away, then you're freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires you.

You'll also need to master the tyranny of the urgent which refers to the tendency to let little things that have to be done right now get in the way of what really matters which in turn creates a huge problem as urgent actions often have little impact. The key here is to delete or delegate. Otherwise, you can find yourself going days without touching the important stuff. You need to get good at spotting when putting out fires is getting in the way of your performance.

No is a powerful word, that sometimes it is hard to wield. When you have to say no, you have to say no, try to avoid using phrases such as I don’t think I can or I’m not certain. If saying no to a new commitment, means you can honour your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully and efficiently fulfil them then you should do it. Research shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Learn to use no, and it will lift your mood, as well as your productivity.

If you are going to follow point 1 and not touch things twice, you cannot allow e-mail to be a constant interruption. You should turn your emails off, then check e-mails on schedule, even taking advantage of features that prioritize messages by sender. You can set alerts for your most important clients and save the rest until the scheduled time in your working day.

You should also avoid multitasking. It can be a real productivity killer. Research shows that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time, it has been found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. Never touching things twice also means only touching one thing at a time.

For more information contact Sam Vincent at BCL Legal.

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