Do you want to get more work done in less time?
How about improving your quality of work so you can exceed your goals rather than just meet them?
If that sounds like a good plan, then this post is for you.
Below, we’ll go over the top three ways to improve work performance.
By following these tips, you’ll not only speed through your work but you’ll also produce superior results.
So, let’s get started!
Top 3 Ways to Improve Work Performance
Tip 1: Avoid Multi-Tasking
Are you a great multi-tasker?
Can you handle lots of work projects that are thrown your way?
While that trait may impress your boss, the fact is it can kill your productivity even if you don’t feel overwhelmed.
So, if you want to get more done, you actually need to stop multitasking.
And here’s the data to back this up:
One study showed that unless you’re one of the 2% of people who do extremely well with multi-tasking, your productivity will go down. Another study showed that people who multitask on a laptop during a lecture had as much as 11% drop in their comprehension.
A second study by Stanford University analyzed how working on multiple tasks at once could destroy productivity levels. They found that the people who routinely did this were far less organized, had a very hard time telling the difference between relevant and irrelevant details, and they had difficulty switching between tasks.
Another study by Bryan College found that trying to multi-task massively hinders employee productivity. On a global scale, the study found that it costs around $450 million each year. This can be disastrous for businesses of any size, especially small or medium businesses.
As you can see, avoiding multi-tasking is one of the top 3 ways to improve work performance. And it’s something you can easily start today.
Tip 2: Practice the 80/20 Rule
Second on our list of the three ways to improve work performance is practicing the 80/20 Principle Rule.
Also called the “Pareto Principle”, this rule helps you prioritize your tasks and better hit your goals.
If you follow our first tip on avoiding multi-tasking along with the 80/20 rule, you can essentially get 80% of your results with just 20% of the work.
In other words, you need to focus on the tasks that actually deliver the most results and get rid of the tasks that don’t help you achieve those goals.
This can take time to master, but it’s a proven way to boost your productivity levels on every scale.
And here’s the research behind it:
One comprehensive review of time management studies shows that around 45% of employees experience interruptions to their workday that causes them to focus on unimportant tasks. Additionally, 40% of workers have trouble prioritizing important tasks over unimportant ones which lower output and productivity.
Another study found that many employees spend only 20% of their day on important tasks while the other 80% of their time is spent on unimportant duties. This means that most employees waste valuable time they could be using to achieve higher business goals.
One reporter interviewed hundreds of self-made millionaires, Olympic athletes, and even straight-A students to find out their secret to success. The answer? They followed the 80/20 rule. These individuals used this principle to determine what things were of vital importance and the rest they delegated to someone else or just let go.
How about implementing the 80/20 rule today?
Tip 3: Learn How to Say the Word “No”
The final tip on our 3 ways to improve work performance list is learning how to say “no”.
For some people, this may seem impossible to do because they’re afraid of making it awkward with a coworker or going against a direct order by their superior.
But, before you ignore this advice, check out the data behind people who say “yes” to every project that comes their way:
One study revealed that people who don’t say no routinely feel like they’re behind at work. When this happens, they tend to work faster in an attempt to catch up and experience higher stress levels. These higher stress levels can lead to a dip in productivity and this can actually hurt a company’s bottom line.
Multiple studies confirm that people are over-optimistic of the time it will take for them to complete tasks. So, we tend to take on more work than we can actually handle.
Another study showed that roughly 66% have never talked to a manager about their struggles with workplace distraction.
As you can see, saying “yes” to everything at work has its downfalls.
If you implement our second tip on using the 80/20 rule, you’ll discover that it’s much easier to say “no” to things because they don’t maximize your end results.
If you have a superior, the best thing you can do is set up a meeting with him or her and discuss this with them before you just start saying no to everything. Explain how the 80/20 rule works, your drive to improve your work performance, and how saying yes to everything has actually reduced your output and quality of work.
Any reasonable boss will understand where you’re coming from and do their best to help you achieve higher results from your work efforts. Not only does this improve your performance but helps them look better as well. So, it’s a win-win for both of you.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Air Quality
Now, each of those tips above sound like practical advice that anyone can implement.
And they do work.
However, there’s actually an invisible substance at your work that may be ruining your work performance without you even knowing it.
And that’s the quality of the air you breathe.
Did you know that the air in office buildings can be four to five times more polluted than outdoor air?
The dust, mold, and general contaminants that come from the ventilation system, building materials, and other coworkers can cause the air quality to drop.
And that poor air can wreak havoc on your concentration levels.
One study showed that having long-term exposure to polluted air can cause learning and memory problems. This can cause issues with trying to learn new tasks or retain new information. This means that you’ll spend more time getting your tasks done when the air around you is not clean.
Research also shows that long-term exposure to poor air quality can cause a cognitive decline as people age. This can lead to struggles with learning new processes and procedures and keeping up with your daily activities over time.
Another study shows that constant exposure to poor indoor air quality can reduce your productivity rates by as much as 6% to 9%. The worse the air quality is, the more productivity levels go down. In larger cities, it’s much easier to get bad air quality than in rural locations because of the automobile and factory exhaust fumes.
So, what can you do to improve your air quality at work?
Get an air purifier.
And it doesn’t have to be a big or expensive one either. Even a small desktop air purifier can help.
An air purifier can help clean the air around you can keep your productivity levels high.
Just make sure that it has a True HEPA filter to trap and lock in the most contaminants possible. Other types of HEPA filters are inferior to the True HEPA kind. To see what’s available, check out our list of desktop air purifiers. That page also includes tips on how to choose the best one for your needs so you get the most value out of your purchase.
Additionally, air purifiers can be used in any office setting, whether it be a cubicle or separate room with a door. So, don’t worry about what your space looks like. An air purifier will still work for you.
Well, there you have it!
The top 3 ways to improve work performance followed by a bonus tip on how to improve the quality of your air.
By following these four tips, you’re guaranteed to achieve higher output, reach your goals, and propel your career, no matter what business you may be in.