Simple Tips for Technology Workers to Better Prioritize Their Workday

Have you ever wondered how much time you actually spend on your core technology job? How important is it to prioritize your day? It’s hard to measure our own productivity as knowledge workers. I mean who really wants to know that they’re actually not very productive?
We turned to the machine learning experts at IBM Watson for some clarification on technical worker productivity:
IDC data shows that 'the knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30 percent of the workday, searching for information ... 60 percent [of company executives] felt that time constraints and lack of understanding of how to find information were preventing their employees from finding the information they needed [to get their work done].
So how can technology and knowledge workers make sure they’re not 30% behind before they even start their day? This post will provide three simple productivity tips for technology professionals.
These tips are inextricably interwoven. That will make it easier to practice all three tips simultaneously.
1. Understand your own productivity style and work habits
This may seem obvious, but many of us sometimes ignore the obvious. Are you more productive in the morning, afternoon, or evening hours? Make sure you’re allocating your most productive hours to your core work functions.
If you stick to it, you’ll be amazed at how much time you will free up for necessary, but non-core, tasks outside your sweet spot. This dovetails with our next tip.
2. Set boundaries with your team and additional employees you interact with
Do you think you need to work more hours to be more productive? This is a common misconception. Instead, try removing distractions, and time sucks, as our friends over at The Muse pointed out recently.
Make sure your team and colleagues know your schedule and availability. Your most productive hours are sacrosanct, and they need to be respected.
3. Stay on task—it’s easier than you think
This ties into the previous two suggestions. The road to increased productivity gets much smoother when you’re spending your optimal work hours on core tasks with no interruptions.
One last tip for staying on task. Set aside specific times to answer emails and Slack messages, etc. 30 minutes at three intervals per day should be sufficient. And if you’re spending too much time messaging, pick up the phone or jump on a quick video conference. Calls can be much quicker than lengthy text-based messages.
These easy-to-implement suggestions will help you get back some of the “lost 30%” of your day. They will also help to keep you more motivated in the workplace.
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