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11 ways to be more productive at work

Prakash Dharmani, Global CIO, Essel Propack Ltd, on how to get the most out of your day and cut down on stress. By Shweta Gandhi

In an ideal world, we’d all come in to work and put in our 100 per cent and accomplish all the tasks we’d set out to do that day. But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. Even if you’re plugged in all day, from morning to night, you still might not see an increase in productivity. That’s because as Parkinson’s Law says: ‘work expands to fill the time available for its completion’. So how do you get the most out of your day? Prakash Dharmani, Global CIO, Essel Propack Ltd, shares some lessons learnt.

#1 Start your day on a good note
“Positive thoughts help in the morning as they directly impact your productivity and make you feel more energised. I like to start my day early, whether it is a working day or a day off. This way you also beat the morning traffic—so you’re not starting the day stressed out, cracking your knuckles.”

#2 Help a co-worker out
“In the office, all relations are co-dependent. I strongly believe that what you give comes back to you. And I have seen many instances in which I’ve helped someone and they have returned the favour in my time of need. But the catch is to do it selflessly—don’t help someone because you want them to help you out one day. It will return anyway, as it is a chain. If you do good to someone, it will always have a rebound effect.”

#3 Monitor your progress every week
“Every Monday morning is dedicated to doing this. We have weekly meetings, back-up meetings and review meetings with the guys in our department where we take stock of our progress, our achievements, our targets, and plan our actions accordingly. The meetings act as radar for the team and in some cases provide the escalation required for inter-department activities that need to be discussed. These meetings act as a dipstick to help us know where we are, and they also help keep us grounded.”

#4 Have an end goal
“Goals are definitely required, especially long-term ones. And you need to spend time and effort to identify them. In an organisation there are three-year road maps that need to be charted out. In a huge organisation like ours, we have grand goals that we need to plan. Nothing should be left to chance. We need to have a vision if we want to get somewhere.”

#5 Exercise on a daily basis
“Since I start my day early, I try to do at least 30 to 40 minutes of yoga or a brisk walk every day. This helps keep stress levels in check. Stress is unavoidable, whether you’re stuck at work or in traffic. So you have to find ways around it and ways to manage it. Yoga is one way. I used to walk very regularly, but six months ago I started doing yoga. I’ve realised yoga keeps me happy, and if I’m happy, it reflects in my work. So this is great tool for personal and professional growth.”

#6 Prioritise your projects
“To a large extent, some sort of multitasking is required at our management level as we are dealing with multiple projects. We have to keep an eye on a lot of things. The key to completing all projects successfully is prioritising them correctly and focussing more on the ones that directly impact the organisation. Some projects need to be monitored on a daily basis, while some can be checked on a weekly basis. Learn to know the difference.”

#7 Set aside time for personal tasks
“I would love to have a perfect work-life balance and set some time side on a daily basis for personal tasks. I try to do that, but sometimes personal stuff does take a back seat. On paper it reads very well, but it is a little challenging.”

#8 Step away for a minute
“Every once in a while, you should get up and walk around. I make it a point to walk out of my cabin and around the floor to stretch my legs. My team sits across the floor, so I take this opportunity to go into their workplace, reach out to them and have a conversation. It lightens me up as well. I also stand up when reading or talking on the phone.”

#9 Remember you make your own luck
“There is no substitute for pure hard work. Luck is a part of it, but you can’t always rely on that. I would recommend the book 13 Steps To Bloody Good Luck by Ashwin Sanghi. It talks about ways we can bring good luck into our lives.”

#10 Engage with team members outside office
“Once in a while, we take time out and celebrate with our team members. We go out for drinks or dinner and that helps strengthen the bond between us. We recently went for a picnic and once a month we try to get everyone from the office together for lunch.”

#11 End your day with gratitude
“When we leave work, we should try leaving on a positive note. If my boss says something positive to me, it makes me feel charged up. So remember to acknowledge the efforts of your team members and your colleagues. We have an in-house app called Beeps that we can use to send a beep to someone whose contribution we want to acknowledge. This is a great way to increase motivation and therefore productivity.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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