What extremes do you go to in your workplace to be more productive?
Do you bend the rules? Maybe break them every once in a while?
Sometimes you have to go against the grain.
Sometimes you have to take risks.
Sometimes you need to be a little… dangerous.
A Little Bit Dangerous
Recently, while talking with a small group of corporate workers, I heard their stories of how they sometimes take it to the extreme to get their work done.
They talked about the distractions, the red tape, and the politics of their workplace that kept them from getting their work done.
They went on to describe the tactics, work-arounds, and rule bending that they found necessary to be productive.
Consider your company’s workplace. Is it a conducive environment to get work done?
Or does it present conditions, noise, rules, politics, and more, that actually hinder your workers productivity?
This results in workers trying to get around the system.
They develop alternate ways to work. They bend the rules. They use tools and technologies that the company has not provided.
And they feel like they are being dangerous.
After all, what would happen if management knew what they were doing?
Use at Your Own Risk
When workplaces present obstacles to getting your work done, you need to find ways to be productive in the face of adversity.
You may need to go to extremes to get your work done. You may need to bend the rules or even set your own.
To that end, here are some dangerous suggestions to help you win the battle against workplace inefficiency…
14 Dangerous Ways to be More Productive in Your Workplace
- Make Appointments with Yourself – Your boss might get a bit curious if he sees your calendar filled with meetings scheduled with yourself, but blocking your time is key to getting work done. Be bold and schedule meetings not only with yourself but with your projects and tough tasks.
- Don’t Check Your Email – What would happen if you turned off the email on your smartphone? What if you only checked your email in the morning, lunch, and close of the day? Would you be more productive?
- Close Your Door – Close your door when you need uninterrupted time to work. I am sure some HR types are gasping at this one, but “Open Door Policies” are not about physical doors, rather they are about relationships.
- Don’t Answer Your Phone – Your phone is there for your convenience. Not so that anyone (including a solicitor) can interrupt you any time of day. Don’t answer your phone when you are busy. They will leave a message or call back. Trust me.
- Don’t Go to that Meeting – What could you be getting done if you skipped that meeting? Next time politely decline and see what happens. You may be surprised, you may not have been needed at that meeting.
- Clean Your Workspace – OK, this one may not sound that dangerous, but some will say that having a clean desk will make people think you are not busy. In reality, keeping a clean workspace will not only let you get more done, but will have others thinking you are doubly on top of your job.
- Prepare For Your Day – This one will make others think you are dangerous. In fact, it will scare some of your co-workers. Most people walk into their day unprepared and simply “show up.” When you walk into that meeting with documents already reviewed and marked up, your co-workers will perk up in their seats. I usually use a red or green felt pen for added effect, so people are aware I have already reviewed the material at hand.
- Be (Way) Early to Meetings – I try to be 10 minutes early to most meetings. This too will scare people. The 2nd or 3rd time they walk into a meeting room and you are already there, it will start to spook them. And you will be amazed how much you can get done in the 10 minutes prior to the meeting.
- Go Hide Somewhere – If your cubicle or office is not a productive place to work, then go hide out someplace quiet. Maybe a place where there is less traffic and noise. Many workers have there own productivity place that they go to when they need to concentrate on tough projects.
- Over-communicate – Too much can be too much. But, too little can be deadly. Make sure that you keep your boss aware of the status of projects and work. You want them to be ready to answer questions when asked, and be aware in advance of anything that is a problem.
- Reach Out and Touch Someone – Don’t send that email. Don’t leave that voicemail. Instead, reach out and touch someone. Go down the hall or to the other floor and see someone in person whenever possible. You may think that picking up the phone is quicker, but the face-to-face will not only get more done, but you might just build a relationship and make someone’s day.
- Start New Things – Companies like the status quo. They like the boat steady and not to be rocked. However, if you want to get things done, sometimes you have to be the initiator. You have to be the one to start something new whether it is a new process, procedure, or idea. (See this post about Seth Godin’s “Poke the Box.”)
- Stand Out – Companies also like normal. They like conformity. Sometimes you need to stand out to be recognized. I am not saying to wear fluorescent colors and bow-ties, but dare to be different. After all, if everyone else is the same in their appearance, performance, and skills… well, you get the point.
- Swim Against the Current – When everyone else is going with the pack, be brave enough to question if you are all going upstream like salmon or whether you are lemmings headed over a cliff. Be brave enough to question things even in the face of the majority.
Let’s Get Dangerous
Some of the tips I provided may not work in your workplace.
Some of them may actually get you in trouble at your company.
But, they may also help you get ahead, be productive, and stand out as an achiever.
So…Be brave. Be productive.
And today… be a little dangerous.
What out-of-the-ordinary or dangerous methods do you use at work to be more productive?