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Small changes at work can boost productivity

Tuesday - 10/9/2012, 7:38am  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Small changes can improve your productivity at work, helping you get more done in less time.

If you're buried in email, use the OHIO principle which stands for "only handle it once." In other words, when you read an email, respond immediately or delete it.

That tip comes from Robert Pozen, author of the book "Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours."

Writing in The New York Times, Pozen also suggests limiting internal meetings to one hour. Meetings longer than that can be unproductive time-wasters.

Pozen says if you have a long paper or memo to write, make an outline and then a rough draft and revise from there. Don't get bogged down trying to finalize each sentence before moving to the next.

Pozen says judging employees by the hours they've worked at the office instead of by the tasks they've completed is an outdated holdover from the industrial age.

If you're an employee hoping to move your boss toward a more results-based work system, Pozen says to communicate with him or her more often and earn their trust by showing you can get your work done in less time.

If you don't do it already, you might suggest your boss allow you to work from home if you think you can be more productive there.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)