If you could pick one superpower, just to help you in your hospitality work, what would you pick?
Extreme speed to finish food prep super quickly? Teleporting, so you can skip the elevator rides when delivering room service? Or maybe mindreading, so you know the guest's food order as soon as they come in?
I would definitely pick something that would make me more productive and efficient, to reduce stress during shifts.
Alas, most of us have not been blessed with supernormal abilities, so we'll have to make do with our human strengths. But fortunately, there are other things that can help us be more productive in our hospitality job. I've listed some for you below.
Get enough sleep
I put this one first because I know this is a weak spot in the hospitality world. Countless studies have shown that sleep is the main culprit in influencing productivity, and it's costing industries billions every year.
Our cognitive capacity after losing a night of sleep is about the same as that when we're over the alcohol limit (just ask the Mythbusters). I think you can figure out what that would mean for your productivity.
Skipping sleep because we're too busy is counterproductive. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep to be your most productive self.
You will run yourself into the ground if you work without taking breaks. Sometimes we feel like we have to keep ploughing on without pause, but you'll actually get much more done if you take breaks from time to time.
Short breaks of just a few minutes can do the trick. It's enough to let your mind and body rest for a bit before heading back to what you're doing.
If you have a tendency to skip your breaks, force yourself to take them. You can set an alarm as a little reminder if you have to.
Adopt a no-phone policy
I think our smartphone is probably the number one distraction for a lot of us. If you admit to being guilty of spending too much time on your phone in your hospitality job, then quit cold turkey. Put it away while you're at work.
Keeping your device in your pocket 'for emergencies' will make it harder to resist the temptation of checking Facebook when no one is looking. Put it somewhere you can't get to it, and only get it out on your breaks (which will also incentivize you to take breaks – two birds with one stone).
If you must have your phone with you, then turn off all unimportant notifications. You'll find you'll be more productive when you cut out these major distractions.
The state of your health can also have a big impact on your productivity. Health is another area where businesses lose billions of dollars each year through absenteeism and decreased productivity.
In fact, it is estimated that the healthiest employees are three times more productive at work than their co-workers.
There are plenty of resources out there for improving your healthy lifestyle, but they all come down to this: eat well and exercise. Also, don't forget to drink enough water. Even 1% of dehydration kills your productivity, while being properly hydrated boosts your brain power.
Prioritize and create systems
This one is very simple: get the important things out of the way first, before moving on to other tasks. Prioritizing is an especially handy guideline at busy moments.
When you can't get everything done at once, ask yourself: what is more important? And then do that first.
If everything is of equal importance – for example, during food prep, when you have to get everything done no matter what – then create a system, a step-by-step order you can follow. You'll be able to move on to the next task quicker when you know what's coming next.
Systems increase productivity because you'll know what to do and how to do it before you even get to it. Plus, it's really helpful to have it in writing for everyone to use.
Although it may feel super productive to do several things at once, it actually isn't. Experts agree that staying focussed on one task will save you time and thus make you more productive. That's because it takes time for our brains to switch from focusing on one thing to the other.
It can be tricky to stay focussed on just the one thing in hospitality because urgent situations may come up, like a guest request interrupting you. Avoid letting this distract you for long so you can return to what you were doing.
These are some basic tips for increasing your productivity at your hospitality job and make you more successful.
What is your favorite technique for being productive? Let us know in the comments!