Ten Ways To Be More Productive
The Quest to Productivity
Believe it or not, productivity is a habit that can be self-taught and unfortunately is not something you get from your genes. This means you do not have any ‘I can blame my parents’ excuses. It does not matter where you work or what you do, we are only human and are all looking for ways to be more productive both on and off the job.
We have all heard of and most probably encountered the classic ‘starter pack’ of being productive. This ‘starter pack’ consists of all nighters, coffee after coffee, endless cans of Redbull, lists that never end and thinking way too much about how to be productive rather than embodying it. However, no amount of any of these things, will increase productivity levels (well, only perhaps in the short term).
Sometimes the smallest things make the largest impact and do not involve making drastic changes to your routine. Here are ten tiny tweaks that will turn you into productivity ninjas;
- Turn off Push Notifications
Our phones are attached to our hands. Some of us are addicted. It is the first thing we check when we wake and the last thing we check at night. We must be constantly connected to our Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, Emails. Buzz after buzz, vibrate after vibrate of notifications. These notifications wreak havoc with our attention spans, and our dependence on having that square thing in our hand at all times makes us feel empty when it is not there. Silence those push notifications (other than for texts of voice calls) if you want to get things done. That one check of a notification can turn into 7 minutes of Instagram scrolling or £100 later on online shopping. Whoops…
2. Fresh Air
Trying to get some time outside of the office for some fresh air and a bit of sunshine (when we have it in London) is very important. Exposure to fresh air and daylight is important to the overall functioning of your body. It also makes us feel physically more awake, happy and has a positive impact on our brains.
Your workspace says a lot about your productivness. We all work best in a stress free, calm and comfortable environment, so make the space you work in or spend the majority of your time in the best it can be. So many factors can contribute to your environment and making these small changes can make all the difference. Natural lighting, desk props that spur inspiration, and even plants can create a change in an environment can also help. Interestingly, plants do not just change the look of the space aesthetically but also improve the air quality in the workplace, therefore contributing to a potential 15% increase in productivity levels. I think the message here could be to go green!
4. Drink More Water
Being dehydrated means you will have far less energy and get far less done. We all think that drinking water means clearer skin, but it also means a clearer mind. Scientific research has been conducted showing that drinking water can increase your energy output by 14%. It is a win-win, drinking more water will equate to not just a healthy body but a healthy mind.
5. 60 Seconds
Sometimes we have a habit to take the longest on the smallest tasks, some of these tasks may not even relevant to what you actually have to do and have minimal effect on your overall daily tasks. Gather all the information you need for these small, bite sized tasks and make decisions in less than 60 seconds. Chose the option, move on and have confidence with the decision you make. The longer you linger, the more time and energy you waste.
6. Say NO to Self-Sabotage
Analysing your productivity levels, or lack of them could mean that you are blaming other factors for your lack of productiveness. You may be blaming the music in the office being too loud, not being a ‘morning person’, or a certain somebody in the office distracting you. Searching for an excuse to blame someone or something else is the easy way out and makes you comfortable. Even losing sleep or fighting the feelings of anxiety due to not getting enough done can turn into a vicious cycle in not getting anything done. The truth is, that YOU could be the person standing in your own way. Be accountable, and take responsibility yourself. Have the confidence that you can make the changes that need to be done. Pick yourself up and start again.
7. Get Moving
Exercising daily, or even just taking a walk at lunch or during a break can help your productivity in the long run. Not only does it keep you healthy and not sedentary for the majority of the day but the blood that gets delivered to the brain through exercise sharpens awareness, keeps you alert, focused, and increases your brain function and energy levels. On top of this, some time away from your work environment is good for general well-being. Nobody likes being cooped up in the same place for too long.
8. Time Management
Time management supports productivity. They go together, hand in hand but work differently for every single person. What works for you, may not work for your sister and what works for your sister may not work for your cousin. Make a start in using your time more effectively, finding when you work most productively, compared to when you are less motivated or tired. Try new routines then scrap the new routines and start again, it is all about trial and error but once you have cracked it there will be no stopping you.
9. Stop Multi-Tasking
Less is more when it comes to being productive. It is commonly thought that chopping and changing between numerous tasks (even if they are small) to get them done is the epitome of productivity. But, by focusing on one task, errand, or job at a time gets things done more efficiently and effectively.
Last, but by no means least is sleep. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is not just golden for giving you a little extra energy, but can enhance productivity levels too. You will make fewer mistakes, make faster decisions, decrease the likelihood of burning out and decrease the potential for distractions. Additionally, you get that extra hour in bed — pretty perfect!
Not only will these tips enable you to maximise your workload but will also allow more time to be freed up to create the work-life balance that is sometimes forgotten about. It is fair to say that productivity can be thought of as similar to a muscle, the more you work it or practise, the easier and more natural it will become.