Midweek Productivity Boost

It’s Wednesday, we’re into midweek, you’ll want to maintain a higher level of productivity.

Have you managed your schedule effectively this week?

How many distractions can you predict today?

There’s always something on a Wednesday that’ll set your mind to wander. Therefore, within this post will discuss a few tips to avoid those general office distractions, to get you through the midweek rush.

Image Credit Chris Bailey

First thing in the morning it’s important to set a daily schedule; predict & prepare yourself for the uncontrollable distractions. From required meetings to office visitors or even the louder colleagues.

Based on this matrix, Chris Bailey has created 4 different distractions from those we cannot control to annoying and fun distractions.

Schedule your emails

Furthermore, putting an auto-responder on your emails will ensure that throughout the day any unwanted distractions will be avoided as you’ll be checking your emails at different free slots throughout the day. We’d suggest keeping an eye on your email account during the afternoon and leaving your auto-responder on whilst your organising and remaining productive in the morning.

Spend some time alone

Those fun distractions such as light conversion with your colleagues or organised meetings will interfere with your workload. So, throughout the day dedicate at least an hour to work alone whether that’s in a quiet office, or if you’ve no access, stick your headphones on and create your own space. You’ll find that by working alone for a short space of day, you’ll start to feel more organised, increasing that free flowing productivity.

Optimise your web browser

Furthermore, by optimising your browser you’ll be able to organise your tasks, arrange relevant research articles and schedule the amount of time you spend on particular websites. I’m sure there’s also a site that disrupts the amount of time you spend on social media.

There are numerous browser applications you could use. My personal favourite is Evernote. Perfect for researching and keeping hold of ideas to enthuse your own projects. Spend some time in the morning clipping articles and making notes; then if you’re struggling for inspiration, keep the tab open and regularly check back at your morning notes.

Although, there are many tools to help with productivity it’s important to stick to one, as these tools might not always work, become irritant and actually do the opposite of what was originally planned.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Whilst optimising your browser, don’t forget those keyboard shortcuts. Another simple method to keep you proactive throughout the day is to keep a note of all those simple keyboard shortcuts, you’ll quickly be able to navigate through webpages, search the news and edit documents quickly. Below we’ve displayed some of our favourite more productive keyboard shortcuts we use often at Crown. You’ll find the shift tab becoming a close friend after reading this post.

  • Select to the front/end of the line — SHIFT + HOME /END
  • Scroll to next/previous page — PAGE UP/DOWN
  • Open new tab — CTRL + T
  • Close tab in chrome — CTRL + W
  • Reopen last closed tab(s) in chrome — CTRL + SHIFT + T
  • Switch across windows in computer — ALT + TAB
  • Dock windows side-by-side — WINDOWS KEY+RIGHT/LEFT

The main benefit of this reduces procrastination, simply switch between tabs, this is particularly useful when researching. For instance, you may be researching your potential customers, no matter how many tabs you open, you’ll easily remember which ones most important, keeping you on the ball.

Utilise a VA

Over 80% of mobile phone users now have a smartphone. Therefore it’s likely you’ll have a virtual assistant readily available. Whether it’s Siri on Iphone, Cortana on Windows or even Google Now. If you don’t use the calendar or reminders on your phone, start using them now! You’ll simply be able to manage tasks and receive prompts to complete tasks if you’re starting to fall behind.

Simply stand out, be that guy who’s talking loudly into the micro phone. Furthermore, Google Now is a great resource for your mobile or browser, like Evernote, you’ll have everything you enjoy and regularly read at your fingertips, from weather to news to sports results, latest calendar events and reminders.

Measure your performance

Start measuring your own performance, take a look at the time you spend on your mobile, web and desktop, you will be able to measure what different websites and categories you spend the most time on. You’ll also discover how much time you spend on social media, on phone calls and completing tasks. The application I like to use is Rescue Time, it’s a simple time management tool which runs in the background, you’re able to regularly check simple charts throughout the day to ensure you’re hitting target; positive procrastination.

Take 10 minutes out to relax

The final step to help you start to improve your productivity is to keep refreshed: take 10 minutes out; get some fresh air; work on your breathing or do something personal. Whatever your preference is; just take your mind off work for a short while. Then as you come back refreshed it’ll be as if you’re starting a new day.

Furthermore, consider moving around, hot-desking, making a change to your psychical environment gives you something else to focus on to further refresh your mind. The National Grid discovered an 8% productivity increase when they adopted a more fluid working model.

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