Boosting Your Productivity at Work

These days we’re finding ways to work smarter and not harder.  Being more productive can be achieved through better time management so here are more productive habits to help you get there.

  1. Your Office:  You probably don’t think about your office affecting your productivity.  Distractions like Feng Shui, light, noise and coworkers can play a part in zapping your ability to achieve your daily goals. The everyday obstacles can be troubling. Since there is no real substitute for a heavy door between you and office activity, you can always use noise canceling devices – earbuds or white noise machines.  Try to make sure your office is as light and bright as possible and try to include some soft furniture that absorbs noise.  Keep personal clutter to a minimum and remember to ask for what you need – ask not to be disturbed.
  2. Your Desk:  We have been a nation of sitters.  Recently, many are discovering that standing desks are providing additional energy and getting us out of our chairs.  Another way to be more productive is to hold “standing meetings.”  These can result in a more energetic exchange among the group and keep the meetings from dragging on especially if meetings are held after lunch when blood sugar is low.
  3. Your Meetings: Interoffice Meetings can drag on and suck time away from your day. If it’s within your power to control the meetings, keeping them short and addressing the issues head on, can clear through the usual meeting chatter and the message stays “top of mind” with those attending. If your meeting is post lunch, holding a “standing meeting” as previously pointed out, keeps the blood pumping and will help the meeting message sink in.  Once they get settled in comfy chairs, the yawning begins and after the first 20 minutes of a meeting, their attention begins to wane.
  4. Your Breaks: Take regular breaks and make some of them exercise breaks…go for a walk – clearing your head and getting your blood pumping can help you get focused. Scheduling breaks can improve your concentration and maintain a consistent level of performance instead of working at a task without breaks that can lead to a decline in performance.  Some facilities are also installing “nap rooms.”  Mid-afternoon seems to be the best time for a nap when most people hit a wall.  If you are a home-based business or have the luxury of fitting in a nap, 20 minutes can do wonders for you by clearing the cobwebs along with processing and retaining the information you’ve been working with during previous hours.
  5. Your Rules: Following the “two-minute” rule as recommended by experts in the field.  The concept is to make the most of the small windows of time that you have at work.  If you have a small task that can be done within two minutes, do them right away and get them out of the way so you can spend a little more time on the bigger tasks without several little tasks hanging over your head.  Completing the task takes less time than planning to get back to it later.
  6. Your Commute:  Take advantage of your commute or any unexpected quiet time to brainstorm, organize tasks for the day, jot down points for that necessary meeting, and to read or write those important emails.

By Kate Fuechsel  |  Illustration by Dave TenEyck

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