All too often we feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the workday to complete everything. So we multitask everything we can, we sacrifice breaks and exercise, and we continuously bring our work home with us in hopes of getting ahead. But guess what? We’re just sabotaging ourselves.
Chances are your productivity isn’t where you’d like it, but fear not, there are plenty of tips and tricks to getting more out of your day.
Plan Your Day Ahead of Time
Prepare for your day the night before by writing out your to-do list for the next day, keeping your three most essential assignments at the top and try to outsource what you can.
Morning people should utilize those early hours to get their most pertinent tasks completed instead of pushing them off toward quitting time, and late risers should pack in the important activities for their afternoons.
Adjust Your Coffee Routine
Does it take one (or four) cups of coffee before you’re able to complete full sentences? As much as we love staying caffeinated during the work day, research has actually shown that – as with everything – timing is everything.
If you’re the type to have a cup of coffee ready as soon as you open your eyes, you may want to adjust your morning routine to holding off until sometime between 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for optimal productivity.
There have been countless studies done on how long your brain stays at peak productivity (hint, it’s probably a lot less time than you’re actually spending on that activity), so don’t be afraid to regularly step away, walk around, get some water, or have a conversation about something else entirely to keep yourself sharp. Set timers for each task and stick to them.
Change your Position
We all know that being stuck in a typical office chair all day can be not only uncomfortable, but it can often lead to health issues ranging from back tension to weight gain. Consider these tips to readjust your position as well as your chair’s, or even switch to a standing workspace if you’re able. Bonus points for incorporating calf raises into your day!
Our brains love shortcuts, but the chaotic nature of the average workspace means that our brains have to work entirely too hard each day. So organize and really focus on what’s essential to keep, remembering that in this case less is definitely more, and make a point to declutter on a routine basis.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your desk should be completely barren, often having a calming picture or plant in our space is key to relaxing us so we get more done.
Take Control of Sound
But it’s not just objects that need to be decluttered, we often forget about the importance of the sounds in our spaces as well. Even just hearing snippets of your co-workers conversations or distracting background noises can make us continuously lose our focus, once again, making our brains work a lot harder than they need to. So consider using different spaces for different activities to find quiet when it’s most needed (it’s also a great way to build in more routines to your day).
Otherwise if you’re able, consider earplugs, a white noise machine, or headphones with whatever type of music is most effective for your concentration.
We think that multitasking makes us better employees, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, consider using your different devices for specific tasks each, like your desktop for work and email, your phone for social interactions, and your tablet just for leisure reading or puzzles to unwind. And don’t use more than one at a time!
Limit How Often You Check Your Emails
Studies are showing that not only does the all-too-common habit of constantly checking your email make you less productive, but it also increases your stress levels every day. Try switching to an email checking schedule of three times a day at specific times (set timers!) and you’ll be able to put your full concentration on the tasks in between.
No, we don’t mean quitting your job; we mean getting away and taking a real break to recharge. Every year fewer workers are actually taking their accrued vacation days in an effort to stay competitive, but we’re really just burning ourselves out. Much like taking regularly scheduled breaks and switching up our activities throughout the workday, we should be taking more time away and actually disconnecting from work calls, emails, and even social media to completely decompress.
What have you tweaked in your routine to keep yourself productive? Tell us in the comments!
Contact our travel experts at 614-237-4488 or email@example.com to book a stress-free getaway and increase your productivity, and be sure to check out our CEO’s cover feature in this month’s Smart Business Columbus magazine!