This year we’ve talked a lot about how workplaces are adapting and evolving to a new normal.
Yes, the way we work has changed since 2020 began. But, some universal truths about the workplace – whether you’re working from home or staring at co-workers through plexiglass – aren’t going away anytime soon.
The constant pursuit of productivity is one of them.
No matter what office life looks like for you these days, there are always ways to take control of your workday and get more done.
Figure Out How and When You’re at Your Best
Do you pump out your most stunning work at 6am with an extra-large coffee by your side? Or is mid-morning when you start getting into a groove? Or maybe the only way you can focus is with your earbuds in secretly rocking out to ‘80s pop hits? We won’t judge.
Whatever your method, figure out the work environment and times of day when you do your best work. Then, use that time for your most important work. Save your least productive work hours for those admin tasks that you could do in your sleep.
Understanding your natural productivity patterns serves as your baseline when you’re ready to create new habits to skyrocket your workplace productivity.
No More Procrastinating
There are a ton of tools out there to help boost your productivity and stay on task, like Trello, Todoist and Asana. But, all the apps in the world won’t do a thing to make you more productive if you push off work until the last minute.
Maybe you think you work well under pressure. Maybe you’re procrastinating right now… Just because waiting until the last minute to develop a big presentation worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do your best work. And, when you go into panic mode and put all of your focus onto that one last-minute task, you steal time away from the other important to-dos on your list.
5 Hacks When You’re Ready to Get Serious about Productivity
When you’re ready to get serious and focus on getting focused, there are 5 productivity hacks that can help. These hacks will accomplish two things:
First, they’ll help you become more productive on your ‘off’ hours – those times during the day when you need the most help staying focused.
Second, they’ll also help you take your most productive hours to a whole new level.
Hack #1: Make Your Desk Distraction-Proof
A clean, organized desk lets your brain focus. If the things you need to do your work are always misplaced or buried under clutter, finding them is time away from getting work done.
Hack #2: Quarantine Your Phone
Your phone is your productivity’s biggest rival. Every social media notification, text message and phone call diverts your focus, causing your productivity to take a nosedive.
We’ve all experienced the ‘fear of missing out’ – that uncontrollable urge to check your phone the moment it dings. Some of the latest stats we’ve seen show that workers waste almost an hour a day using their phones for non-work activities.
Not only is that time wasted – and money lost– but it has indirect costs, as well. It takes your brain time and energy to constantly switch back and forth from nonwork to work tasks. That constant switch impacts the productivity of any work you attempt in between checking messages.
Minimize distractions by muting your phone while you work and turning off ALL notifications. If you really can’t fight the urge to scroll through Instagram every hour, put your phone out of sight either behind you or in a drawer.
Hack #3: Keep Your Blood Flowing
Sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day is the equivalent of giving your body and mind the ‘ok’ to slow down and rest. Productivity requires action. If you get up and get your body moving, your mind will run to catch up.
Start by taking a standing break. Every 30 minutes, get up from your chair and stretch or walk around the office. Just a minute or two of standing helps you keep your body and mind active and focused. Better yet, swap your desk and chair for a standing desk and reap the productivity benefits of standing throughout the entire day.
Even better than a standing break is a walking break. Go for a walk halfway through the day, outside if possible, and get moving. Ten to fifteen minutes is just enough time to refocus your mind, but the longer the better.
Hack #4: Schedule Your Workday Down to the Minute
This hack is a tough one to master at first. Scheduling your workday to the minute literally means getting out a pad of paper and writing down every task you plan to do that day and placing it in a timeslot.
The beauty of scheduling the day to this extent is two-fold. One, there’s no questioning what you should be working on at any given moment. So, the time you typically spend during the day deciding which tasks to complete and in what order is eliminated – which means more time and energy for actual work.
Two, you have a high-level picture of exactly what needs to get done. This makes it easier to hold yourself accountable and more likely that you’ll check everything off your list.
Make sure you schedule breaks, lunch, and time slots for miscellaneous work as things pop up or if a task takes longer than you expected.
Master this hack and there’s no limit to how productive you can be during the workday.
Hack #5: Free Yourself from the Tight Grip of Your Inbox
Email… It’s the necessary evil we all must contend with day-in and day-out. Yes, you have to manage your inbox, but you don’t have to let it manage you.
Instead, schedule specific times during the day to check and respond to emails. Build in three or four 15-minute email checks throughout the day. First thing in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon and at the end of the workday are good places to start.
Why is this so important?
Remember the distractions that social media and text message notifications create? Email does the same thing. If you let every new message in your inbox become an excuse to stop what you’re working on, you’re forcing your brain to jump back and forth from one task to another all day. Your brain doesn’t have a chance to regain focus which means no real work is getting done.
Now That You’re Armed with the Power of Productivity, Let’s Get to Work
The folks at Nolt’s are here to help you create a productive workspace for you and your employees. Our showroom is now open and stocked with new and used chairs, desks, dividers and all of the office accessories you need, no matter where your workspace is located.
Come visit us and talk with our team about how to create a productive workspace today.