We come to office with the best of intentions. That is, we come to office and we intend on having supremely productive days where we breeze through all our work and then feel satisfied because there’s no better feeling than accomplishing all the things on your plate.
However, sometimes, even the best intentions fail. Despite all your attempts to get things done, you might end the day with a backlog of work and no visible progress. The trick lies in not just working hard, but also in working smart. Grinding away at your task is good, but it helps to use a few tips that can make the process of grinding easier and improve your productivity in the workplace.
Block Out Distractions
Let us face it, most of us get distracted really easily. And it’s impossible not to be distracted in an office. People come and go, there are conversations happening and many of us have devices of our own that are really good at being distracted. Now, not a lot of us are blessed with the ability to single-mindedly focus on a task. But it does not mean that you cannot aim for productivity. Schedule certain times during the day when you put up an invisible do not disturb zone around yourself. The aim of scheduling a distraction-free block of time is so that you can get a good chunk of work done. This might include plugging in your headphones, politely declining offers to chat, and promising to take them up later on, basically making a commitment to yourself to get things done.
Hardest Things First
When you come in the morning, you are ready to tackle the day and are fairly well-rested. That is why it makes sense to get all the big things done first. when you have the energy to tackle them. In the evening, you might be tired or not as active as you were, you can get the little things done then and they will not stress you out.
Get Out of That Chair
Really, staying stuck in your chair all day is not going to help you be productive. Your lower body is pretty much vegetating while your upper half suffers through plenty of awkward positions. Get up, take a small walk, be it to the restroom, to the cafeteria, to the balcony, and give your lower half some much-needed blood circulation. The simple act of just stepping away from your system can improve your productivity dramatically.
Power-naps Are Awesome
No really, they are. 15 to 30-minute power naps are refreshing and help you tackle problems with more zeal. If you haven’t slept properly the night before, then that power nap is your body’s chance to re-calibrate and get some rest. Well-rested employees are key to increased productivity.
Device Free Work
Some of us are surgically attached to our phones and pay more attention to them than is necessary. I spent the first ten minutes of this article compulsively checking my phone until I moved it out of sight and just knuckled down to writing. Hand-held technology is great and I am ready to sing its praises anytime. However, I cannot deny that it is a time and attention suck. For a few hours during the day, forget about your phone’s existence. Hide it from your sight and get down to work.
Decide upon a leaving time
When you know that you are going to leave at 7 o’clock in the evening come rain or shine, then there’s a marked tendency to finish your work faster and leave. If you are going through the day, thinking you have plenty of time to finish, in reality, you are just procrastinating and putting work off until you have nothing but last-minute panic to fuel your productivity. Don’t be that way. Set a leaving time and stick to it. That way you will not have to stay back long hours either. It also helps if you have some onus to leave on time. Be it visiting family, a class, the gym, etc. In any case, carrying work home all the time is not the greatest idea anyways. But that’s another article for another day.
Take Care of Yourself
Yes really. Sleep well, eat well, your body is not a machine. It needs rest and it needs food and sleep to function optimally. I know it would be great if we could coast through life on a few hours of sleep and minimal amounts of food but reality is not like that. In order not to be zombies, you need to eat well and sleep well. Treat your body well and your brain will function like a well-oiled machine.
The first step to productivity in the workplace is not trying out all of these tips right away. They might set you back a few steps. Instead, adopt the ones that seem doable and then slowly incorporate the others one by one. Hopefully, one day you will one day realize that you’ve been breezing through work for a while now and have everything mostly under control.
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