Over the past two years, we saw a series of transitions in how we work. First organizations went remote, and work from home became the new norm. Then, when the pandemic normalized in some countries, organizations went hybrid.
But the question which remains is whether the pandemic is really over? No.
With the discovery of newer strains of the COVID virus, we can understand that the pandemic is far from being over and is still a global threat. Like the past two years, many of us will still be working from home, and this will be the norm for organizations worldwide. Working from home has made life simple for many, but many are still struggling to stay productive and engaged while tackling the numerous distractions at home, and the thought of the pandemic.
Here are some useful productivity tips that will help you be more productive in 2023.
1. Have A Dedicated Workspace
To ensure that you are productive and have a supportive work environment, you need to set up a dedicated workspace for yourself. According to an article on Forbes, having a dedicated workspace improves your focus, and results in lesser distractions. If you have a dedicated office at your home, then it is the best thing to have. But if not, then select an area in your house with the least distraction and which you can use as your workspace daily. Study table, dining room table, etc. can serve as your regular workspace. If you are still unsure which space in your house is best suited for work, then invest in a work desk and chair. Most organizations these days are helping employees set up workstations at home. Check with your employer to see if you can get that facility.
2. Identify Your Most and Least Productive Hours
According to research on ultradian rhythms, the human body follows a cycle that affects how productive they are. They go through a cycle of 90-120 minutes, where they go from a productive peak to an unproductive trough.
Everyone is not equally productive during all hours of the day, the body clock works differently for all. Some are more productive in the morning, while others are productive in the evening, or others might be productive consistently throughout the day. Human brain is more productive, active and focussed during the high productive hours. Schedule important and difficult tasks for the high productive hours and the routine or rote tasks can take place in the less productive hours. This will help you identify when you are most productive, distribute workload, and produce more effective results.
3. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is important for your body and mind. Sitting at one position throughout the day in front of your screen is difficult, uncomfortable and stressful. While your upper part of the body is active while working, the lower part remains more or less in a stationary state. Use the Pomodoro technique to schedule your work time and breaks. Take a small walk, do simple stretches, or go for a short walk with your dog. This will not only improve your productivity, but will also help you refresh your mind and improve blood circulation.
4. Start With SMART Goals
Lofty goals (no matter how good they look) are not always easy to achieve. More often than not, they might lead to failure. Or often, we don’t even tackle them, because the goal feels too lofty to begin with. On the other hand, simple goals might not even challenge us and give us a false sense of achievement that will soon diminish as the year progresses.
Use the SMART goals method to set goals that challenge you but also seem achievable. Or maybe there’s another method that you used to set goals. Regardless of the method you use, ensure that your goal list challenges you, but does not overwhelm you.
5. Breakdown Your Goals
Assume you want to write 100 blog posts in a year. At first, this goal might seem a little daunting to achieve. But when you break them down into smaller chunks, they seem more achievable. So 100 blog posts in a year becomes 25 blog posts each quarter. This way, 100 will not be the number you focus on. Rather, it will be 25, 50, 75 and then finally 100.
Use the OKR methodology to set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals and tie them with the business goals. It makes it easy to track progress and align individual goals with the organizational goals.
6. Assign Priority To Your Goals
Every goal that you set has a different priority. Even if your goal list only has 5 goals, there must be some priority based on which you can classify your goals. Prioritize them under High, Medium, and Low. This way, you know what you want to focus on first. And you will not try to stretch yourself in five different ways in order to achieve your goals.
7. Create A Routine
Set up a disciplined routine for yourself. We know it can be difficult to follow a routine while you are working from home, but having a routine always helps. Your routine does not need to ensure that you work your nose to the grindstone to achieve your goals. But it should provide a structured period for work without distractions. Even dedicated pockets of focused time will ensure that you can work towards achieving your goals, rather than trying to expend all your energy at one go and feeling discouraged about not reaching your goal.
8. Check In With Your Colleagues / Team
When you are working from home or remotely, it can create a sense of isolation and disconnect. This affects mental health.
Make sure to check in with your team or colleagues weekly, if not daily. Catch up with them on what they are working on and whether they need any help from your end. Various video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Slack, will make the job easy. It will reduce the stress and anxiety among employees and help them stay engaged and productive.
9. Block Out Digital Distractions
We are not going to say social media is evil, but there is no denying that it does distract us. When working on your goals, ensure that you schedule time off. This means no email alerts, no notification pings, no quickly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. Instead, completely silence your phone and place it some distance away from you. You can even prioritize notifications to ensure that you don’t miss out on important messages.
Also Read: How To Curb Digital Distractions
10. Treat Yourself As the Priority
Last two years have been hard, so wherever you are working from, home or office, treat yourself as the priority. You will be at maximum productivity only when your body gets what it needs. Sleep on time and have healthy food so that your brain and body function well. Once your body gets what it needs, it will function like a well-oiled machine.
As individuals, it might take time for us to adopt these habits or tips into our daily routine. But we need not try out all these tips right away or in a single day. Slowly incorporate them into your daily routine and see the changes they bring to your productivity and the way you work.
Want to know how Engagedly can help you improve your team’s productivity, request a demo from our experts!