Staying productive is the hardest and compelling task for all employees: be focused at your desk closing task for all day long. It isn’t simple. Isn’t it?
Productivity is a famous topic, covered in hundreds and hundreds of posts, most of them giving a lot of interesting hints to keep up a high energy level at work. However, in my experience, I’ve found that most of them are not effective, and useless in time, if you work in a non productive environment.
But what does that mean?
It means that all your effort could be useless and tiring if for example you work in an intrusive and interrupting office, on a uncomfortable chair, or on a completely messed desk. It could be obvious but it isn’t, and what if your tasks are boring or extremely difficult? Those require even more effort.
First step: Get your place clean. A new study from the Florida State University suggests that inadequate amount of stimulation in the workplace and an unclean working environment can both affect your brain functions on the long run. First thing in the morning clean your desk from all the old papers collected the day before and reorganize your docs. This works great for me because I’m quite a messy person and, at the end of the day, I leave my desk cluttered.
Second step: remove all distractions around you. This is the most famous suggestion for staying productive: reduce work noise like emails, cell buzzing and colleague chatting. I’ve found that this is probably the hardest one, because all of us, right now, are probably working on tasks but also with emails, in a team, having clients calling on your phone.
I solve this issue creating dedicated time slots, I check my email first thing first after cleaning my desk from old papers and first thing first after lunch. Once done I close it and never check it again until the next slot. I do the same with my phone, it remains turned off until its dedicated time slot. All the others unpredictable interruptions, unfortunately, cannot be manged. I found really useful to record how much time these interruptions stole to my work, this helps me identifying which is the one that really needs to be avoided.
Third step: Create an organized to do list. Once you have answered your emails and your phone messages it’s time to work on your real task.
Having them organized is very useful. I found really helpful to use a sortable list of to-dos, organized by tasks. In my experience priorities can change day by day and checking this list every morning, sorting to-dos, and in the evening, closing things done is really encouraging. If you like to work with this approach I suggest you to take a look at our project management software Twproject, you will love it.
Fourth step: Stay healthy, hydrate yourself and take a break every 25 minutes. These are generic suggestions, but, taking care of yourself will positively influence your life, even at work. Check that your chair is comfortable, take a break every 25 minutes, drink and check your posture. Take a look at the Pomodoro technique to boost your productivity: 25 minutes of focused work and 5 minutes break. To get the best from this technique involve your team and try to follow all the same path in order to be on board and do not interfere with others timers.
Last step: At the end of the day turn it off. Try to avoid homework and leave work stress inside the office. A good night of sleep is the secret of all the most successful people.
“To sleep, perchance to dream, perchance to… strengthen neuronal networks?”
A very interesting article from the Harvard University pointed out a list of suggestions and examples of why you need to get a good night of sleep to be more productive at work and happy in your life.
So these are 5 essential aspects of your habits that you need to check and maybe adjust to be more productive. I’m trying myself all of them with encouraging results. Follow us on our social networks for other tips and tricks to get the best out of your work life, and send us your impressions and your experience in boosting productivity, it would be great to hear from you.