On a personal level, productivity can be a major source of stress. Companies want their staff to generate revenue, not losses, but what happens if an employee gets stuck in a rut?
If your head is just not in the right place, or you’re working hard with nothing to show for it, you’re not the only one. We’ve put together 28 ways to boost your productivity.
1. Eat right
Eating the right foods gives your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to keep you alert, calm, and productive. With the right choices, you can avoid afternoon slumps and reliance on caffeine or sugar.
Boxgreen offers a one-stop pantry management service to hook your office up with wholesome, nutritionist-approved snacks for a healthy and happy team. No matter your team size or budget, contact us here!
2. Stay fit
Your physical fitness has a great impact on your mood and focus. New research shows that high intensity interval training (HIIT) can be more effective than long cardio workouts, so you can get a lot of bang for your buck. Try to meet the Health Promotion Board (HPB) guidelines of 10000 steps a day and 150 minutes of activity a week. Remember, consistency is key!
3. Sit less
Sitting down is actually really bad for you. Try to take a few steps every hour to promote blood circulation. It’s also a great way to take a mental break and come back to your work refreshed.
4. Be an early bird
Even if you don’t want to catch worms, starting your day early has proven benefits, and many successful people swear by it. Take advantage of the natural day cycle – the sunrise is beautiful, the early morning is quieter than rush hour, and you won’t still be groggy when work starts.
5. Start your day reading
Get into the right frame of mind with some reading. Whether you read during breakfast when you’re up early, or on your commute to work, you’ll feel more alert. You can even use audiobooks or news radio if you drive or simply prefer to listen.
6. Find purpose
Productivity slips when you don’t feel motivated. At some point, the promise of praise, promotions, and pay raises isn’t enough to keep you going. Cultivate intrinsic motivation by finding a purpose, aligning your ideals with the company’s mission.
What can you do when faced with a task you dread? Try breaking it up into smaller sub-tasks! It’s scientifically proven to help improve your mindset and the practical results of your work, by helping you focus and get instant feedback.
Willpower is about acknowledging your dual immediate self and future self, and making good choices which are in line with your values and purpose. This is something that you can actively think about and practise. Don’t write yourself off as a lost cause, too weak, or lazy just yet!
9. The Glass Jar approach
The idea is that you must make time for the biggest and most important tasks first, before moving on to smaller and less crucial ones. This way, you’ll be able to fit everything you need to do into your day or week.
10. Have routines
If you have recurring tasks, try to do them at the same time every week. You’ll become more efficient at the tasks and minimise the amount of time wasted around settling down to do the tasks.
11. Crucial tasks
Every day or week, choose one or two crucial tasks, then make sure they’re completed. This helps you focus, prioritise, and never miss your important deadlines again.
12. Check ins
The entire department should come together for check-ins daily or weekly. Crystallising and articulating the plan for the day or week also helps each team member set achievable goals and specific tasks.
13. Keep your space tidy
Your workspace can have a big impact on your psyche. By clearing clutter, you remove distractions. The right colours and decor can also boost your mood and concentration.
14. Pick the right soundtrack
Music can boost your concentration and mood, but it can also distract you. Choose carefully!
15. Put your phone away
It’s bad enough that you’ve got almost free range internet access on your computer. Your phone is even worse. Remove some of the temptation and distraction by putting your phone on silent and keep it out of sight (and out of mind).
16. Work with nature
Our bodies are meant to be awake with the sun and asleep at night, so do align your body’s rhythms with the natural day cycles. Make sure your office environment is sunny (or at least brightly lit) and your bedroom is conducive to a good rest.
17. Psych yourself up
When you’re about to start doing something difficult, a pep talk helps. Boost your own confidence and count yourself down before jumping right into it.
18. Bite the bullet
Start with the hardest tasks that you don’t want to do the most. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for having done it. Plus, everything else will get easier after that.
You may not actually have to do some of the nitty-gritty tasks you’ve been putting off. Find out if there are interns you can delegate to, or even outsource using online temp services.
20. Settle into the groove
While it’s advisable to take breaks periodically while working, there is dispute to the ideal length of each working bloc. Nonetheless, it makes sense that the blocs should be long enough that you can properly settle into the groove of the task, without breaking your concentration or train of thought.
21. Don’t multitask
It’s actually impossible to multitask – you’re actually rapidly switching your focus from one task to another. This means that you’re not giving any of them their due attention, and all of them will suffer for it.
22. Move your deadlines up
Make it a habit to set personal deadlines earlier than the actual deadlines. This helps you to stay on track and avoid last minute rushing. It also ensures that you have time to make changes if your managers or clients ask you to.
23. Protect your productive time
There are certain times of day when you feel most alert and do the most and best work. Try to protect these blocs for getting actual work done, rather than meetings or admin work.
24. Don’t waste time in meetings
Meetings are necessary, but it’s important that they don’t waste your time. Instead of restricting the length of meetings, make them more efficient and productive instead. There should be an established purpose and agenda, and once that’s achieved in the shortest possible time, the meeting should end.
25. Put on headphones
Even if you’re not listening to music, just putting on headphones helps. It blocks out some of the surrounding noise, so you can concentrate on your own work, and it makes others think twice before tapping you on the shoulder. Sometimes that extra moment makes them realise they don’t actually need your help at that exact moment or at all.
26. You can’t help everyone
Even when people ask for your help, you can and should learn to say no if you need to prioritise your own work. A good trick is to ask them to come back in 30 minutes (or any period of time), because in that time they may figure it out on their own.
27. Remote working
Remote working is a great way to pull yourself out of a slump at the office. Not only can the change of scenery help, but if you’re away from your coworkers, you’re less likely to be interrupted.
28. Reward yourself for progress
Projects with the most potential also carry the most risk, so your effort may not always show proportional results. Nonetheless, it’s important to celebrate your wins.
Productivity isn’t a target like a sales goal or promotion. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle, and a state of being. It requires practise and consistency, and your improvements will look different month on month. Sometimes there will be tangible results in your output, but sometimes you’ll just feel more productive and ready to tackle the next month or target.
At boxgreen, we care about your wellbeing holistically. While it’s important to take care of your customers and clients, a truly successful company first looks out for its own employees.