Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, yet still you might find yourself yearning for close of business because you’re in dire need of some rest and relaxation. Work doesn’t need to be this way, it shouldn’t be this way, and you can make it far more efficient and productive by following these ten handy tips.
1) Start your day with something enjoyable
Whether it’s a healthy breakfast, listening to music during your commute or squeezing in thirty minutes on the treadmill, making time for a morning ritual will help you to wake up, motivate yourself and become more focused.
2) Check emails first
Rather than throwing yourself straight into a big project, go through your inbox and see if there’s anything that needs responding to. This will also help you to ease into your duties, aiding the rhythm of your day.
3) Block out distractions
Whilst some things can’t be ignored, it’s highly recommended that you prevent as many disruptions as possible. This can include switching your mobile to silent, ignoring emails for a while, and placing a Do Not Disturb sign on your door if you have your own office.
4) Follow the 45/15 rule
Humans aren’t programmed to focus on a single task for hours on end. The 45/15 rule works wonders for maintaining concentration and reducing the likelihood of fatigue and it’s very simple to follow. Dedicate 45 uninterrupted minutes to an important task, then spend 15 minutes on something less pressing. Repeat throughout the day.
5) Personalise your environment
Your workplace may have restrictions on what you can place on your desk, but chances are that you’ll be allowed to add a couple of bits and bobs. Additions that offer the biggest impact are plants, a photo of loved ones and a stress ball, as this combination is great for wellbeing and tension relief.
6) Make notes
If an idea pops into your head, jot it down on a notepad or type it into a Word document. Under no circumstances should you assume that you’ll remember it, as the brain can forget even the most brilliant concepts in a heartbeat.
7) Minimise meetings
Most meetings take longer than required and include too many people, reducing the productivity of individuals as well as the company as a whole. Plan your meetings beforehand with short and simple agendas, aiming to finish within 30 minutes if possible. Make sure that the minutes are recorded and shared with all attendees, who can then forward key messages to their teams.
8) Use technology
These days there are countless websites and apps designed to save you time, increase productivity and make life easier. Google Calendar effectively, scheduling social media activity through Hootsuite, setting up GoCardless for recurring payments and creating a company Slack account for internal communications are prime examples. Digital innovations should be cleverly applied to revolutionise your workflow.
If you’re stuck on something and need inspiration, approach a coworker who you think can offer valuable insight. The same applies to physical tasks, such as filing, rearranging workspaces, changing printer toner and taking out the rubbish and recycling. Whilst it means that two people are required for one job, you’ll get it done in less than half the time.
10) Always be open to learning and change
If you refuse to take on board new information and close yourself off to different ways of working, your productivity will remain stuck at the same level. Take every opportunity you can to better your understanding of numerous disciplines and use this knowledge to evolve the way in which you work.
Have we missed something?
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