How to Be Super Productive While at the Office
With the thousands of distractions in today’s digital world, it’s difficult for the average person to stay focused, to say the least. Due to these distractions, the average employee is interrupted every 11 minutes and loses approximately 2.1 hours at work. Whether by phone calls, co-workers, social media or anything else that catches our eye, there are many ways we get distracted every day. So how can we overcome these distractions? We’re all human and have limits to our mental effort, much like our physical energy. Here’s some helpful tips to stay productive while at work.
Productivity Tips for the Office
#1 Organize your smartphone.
With today’s advanced technology right in our hands, it is very important to sync your smartphone to work files, contacts, email and productivity apps. Managing your work email and apps on your phone will help remind you of important tasks and will deliver updates to any work project straight to you, saving you time and effort. First, make sure to delete any un-used apps from your phone to clear up space. Upload or sync your work email, contacts, calendar, and files into your phone. For easier access, shift any daily apps you frequently use to the home screen of your phone and group any related apps into one section. Lastly, download any project management and/or productivity apps to help organize tasks or manage time.
#2 Break assignments into manageable chunks.
The key to managing stress is to take breaks throughout the work day in order to avoid being overwhelmed and to conserve mental effort. However, stress is not the culprit here. Stress can actually be a positive bodily occurrence, since it allows us to go beyond our physical means to meet an upcoming or urgent deadline. It is recommended to work in 90 minute intervals and take 15 minute breaks in between. During these short breaks try to take some personal time to do some light reading unrelated to work or take a short walk. The key is to take a mental break and do something that requires little thought and makes you happy. Catching up with social media and checking your Facebook and Twitter is even a viable option. Taking these short breaks in between working for 90 minutes chunks will conserve mental effort and leave you to devote your concentration where it belongs: on your work.
#3 Schedule unstimulated time.
Unstimulated time is a time period where you are solely focusing on one thing, rather than trying to multitask. Schedule this time in the mornings, right when you get to work. Take an hour to 3-hour period to solely focus on one work task at at time. Be sure to silence your phone, email notifications, messenger notifications and keep all your concentration on the task at hand. This is a great way to start in the morning and can also make your day go by faster.
#4 Use stress to your advantage.
As mentioned previously, stress is not your enemy! The problem with stress is the lack of recovery that many people forget about. Stress is the extra push that our bodies send us to meet a deadline or achieve a goal (whether to survive in the wild or to avoid your boss getting mad). But like anything else, we need to rest and recover to properly manage stress. It’s easy to see how stress can be a bad thing as it has negative emotional and physical effects. The good news is that there are many ways to deal with stress in a positive way. The first and best option to recover from stress is to exercise for at least an hour. Another option would be to meditate, which is medically proven to relax your mind and body to restore mental energy. Taking a nap or doing some light reading are also viable alternatives to recover from stress.
#5 Organize your work desk.
This may seem obvious, but it’s a very helpful tip. No one can focus on their work when their environment is messy. Plus, even if you tried to get work done at an unorganized desk, it would take away time and effort from your work day trying to locate files, find important memos, or remember where you left off on your work. So, when you first arrive at work, take a few minutes in the morning to clean up your desk. If you have more pressing matter, leave cleaning up your desk as one of your 15 minute breaks during the day. A clear desk, is a clear mind.
Productivity Tips for Remote Workers
The above tips are not only reserved for the workplace, but translate to remote workers as well. On the other hand, there are a few productivity advice points that are particular to those working from home. With the tech industry leading the way for remote workers, working from home is now a more viable and accepted thing. Let’s take a look at some productivity tips for remote workers.
#1 Make sure you are connected.
The most important aspect of working from home is to make sure your Internet connection is strong and stable. Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into your work day than a slow internet connection or no internet at all. This cannot only interfere with your work for the day, but may give your boss the wrong idea that you’re slacking behind or not committed to your job.
#2 Go out for lunch.
When working from home, it’s easy to get involved in your work and never leave your house since there is a misconception that remote workers might be slacking on the job. But even if you are working from home, it is important to take breaks from work to conserve mental energy. Be sure to step out once in a while, even if it’s for lunch. It’ll be a nice break for you and gives you the opportunity to walk around and recover from work stress.
#3 Make your presence known.
Always keep yourself available to your boss and co-workers. Make sure you make it known to everyone that you are there working and can be reached at any time. Stay signed-in to chats, create a Skype account, and/or make sure you respond to emails quickly. Also, keep your phone with you at all times so you’re notified right away if someone from work is trying to reach you. Also, if your company uses project management software, be sure to report any work you’ve completed or any assignments you are working on.
#4 Reserve time.
Anyone who has worked from home or works remotely knows that it’s impossible to accurately mimic work hours from home. There are always errands to run or family outings. This is where the remote misconceptions begin, as people think you’re going to be grocery shopping while on the clock. For this reason, you must reserve work time into your schedule when you will devote full concentration to your job, leaving errands to the back-burner. This doesn’t mean it has to follow the conventional working hours, but it does mean the work must get done. Try to create a work schedule that meets deadlines but also serves your working habits as well.
Staying on task at work is becoming more challenging as the digital world is taking over. However, there are many ways to manage your time in order to be productive at the office.