You’re faced with obstacles that get in the way of trying to increase your productivity from the moment you roll out of bed. Kids, work, meals, family, meetings and massive amounts of emails. It’s a daily grind — a challenge that never seems to let up. Thankfully, I’ve discovered 5 tips that will certainly assist in giving your productivity a boost. Using any of these will help. Choosing them in combination, depending on your day, can have significant benefits. Pick what works for you and get busy being the most productive version of you!
1. Emails reduce productivity
It begins and ends with conditioning. And, thankfully you can and should be in control. Yes, those pesky and necessary (to a point) emails are getting in the way of you truly increasing your workplace productivity. Here’s why. Remember pagers? Ugh. They were on your hip, in your purse and going off all the time. And, like Pavlov’s dog, we would look immediately to see who needed us. Sure, we’ve made significant advancements from pagers, however human condition is still based solely on the individual. Try this. You’ll thank me. It’s a form of exercise and it is not difficult. I know you’re busy. I understand that people need you, but we’re not as needed as we make ourselves believe we are. Check your email 3 times a day. How often do you currently check your email? 5-10 times a day? More? It is a waste of time, takes you down different paths that decrease your productivity and do not make you better at your job. Correctly managing your time makes your better, more efficient and increases productivity. Try this. You’ll like it!
2. Multitasking slows you down
I’ll make this easy to digest. If you try to do more than 2 things at once your productivity will not increase, it will most certainly decrease. When you’re interviewed for a job, this may come up. We tend to look at multitasking as a benefit, when it is actually a detriment. There are hundreds of scholarly studies to back this up, but you probably don’t need to review them because you know this to be true. At issue is the fact that you might not put into practice what you know will help increase your workplace productivity. Instead, we tend to push ourselves into thinking that multitasking equals a boost in productivity. It does not. More mistakes are made, some can be costly and we have to go back to fix the mistakes. This takes time. I’m suggesting that you consider doing 1-2 things and then moving on to the next item(s). If you’re saying that you don’t have this luxury, I’m suggesting that it will save you time, you’ll have less errors and you’ll see an increase in productivity. Give it a try and see for yourself!
3. Take breaks often
Working remotely has many benefits. It can also wear you out if you don’t know how to take regular breaks. Set you phone to go off every 45-75 minutes. This is a notification to stop, get up, stretch, walk around, have water, eat something, go to the bathroom, etc. Increasing productivity is fine and being smart about it is, well, it’s smart! Hydration is essential during these breaks as it gives our cells and organs much needed liquid. You’ll get use to these breaks and look forward to chilling out for a few minutes.
4. Limit social media
Yes, it’s addictive, sends us down a spiral and is entertaining too. Studies show that not checking the news and other media when you first wake up makes you happier. Take time and chat with a friend or do some journaling. Letting our minds relax and wander boosts our productivity, creativity, happiness and more. Limiting your intake of social media will be easy after 1-3 days. Maybe you’ll read more, work on that novel you’ve been meaning to begin. Or, simply relax.
5. The art of saying no to meetings and more work
This form of mental exercise can be difficult for some. However, once you remove fear and replace it with vision, the rest is easy. We’re often afraid to say no believing that we’ll get in trouble. In fact, it’s empowering, increases productivity and makes you feel good. There are several ways to do this. Try these.
A- I’m booked, we’ll have to schedule the meeting for another time. If they say that your calendar is open, let them know that something came up. No need to explain.
B- If your manager heaps more on your plate, let them know that you have no time to do this new project. I recommend saying “Happy to make this happen. Here’s what I have going on right now. What would you like me to drop or revisit later?”
We understand that our most precious work commodity is time. And, it’s really up to you to decide how you use it. Taking charge of YOU and mixing in one or more of the 5 tips above will give you the much-needed space to recharge, relax and increase productivity in ways that fit you best.