10 Tips for Office Productivity That Will Change Your Workflow Forever
You set up a clever alarm that makes you solve equations at 6 AM. You try your best to get out of your bed on time and you rush into the office. You take a sit, you open your laptop, you breathe in aaand… Ugh, things are just not flowing. Coffee first, what kind of person are you?! How can you boost your productivity?
We all struggle to fit in a lot of work between 9 AM and 5 PM, but the truth is that you can’t be productive all day, everyday. Productivity, your workspace and daily habits can be however modified in order to enhance your energy and concentration power. That will make you feel a lot better about yourself. So let’s talk more about it!
5 Habits You Should Adopt Starting Tomorrow
1. Create a morning routine for yourself and stick to it
If you ate your healthy, perfectly scheduled breakfast every day and you were the first employee to get in the office, you probably wouldn’t need this article. But you aren’t that person and we feel you, so please go on.
You must learn that a morning routine keeps you organized and gives you a sense of purpose right when you open your eyes. Pretty powerful, right?
Science shows that humans can only make a certain amount of good decisions per day, so save those for the really important things at work.
When you figure out your morning routine, you might want to check the following rules:
- Get used to a couple breakfast options that are easy to make. Alternate them for variety.
- Prepare your outfit the night before. Clothes, accessories, backpack, socks, everything!
- No screen time before having breakfast (that’s right, no Instagram until you had your carbs and fruits).
- No email checking before leaving the house. You’ll most likely stress out and it’s way too early for that kind of feelings!
- Always know when it’s time to leave for work. Rushing only makes things worse.
These habits will cut a lot of matinal stress and, therefore, you’ll be ready for a full day of productive awesomeness!
2. Keep your notifications quiet
You probably check your phone between 25 and 80 times every day, like the average human being. We know, it doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but check these facts out. When you interrupt your focus by checking notifications, you’ll need 11 more minutes to get back to work. That’s eleven minutes each time you grab your smartphone. You do the math!
You won’t like this, but you really need to keep those notifications quiet throughout the day, if you want to be productive. Make a deal with yourself and create some bearable boundaries. Let’s say, you are allowed to check your phone screen every one or two hours. That sounds pretty decent, right?
This way, you will focus a whole lot better on your tasks and you will finish them way faster than before. Hello there, Mr. Or Mrs. Productivity!
3. Make your meetings shorter and smarter
We all know that long meeting that could have been an email, right? Spending hours in a conference room, trying to organize everyone and have a productive meeting can be a huge pain in the neck.
Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself: `Is this really necessary?`. If the answer is still yes, use clever software like Roomzilla to organize smart and stress-free meetings. Before going in, make sure your meeting has a purpose, a structure and a clear timing. This way, you and your colleagues will win the productivity game each time!
4. Don’t forget to take a break
Even though it may sound counterintuitive, frequent breaks are key for your productivity levels. Let’s be real, you can’t just work, work, work, like you’re in a Rihanna song, and expect to kill it from 9 to 5.
Here’s how your break could look like:
- A ten-minute walk around the building or in a park nearby. Breathe in, watch the sky, enjoy the wind and the trees. It may sound hippie, but this will freshen you up, physically and mentally.
- Find an empty room and do a few body movements. Stretch that back, roll your shoulders and unclench your jaw. You need this.
- Grab a cup of coffee with your teammates. Talk about the news, your future plans, a movie you watched, the latest season of that cool series – anything but work, okay?
- Lunch. Don’t skip it, thinking that you are saving time. You may sit at your desk, but you’ll have a low level of energy, so go eat something healthy instead. We can’t stress this enough: not eating enough is the most counterproductive habit you can have.
If you find it hard to take more breaks, use the Pomodoro technique. Set your timer to 25 minutes, then start working. No distractions, no talking with your colleagues. When the timer rings, take a 5-minute break and disconnect completely. Repeat this cycle 4 times, then take a longer break. Nice and easy!
5. Don’t multitask
Look at you, reading an email, writing down some notes, drinking water, and chatting with your friends about the party tonight. All at the same time!
For many years, multitasking has been receiving a lot of praise. Although it seems super productive, it’s just the opposite. Your brain can not focus on more than one job simultaneously. A study conducted at Stanford University actually found that multitasking is less productive than handling one task at a time.
When you multitask, you’re basically switching between more actions at a high speed. Technically, you’re still doing one thing at a time, but you don’t focus properly on any of those things. Ouch!
That being said, try to take things slow, one by one. Not only you’ll be more productive, but your work will increase in quality too.
Okay, now that you know what you have to do in terms of work related habits, it’s time to take a closer look at your desk. Let’s see!
5 Small but Essential Workspace Tips You Should Use
1. Make the space your own
If you work in an open space, there’s not much you can change. You can’t paint the walls blue, get a whole garden of flowers and install a water fountain that helps you chill. So let’s focus on things you can do, shall we?
Personalize your desk using little, barely noticeable tricks. Bring a couple of your favorite photos and stick them on a wooden board. You can even create a vision board, right there. This will remind you what you’re working for, in the first place.
If you have a hobby, bring it with you. Maybe you can’t put the entire pottery set on your desk, but you can certainly bring your Star Wars cup or your favorite travel souvenir. These quirky things will boost your mood, you will feel more comfortable and your productivity will skyrocket.
2. It’s time to tidy up, buttercup!
We don’t want to sound like your mom, but we got to tell you this: tidy up! Keeping your desk clean not only gives you more physical space, but it also offers you more mental space and clarity.
Many studies show that our environment has a great impact on our mental health and productivity. Coming to work and finding a space full of papers, old coffee mugs and post-it notes makes you want to leave ASAP. You’ll be stressed out right from the start and your thoughts will tangle just like those cords you said you’d organize someday.
Here’s a few quick tips for a well-organized desk:
- If you still deal with a lot of papers, keep your documents in files and label them.
- Use a cord organizer. It’s life-changing, we promise you that!
- Keep the most important things on your dominant hand side. It’s a smooth trick that goes a long way.
- Ditch those post-it notes (they’re everywhere!) and opt for a bullet journal instead. Jot down any idea, new task or meeting related info. This will keep all of your notes in one place.
Tidy up your desk at the end of each day, so in the morning you’ll find a magical land of immaculacy and productivity!
3. Get a proper chair or a back supporting pillow
Cats have this strong life principle, `If it fits, I sits!`, but we’re afraid that doesn’t work for humans at all. If productivity is your main goal, you need to adjust your seat first.
Imagine this: you are working on an essential task that needs your undivided attention. Your back starts to ache, but it’s ok, you can manage that. Back to work now, here’s a thing you need to do… Wait, it hurts so bad you can’t even hear yourself thinking!
It’s clear as day: you can’t be productive if you’re not feeling 100% comfortable. Swap your chair with a spine-friendly one. If that’s not an option, buy one of those back support pillows. They’re cheap and super efficient!
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any back problems; prevention is better than the actual treatment. Just attach the special pillow to your chair and your back will thank you!
4. Put your to do list somewhere you can see it
Lists are always helpful, when it comes to productivity. Instead of just checking the already full and messy calendar, write down the main tasks for the day.
Use a small whiteboard, a notepad, whatever you fancy. But make sure that your tasks are well-organized, in a visually appealing form. Tick them off when you are done with them – satisfaction is guaranteed!
Here’s 3 ways you can organize your list:
- Split the day into segments: in the morning, before and after lunch, at the end of the day. This will give you a sense of time.
- Create task categories: administrative, creative, reporting, brainstorming. You’ll instantly get a better vision on what needs to be done.
- Add deadlines and color coding, so you can always prioritize the right tasks.
You will shortly become a list master and your office productivity will increase day after day.
5. Get creative and use all the space you got
If your cubicle seems too small for a productivity-inducing workspace, it’s time to get creative. Even though you only have one desk, there are lots of solutions you can use to maximize and optimize your space:
- Use a feet hammock and never worry about knee pain or feet swelling again.
- Think vertically and store your pens, notebooks, batteries or other supplies in stacked boxes.
- Bring a few organizers and put them in your drawers. More space, more discipline!
You see, being productive at the office doesn’t have to be that complicated. You don’t have to work non-stop, but you have to be clever and, of course, use the tips above. You can do it!