There’s a fun quote around productivity that always makes me smile when I read it:
“Drink Coffee – Do stupid things faster, with more energy!”
While I enjoy a good cup of coffee, there are definitely more efficient ways to completing your daily tasks to increase productivity. In my desire to be more productive during my time at work, I have run across some great ideas for strengthening everyday productivity. Here are 10 productivity tips for you, whether you’re tired of your physical surroundings at work, or are looking for some fresh mindsets to enhance your efficiency.
5 Organizational Ideas For Your Work to Increase Productivity
1. Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is an essential part of staying productive. Your body needs water; not pop, or coffee, or an energy drink. If you need to be convinced of this fact, read this article on the benefits of drinking water. Keep a water bottle within arm’s reach at all times and use it. If you are working at a computer, use your stretch break as an opportunity to rehydrate. This habit, once formed will help power your body, keep your mind clear, and provide a great alternative to unnecessary calories.
2. Lose the Phone
This practice is easier for some than for others. If you need access to your smartphone to complete your work, then disable or silence notifications. If you don’t need your phone to work, put it in another room, out of arm’s reach, or at least out of site. Every time you stop what you are working on to glance at your smartphone or send a quick reply, you’re derailing your productivity. Rebecca Benson states in her Pick The Brain article, “It’s also pretty obvious that phones are incredibly distracting – it’s all too tempting to stop what you’re doing to get the instant gratification of scrolling through Facebook or checking that WhatsApp message.” I couldn’t agree more.
3. Create an Inspiring Workspace
Developing a workspace that promotes healthy habits and helps you focus is a great achievement. Why not add to that environment by developing an atmosphere that boosts your creativity? Print out a handful of quotes that inspire you and display them prominently. An encouraging photo of family or friends can be just the inspiration you need to keep working effectively. Bringing natural light or a houseplant into your office is a great way to stay relaxed as you work. You get the idea. Surround yourself with an exclusive selection of reminders to keep you inspired and productive.
4. Use Music to Aid Your Work
The jury seems to be out on whether or not listening to music while you work is truly beneficial. (Studies have provided varied results) The safe way to apply this idea is personal experimentation. If you are easily distracted by sudden noises, some ambient music might work well to help you stay on task. On a long and difficult project, epic and uplifting music may give you the emotional lift you need. Piano sonatas are a good choice to help minimize stress and keep you relaxed. The key is to leverage music to promote your work, not distract you from your work.
5. Keep a Tidy Workspace
The old saying “A place for everything and everything in its place” has never been more applicable than in your workzone. Start by making a list of the essentials: the tools and resources you need every day to complete your tasks. Then, organize them and make them accessible. This can be applied to physical objects as well as digital information. (using a password protection app can be a great way to put this into practice) The less time you spend searching the more time you can spend working toward your goal.
5 Organizational Ideas For Your Mind
1. Plan Your Day the Night Before
A healthy amount of sleep is crucial to staying productive, but getting your brain to turn off isn’t always easy. Make a habit of writing down your goals for the next day, before you try going to sleep. This approach not only allows you to get your ideas down on paper (and off your mind) it also gives you a chance to reevaluate and edit your goals the next morning – after you’re rested.
2. Focus on Your Big Three
Once your To-Do list has taken form, it’s time to prioritize. Michael Hyatt talks about focussing on your Big 3 for each day: three tasks that are both essential and time sensitive. Identifying your priorities is a huge step toward achieving them, so take the time to single out your top goals for the day. Then, keep them in a conspicuous spot to help you refocus when you’re in danger of being distracted.
3. Find Your Optimal Timespan
How long can you work on a task before you burn out? More importantly, how long does it take before your productivity on a given task begins to wane? 15 minutes of cold calling? 30 minutes of designing? 1 hour of writing? Figure out your optimal timeframe for a given project and stick to it. As long as you can stay ahead of any deadlines, this approach to work allows you to optimize your time. Try to divide up your day into time slots that are most effective for your work style.
4. Encourage Productive Habits
Sometimes I get so excited about trying something new, that I overlook something great that’s already a part of my life. It’s tempting to think that some new method is going to immediately and drastically improve my life. (I call this Selective Optimism) Before you go crazy trying to revamp your work day, take a look at habits you’ve already formed. Ask a friend, coworker, or your spouse to help you identify strengths you’ve already formed. Then, find ways to establish those habits; let’s keep a good thing going.
5. Appreciate Variety
This last tip is about living life to the fullest, whether you are working, playing, resting or just trying to stay sane. Realizing the importance of routine is vital to staying productive throughout the day. If you can find purpose in whatever you are doing, you’ll be one step closer to thoroughly enjoying each day. Work is great, so is rest. Appreciate them both and know when to stop one and start the other.
Before you dive into your pile of tasks this next week, take another look at how you get things done. Is there a time of day when you tend to drag? Do you feel disorganized and overwhelmed by the clutter surrounding your computer? Are you having trouble getting your mind to relax after you’ve “clocked out”? My hope is that at least one of these 10 tips will enhance your work day and help you achieve greater productivity. Have fun experimenting!
Ben Tejes is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ascend Finance, a platform to help people achieve self improvement in the area of personal finance. He is a writer for the Ascend Blog where he writes on topics such as Chapter 7, Chapter 13, debt, collections and creditors to help people get out of debt and experience financial freedom.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.