People who are productive and manage to get, what seems like, one hundred tasks accomplished every day are not superhuman; they are just organised and have mastered a few simple habits that have helped increase their productivity.
Here at Bamboo Nine, our office is always buzzing with activity and our team work exceptionally hard for the success of our company. But that doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with procrastination. So, to help us all out, below are 15 straightforward ways to make every day more productive. Read on to find out more.
Arrive Early, Stay Later
And guarantee your success…or so the myth suggests. But here at Bamboo Nine, we are passionate about ensuring all our employees maintain a healthy work – life balance. Of course, as with any business, there are days when an urgent project needs to be finished, well, urgently, and that may require working a little later than usual. But overall, we recommend that to achieve your ultimate productivity levels, you only work the amount of time required in a normal working day.
Perhaps you think you can get more done by tacking on extra hours…well, according to a 2014 study by Stanford professor John Pencavel on working hours, output was proportionate to time worked – up to 49 hours. Beyond that, it rose at a decreasing rate, and those who worked 70 hours had the same productivity levels as someone who worked 56. So, leave work at the end of the day, make time for family, hobbies and self-care because these things are just as important as performing well at work.
Plan Each Day the Night Before
If you work in a particularly demanding job, planning may be your key to success. To Achieve ultimate productivity, plan each working day the night before. It only takes 15 minutes. Not only will this help you stay organised and on top of everything at work but it will have the added benefit of getting all your thoughts out on paper so you can relax for the rest of the evening and enjoy a better night’s sleep. Give it a go, you never know it might work for you!
Leave the Office for Lunch
Many of us make excuses that we have too much work on to take a break. While this may be true, there is no reason why all of this cannot be put on hold for one hour every day. Simply taking an hour each day to leave the office for your lunch break can have an incredible effect on your productivity and mental health. Getting out of the office allows you to get fresh air, enjoy the sunshine, reduce your stress levels and help you to re-focus before getting back to work.
This may seem like an obvious point but it is so incredibly important that you minimise all distractions. However, this is much easier said than done because distractions are everywhere. If you work on a computer, the number of distractions available to you are drastically increased. There are numerous temptations to check social media and surf the internet, among many other things. But, when it’s time to work, you need to work and work productively.
Don’t let people distract you. Do whatever you can to remain productive. Whether it be closing the door to your office and hanging a ‘do not disturb’ sign, setting boundaries with especially talkative employees or turning off your mobile phone – minimise all distractions to improve your productivity.
Always Keep Your Goals in Sight
Setting goals is a great way to encourage productivity as it gives you something to work towards. A brilliant way to set achievable goals is to write a daily To-Do list. One of the most satisfying things about a To-Do list is crossing of items once you have successfully completed them. It helps give you a sense of accomplishment and visualisation of your daily progress. To-Do lists also help you stay focused on the things you need to achieve daily and, setting timers for each task, helps increase productivity and rule out any time for procrastination.
Declutter Your Desk
Many people suggest that a messy desk is a sign of creativity and that creativity often arises from chaos. But a litter-strewn, unorganised desk will not help you get things done. A messy desk hurts your ability to focus on one task at a time as a myriad of other things can easily steal your attention and distract you from the task at hand. In fact, a recent study in Harvard Business Review, found that a clean desk helped people stick with a task more than one and a half times longer than they otherwise would have – if that’s not productive, I don’t know what is!
Stop multitasking right now. Instead, dramatically increase your productivity by focusing on one task at a time, giving it your full attention before moving on to the next task. A study out of the University of Sussex in the UK indicates that multitasking may actually be physically harming your brain.
The study discovered that participants who multitasked by using several devices simultaneously had lower grey matter density. Grey matter is linked to emotional control and it plays a crucial role in our decision-making, empathy and how we respond to rewards. So, the next time you find yourself drifting towards multitasking, think about how important it is to keep all your little grey cells and resist the multitasking curse!
Delegating tasks effectively can also be a great way to increase productivity. If you do it right, that is. For many managers, the assumption is that delegating work gives them even more to do because not only will they have to do their own work, they will have to supervise someone else’s work as well.
This is incorrect.
If you assign someone a task and then supervise them closely, that’s called micromanaging and is not the same as delegating. When you delegate properly, you will have more time to spend completing your own work. The key to successful delegation is to assign the job to an employee that you trust and then leave the, to get it done. Once you have mastered the trick of effective delegation, you will be astonished at how much more productive you are and free to focus on what you need and want to do.
Get Enough Sleep
It is a well-known fact that getting enough sleep is essential to good health and elevated performance. What you may not realise is that it only takes one night of sleep deprivation to have big deficits on our productivity levels and abilities. Lack of sleep is bad for our health as it decreases our concentration, logical reasoning and working memory, amongst other things.
So, how much sleep should we be getting? For an adult, it is recommended we get around seven to nine hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then taking a nap could be extremely beneficial. Sleep is important!
Take Care of Yourself
You must prioritise taking care of yourself. Getting enough sleep, exercise, eating healthy and drinking lots of water are all essential elements that help you stay at your best and most productive. But, in a society that is constantly telling people it is best to be overly-busy, it can be easy to forget the importance of resting. Always prioritise taking time out of your weekly schedule to take care of yourself. Because it all comes down to: the healthier you are, the more productive you will be.
Here at Bamboo Nine, we know the importance of office productivity. We are passionate about ensuring our employees are as productive as possible, which is why we enforce a good work-life-balance. One of the main reasons we encourage increased productivity is so that you feel good about walking away at the end of the day. Ultimately, increasing your productivity will not only help you feel better but you will have time to enjoy life, you will be refreshed and restored to work effectively and to full-capacity the next day.
What are some of the ways you stay productive? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!