8 Ways to be More Productive at Work25th August 2015 | George Atkins
We’ve surely all been in this situation; deadlines are closing in, your workload is piling up considerably, you’re probably feeling stressed with progress having slowed down to a crawl, with no idea how to get back to your productive peak. Don’t fret however; here are 8 ways you can be more productive and improve concentration at work!
Be More Positive
Increasing your productivity levels is definitely a mental practice; if you keeping telling yourself you’re going to work harder, then you will! Keeping a PMA (positive mental attitude) is something that should not be underestimated and should have the added bonus of reducing stress levels in the process. Think tasks through in a logical and calm manner, don’t become over-stimulated on caffeine and you’ll see your workload increase ten-fold almost overnight. Setting yourself goals and approaching them in a methodical manner is equally beneficial; for example, set out tasks x and y and ask yourself ‘how am I going to approach these?’ Start thinking more productively and you’re already on the home straight!
It might seem strange to tie appearance into productivity but think about it; how many high-level corporate conglomerates enforce a flip-flop-and-Hawaiian-shirt-themed dress code? Precisely. The theory states that if you look and feel professional then you will act in a professional, more productive manner; you are certainly less of a distraction without the loud shirt. A suit and/ or smart dress provides the perfect foundation to work efficiently, even when deadlines are looming; it’s all about creating the right environment to promote productivity, the less distractions the more you can concentrate and work efficiently. Speaking of distractions…
Here is a fool-proof method for increasing productivity at work: use lists! They work for shopper and workers alike, proving a great way of organising tasks in a concise and simple manner, also being useful for prioritising what needs to be accomplished. It also helps to reduce stress levels, given that you can plan out what to accomplish ahead of time and can be used in a group work situation as a clear delegator of tasks to colleagues. Everything is easier to understand when it’s in a list!
Don’t worry, Facebook will still be there when you get back, the same with Twitter; there aren’t many things worse than social media when it comes to distractions and procrastination. They are essentially huge time sponges, so get rid of them when you’re at work and you’ll be more productive, no question! The same goes for your phone, turning off the Wi-Fi and closing down any running applications is bound to help and enable you to work efficiently. Creating the right atmosphere for work is what’s crucial concerning productivity; leaving your door open or closed to signify ‘come in’ or ‘I’m busy’ is also a useful trick. Keep your mind on the work tasks you have set yourself and nothing more, then increased workflow is all but guaranteed.
Eat Properly Throughout the Day
The WHO (World Health Organisation) states that correct nutrition can lead to a 20% increase in productivity and it’s hardly surprising. When you’re sitting at your desk just clock-watching until lunchtime to come round because you didn’t eat any breakfast doesn’t exactly make you work efficiently; try and eat a full breakfast, avoid snacking throughout the day and have a filling but reasonably light lunch, otherwise you’ll probably end up falling asleep face-down on your keyboard. Keep in mind that the right nutrition is one of the most important facilitators of productivity and helps feed that PMA thing no end.
As with eating properly, providing your body with a regular supply of fluid is vital if you want to maintain concentration and productivity. Too much caffeine can actually dehydrate you, so be sure to limit yourself to only a few cups of tea and/or coffee a day; it might wake you up in the morning, but it’s no good for pro-mental focus! Aim to drink a few litres everyday to remain healthy and fatigue-free and (this is pointed out the obvious here) alcohol does not do your productivity levels any good what-so-ever, so ease up on ‘Friday Happy Hour’ beers down the pub if you’ve got work to go back to afterwards!
Help Others Fulfil Their Productive Potential
Being able to work efficiently is not just about the individual, it’s about a group of people working together to increase collective productivity. In the same way that annoying co-workers can hamper productivity at work, they can also enhance it, plying you with helpful advice and guidance when you need it the most. This is a two-way street; helping others is a great way of learning how to work better and concentrate more efficiently. This gives the added bonus of you developing your communication skills, which is sure to attract the attention of your boss and gives you something meaningful to add to your CV in the future.
Establish a Routine
This will possibly happen automatically, but establishing a daily routine can really benefit your work flow throughout the day. It gives your brain space to breathe, taking away any unexpected scenarios and worries that you might have by being able to predict your day in advance. Scheduling daily tasks such as answering phones and checking emails close together always in the same order each day will help you work efficiently and be able to effectively manage any unusual or unexpected tasks that may arise in your normal working day. Do this and you’ll be more productive whilst simply powering through those quarterly finance reports!