How to Be More Productive at Work
by Kenny Rhoads
If you learned that you could increase your productivity by making a few near-effortless changes, you’d probably try them out, right?
Working in an office usually means running into the frustrating feeling of lost focus. A huge amount of tasks are avoided or procrastinated upon because of overwhelm and the many distractions surrounding us (including countless meetings and online temptations such as email and Facebook). In today’s hectic workplace, productivity has come to mean working smarter, not harder.
Adopting just the right combination of time-management practices can cut stress and help you get a lot more done. Below are five tips on how to work better and be more productive.
It’s easy to think you get more done when multitasking, but several studies (like this one) have proven that productivity lessens when the brain juggles too many activities. Neuroscientists say it literally drains the energy reserves of your brain—and that doesn’t sound good.
In fact, multitasking tends to reduce creativity, cause more mistakes and makes it harder to recall details. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next.
The research is in. Standing at your desk boosts productivity during the workday!
Research by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found that employees in a call center who used standing desks for a six-month period were 46 percent more productive than colleagues who used standard desks.
Standing desks are designed to help you stay active and avoid body discomfort and aches during the day. They also fuel your energy, show increased cognitive performance, and for many, boost creativity.
The longer you go without a break, the more your work performance suffers.
Whether it’s getting a breath of fresh air outside, a run to the nearby coffee shop, chatting up a colleague, or simply getting up to grab a few glasses of water, taking short breaks that are unrelated to your work can make a huge difference in your productivity.
It sounds counterintuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually improve your concentration. Even the busiest workers need to clear their mind and stretch their legs now and again. Frequently taking a 5 to 10-minute break away from your desk will work wonders for your productivity.
Procrastination is probably the greatest foe to productivity.
Everyone has at least one painful task on the to-do list that keeps getting pushed back, simply because the thought of doing it makes you avoid it. These are the types of tasks you should be tackling first.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to finish the undesirables, get them out of the way as soon as possible. Your other tasks will seem less daunting by comparison, and you’ll stop procrastinating on that one task all day, making you more productive overall.
Let’s be completely honest here. A lot of time can be wasted in meetings.
Agendas get pushed around, topics go, well, off topic, and people lose focus on what’s important.
At typical meetings, people sit at a table in their own chairs with their own notebooks and personal space. This set-up promotes an individual-oriented behavior, decreased collaboration and fewer thoughts shared.
But when you all stand up during your meeting for example by taking a walk or using a custom height adjustable conference table, you may find that decisions get made quicker, less territorial behavior is displayed, and no one falls asleep!