Even with schools opening, whether you work remotely or at the office the issue of productivity still lingers. It is one of the key skills employers look for; it directly correlates with high performance. Outside of work productivity can boost your self-esteem and make you feel satisfied with goals you have achieved. Maintaining a productive attitude from 9 to 5 seems draining and impossible but by implementing a few new habits you could see a change. From our research here are our top recommendations for increased productivity which include:
Start the day right
As soon as you wake up, set yourself a mini challenge. This could be anything from a gentle yoga flow to making your bed in the morning. It may seem small, but this little achievement will set the right tone for the day and inspire you to take on all the challenges ahead of you. You could even take a “moment out” before you start work to set your intentions for the day: what you hope to achieve, your goals and priorities. By starting on a positive note you will be more motivated to stick to future tasks and mini challenges will help test your productivity on a daily basis. Plus, you will now be ready to eat an amphibian!
Eat that frog
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mark Twain’s infamous line has been given a modern redo with many interpreting the line to mean, “get the worst task done first.” It is easy to leave the challenging jobs last but by training yourself to push through and get them done first you are more likely to increase your productivity for the rest of the day. Productivity relies on prioritisation and if you are procrastinating at work this approach could be useful in helping you get the most important tasks done first. You are also more likely to feel energised and motivated after pushing yourself, thereby setting the right tone for the day.
Scientific evidence shows a direct link between stress and productivity; the more stressed you are, the less productive you will be. When we worry we tend to overthink and focus all our energy, both positive and negative, into our worrying. In turn this takes away from the tasks at hand. Stress is unavoidable but by identifying your triggers you will be better able to come up with viable solutions to keep it under wraps. Outside the workplace consider a relaxing hobby like yoga, Tai Chi or meditation to help you de-stress so you can feel more energised.
Good sleep and diet
It is a “no-brainer” but so few people actually put it into practice. Our physical state has a direct impact on our mental health and if you are always tired at work the last thing you feel like doing is being “productive.” Fuelling up on carbs and sugary foods will also cause a spike in energy with a slump later in the day making you even more lethargic. Without proper rest and a balanced diet you will be unfocused at work and the effort you put into tasks will likely be minimal. Challenges are hard enough, so give yourself a helping hand by improving your physical health. If stress is keeping you awake at night consider meditative practices like writing, drawing or yoga. Practice discipline when it comes to snacks and think about packing your own lunch; this way you will be less tempted by what is on offer at your local eatery.
Have a release (outside of work)
Be sure to give yourself regular breaks – in and out the office. Schedule time outside your workday to do something you love, or you risk burnout. It is important to challenge yourself and get the job done but carving out “me time” is just as needed. By taking time away from work you are more likely to return with a clearer, sharper mindset and might even have a fresh perspective on a project. With business we are required to focus on numbers and performance that we often forget about our own well being – and burnout is often the result of pushing too hard. You might think you are testing the limits or getting more work done but without regular breaks your productivity will eventually be sapped.
The evidence is:
Productivity enhances performance, making us feel motivated and more satisfied with the outcome of our tasks. By being more conscious of your procrastination triggers, health and priorities during the day, you will be one step closer to harnessing the full potential of this skill.
© Whitestone Chambers 2020