It can be tough to maintain a productive working rhythm at work, especially when you’ve just gotten back after a holiday. Whether you’re based in the office or out on the field, here are some simple productivity hacks you can start using immediately to help you stay on top of your game.
1. Devise a plan of attack.
Start each day by taking a few minutes to note down the key things you’d like to achieve by COB, creating a list from most to least important. A clear picture of what needs to be done will help you stay focused on completing your tasks.
2. Hide your phone (and any other distractions).
Smartphones are distraction machines that can easily derail your focus. When concentrating on an important task, put your phone somewhere out of sight and out of earshot, only checking it during breaks. This also applies to checking your inbox for new emails.
If you work in a noisy environment with the possibility of interruptions by co-workers, try wearing headphones as you work and listen to ambient music that won’t distract you from the task at hand.
3. Tackle the toughest thing first.
Though it’s tempting to start work by ticking off easy little tasks, it’s more productive to take advantage of the time when your energy levels are at their highest to work on tougher, more time-consuming tasks. Once you’ve gotten through the hard stuff, everything else will seem like a breeze.
4. Plan your breaks.
Working non-stop for extended periods of time makes it easier to get distracted and lose focus, as well as energy. Make it a habit to schedule short 5-minute breaks at timed intervals throughout the day. During these breaks, get up, stretch your muscles and walk around. This will allow your brain and body to rest and recover, making you much more refreshed and energized when you get back to your task.
The concept of working in short time blocks, followed by mini-breaks, is known as the Pomodoro technique and is highly popular due to its widespread success.
5. Watch what you eat.
Your brain is fuelled by the foods and substances you consume, and what you eat and drink during the day can either help or hinder your productivity. Avoid sugary, high-GI foods that can induce drowsiness and leave you feeling sluggish. Instead, opt for healthy snacks like fruit and nuts to stimulate brain function and give your body better fuel to stay energised throughout the day.
Increased productivity leads to higher job satisfaction and provides benefits to both employers and employees.
Practising tips like the ones outlined above will help you to maintain your personal wellbeing, goal prioritisation and time management, all of which are important factors in maximising productivity.