Ever finished a workday feeling you got nothing done? Or maybe had to work more hours just to meet your target outcomes? If you have, you’re not alone. In fact, studies have found that the average office worker is only productive for three hours a day.
In today’s world, with ads, smartphones, apps and social media vying for our attention, staying focused on our tasks is its own challenge. That doesn’t mean you should give up hope though! Through a combination of healthy habits and a little bit of discipline, you can easily increase your work efficiency, finish your tasks on schedule, and enjoy more free time.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to boost your productivity. We’ll go through the 6 steps the Coople team uses to cut down on procrastination and stay on task, even on those days when it seems impossible to get something done!
Coople’s tips to boost productivity
Before we get started, there’s something to be said about taking care of your mental health. It’s important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you won’t make huge changes overnight.
Increasing work efficiency is a process. You’ve built your work habits — good and bad, for years, so it’ll take time for them to be replaced with new ones. Just aim to do things a little bit better than the day before and, before you know it, you’ll be completing tasks faster than you would’ve thought possible.
If, however, your procrastination is an early sign of burnout then it is worth exploring the root cause and possibly seeking professional help.
Track your time
It’s easy to get distracted throughout the day and to suddenly lose sight of what you were doing. One way to resolve this is to jot down your daily plan the evening before and allocate set time slots for each task.
You can do this easily by blocking out times in your calendar or by using time management tools such as Evernote. You’ll end up having an excellent overview of your tasks and time management.
Take regular breaks
You aren’t a machine, so you shouldn’t expect to act like one. If you feel your concentration slipping and find it hard to stay on task, it might be time for a break.
Studies suggest that a break from attention-intensive tasks can improve concentration and decrease fatigue. Ensure that your concentration levels are on top form by getting up for a walk around the office. Even better, when you get up, drink a glass of water so that you’re also hydrated!
If you keep forgetting to take your breaks, consider setting up an alert on your phone. While it might be tempting to work through, especially if you’re “in the zone,” interspersing regular breaks between periods of work helps to maintain productivity levels.
Lay off the sugar
Studies have shown that those who snack on sweets and foods which contain refined sugars will experience a lull in productivity due to the sudden rush and subsequent crash in blood sugar levels.
So trade in your next packet of Haribo for a packet of grapes, they are a great natural alternative without the negative side effects. You can even get an office group together to share a healthy lunch break or breakfast — this won’t just improve your productivity, it will be a great team bonding experience.
Although it may seem counterproductive at first, socialising can have a great effect on productivity. Even the dullest of tasks can be fun if you’re doing them with a friend, so why not make some friends around the office?
Even when working remotely, apps like Slack can help you meet and socialise with co-workers no matter where you’re located. Slack allows you to talk to colleagues in an online social environment, where the targets and tasks will disappear into the background for a bit.
Of course, spending too much time on apps like these can have a negative impact on your office work. So don’t use it too often and maintain a level of professionalism.
Clear your desk, clear your head
No one wants to work at a desk crammed full of old papers and half-empty glasses. Keep your desk free of clutter and make sure you tidy it every Friday afternoon to ensure that you start the following week with a clean, fresh setup.
This isn’t so much about being orderly as it is about having an empty space where you can focus on what’s important. Studies have found that cluttered workstations make you less productive because every time you look at your screen you also see 10 other things that compete for your attention.
There are countless studies that have suggested creative doodling will help you pay more attention. Therefore a doodle break during office hours is highly recommended — if you like doodling of course. Inkflow is the perfect application to let out your inner artistic side without wasting paper or cluttering your desk.
Work smarter, not harder
Increased productivity and improving one’s office skills is all about working smarter, not harder.
Break your targets down into small, achievable chunks to ensure you are focused throughout the day and don’t go off track. Keep your desk clean, make your office environment a bit more fun, and you’ll be surprised and what you can do. Most importantly, remember to set realistic goals and take things one step at a time — after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Keen to put your productivity hacks to work? If you’re not currently employed or looking for a change in career, check out our current job openings. Register today and you could start working tomorrow!