Who doesn’t want to improve their productivity? After all, you get more things done in less time. That gives you more time for more fun and for rest. However, boosting your productivity isn’t about easy one-time fixes. It’s about developing the right habits that you continue to do day in and day out. When these habits become instinctive, the increase in productivity is sure to follow.
Here are the 15 habits you need to start developing so your productivity gets a boost:
- Get enough sleep. This means not too little, and not too much either. Studies have found out that sleeping too much can actually lead to as many absent days as sleeping too few hours during the night. Researchers found that people who slept an average of 7 to 8 hours a night had the fewest days absent than people who slept fewer or more hours.
- Take a daytime nap. Since we’re on the subject of sleeping, a nap during the day works wonders too. Studies indicate that people who take a few minutes off to nap during the day can actually become more productive. Studies found that it can increase your tolerance levels for frustrating situations, and it also helps tone done the impulsive behaviour.
- Working out right after you wake up is a great way to start the day. You don’t have to go to a gym for hours. A 20-minute jog can really wake you up. One study found that a daily run like this may help you finish problem-solving challenges faster and more efficiently.
- Neaten up your work desk. A disorganized desk can easily lead to a disorganized mind. The chaos just lessens your capacity to concentrate. You may have non-essential items nearby, and that can lead you to procrastinate. Clean up your work desk, and the organized setup can somehow calm down your brain and help you focus.
- Organize your entire workspace. Once you’ve tidied up your desk, you may as well declutter your whole office. A study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that people with messy desks and workspaces are less persistent and less efficient than their neat-desk counterparts. When you’ve got a mess around you, you’re more likely to be more frustrated, and you’re probably feeling more tired as well.
- Reserve 90 minutes for the most crucial tasks. This is one of the more well-known productivity tricks in the workplace. Everyone knows that you can’t work at full blast every minute of the workday. But if you can do that for just 90 minutes to focus on the most important work, then you don’t ever waste a single day. Even if the rest of the day gets muddled and wasted, at least you got the most important tasks done.
- Know the most common distractions. One survey identified the top 5 attention-killers in the workplace as texting, Internet surfing, gossiping with colleagues, social media, and email. Be aware of how unproductive these distractions are so you can consciously know how to avoid them.
- Turn off your phone completely. In fact, turn it off and then put it out of sight. A study discovered that mobile phones are distractions even when you resist them. If it buzzes, it breaks your thought. Even when it’s turned off, the sight of your mobile phone may make you wonder what texts and calls you’ve missed. So hide it away so you can forget about it.
- Ignore your emails. Most of the time, these emails aren’t really important anyway. However, it can be a major distraction if you’re waiting for an important email. But you can do a little bit of research so you can set up the emails from a specific sender to your cell phone via text. So you can ignore all your emails, and know that your phone will alert you when the crucial email comes through.
- Do what’s easier for you. It’s easy enough to understand that you’re more efficient at tasks that come naturally to you. So reserve those tasks for yourself. What about the other tasks that don’t come naturally to you? Those you can delegate to someone else or you can negotiate a “trade” of tasks with other coworkers. It’s the kind of trading that can actually foster team spirit, since what’s difficult for you may be much easier for someone else.
- Prioritize properly. What if you can’t trade the tasks that you don’t like? In that case, you can concentrate on the most crucial tasks when you’re feeling at the top of your game. When you’re tired, you may want to stick to less challenging tasks like dealing with email. Even procrastination isn’t always bad when you put off dealing with email and junk mail.
- Optimize your meetings. It’s a long-running joke in business circles that meetings are largely a waste of everyone’s time. But you can make your meetings more productive with a few tips. You should make a plan and limit the agenda to 3 items. When people in the meeting bring up suggestions that aren’t necessarily on topic, write them down so they can be discussed at another time. Finally, set a timer to 30 minutes, at which point people are required to stand up and move around. This lightens everyone up and helps people to focus.
- Get out of the office. Actually, get out of the building and get some sun. If you can’t, then at least work near a window. A study found out that the workers who worked near a window performed significantly better on tests and processed calls much faster than their sun-deprived counterparts.
- Complain the right way. The “wrong” way to complain is when you want to lay blame on someone else. The right way to complain is to point out a problem and a possible solution. This way doesn’t lead to strife and tension.
- Engage your workforce. You can help make your whole team more productive simply by defining your expectations clearly while you also regularly offer positive feedback. These Management 101 methods can really decrease turnover and boost productivity and customer ratings.
As you can see, these habits aren’t all that hard to adopt. You just need to do them every day, and you’ll keep doing them out of habit. Once these habits are in place, you’ll find that your workplace productivity will improve as well.