If you want to increase your productivity, it can be tempting to think that you need to work more or work harder. But what if you could just work smarter instead?
Try these nine ways to boost your productivity without any extra effort.
#1 Quit multitasking
In the business world, multitasking is often worn as a badge of honor. But it turns out that trying to focus on multiple things at once actually zaps your mental energy and leaves you less productive.
So, minimize all those other tabs and focus entirely on one task at a time if you want to be productive.
#2 Change your scenery
Sometimes sitting at the same old desk leaves you feeling fidgety and uninspired. Instead of making your tenth trip to the water cooler, maybe it’s time to call it quits and look for a change of scenery.
Depending on what your work allows, you could swap desks with a willing coworker or work in the lounge area of your office. Or you might have the flexibility to work in a coffee shop or at home for the afternoon.
Strangely, a different setting can completely turn your mood around, and you can end up working solidly for the rest of the day.
#3 Remote working
Do you find that the noise and constant distraction in your office are driving your productivity way down?
It might be worth speaking with your manager and seeing if you could arrange flexible or remote working for part of the week.
Explain how you feel this might benefit your work and the positive return this could have for the company. Flexible and remote working is becoming increasingly common, so depending on your role, this might be a good option.
#4 Leave the office at five
When we’re feeling unproductive, it can be tempting to stay behind and try to finish off work or get a head start on tomorrow.
This might be necessary if you have a deadline, but in other cases, it might be better to call it a day when the working day ends.
Downtime is really important for your wellbeing and mental clarity. It’s probably better to come back tomorrow refreshed and ready for a full-on day.
#5 Set a timer
Particularly if you find yourself procrastinating, setting a timer can give you the framework you need to knuckle down and get things done.
You could start by trying the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work solidly on your chosen task. When the timer goes off, you can have a short break of five minutes. Once you’ve stretched your legs and got a coffee, set the timer again.
After four of these sessions, you’ve earned yourself a more extended break of twenty minutes. Rinse and repeat until your task is finished. This might be best for home working if you feel you can’t be seen to take this many breaks in the office.
#6 Seize the day
It may not sound appealing, but waking up a little earlier can significantly boost your productivity. This is particularly true if you can get to work before anyone else.
A blissful hour, with no phone calls or chatty coworkers, can be all you need to clear that important report that’s been playing on your mind.
#7 Get the right tools
Do you find yourself looking everywhere for a distraction from work? For many people, the phone is a classic culprit.
If your phone is the issue, you can get apps to help boost your focus and eliminate unwanted distractions. You can also get extensions to block websites like Youtube or social media sites from your browser.
Productivity tools with G Suite apps can help you to up your game once those distractions are gone.
#8 Increase your motivation
If you lack in productivity, you might be lacking in motivation. Different things motivate everyone, so you need to see what works from you. Some of us need clear targets and deadlines while rewards motivate others.
Knowing that you get to eat that cake, see that movie, or have a nice nap after you finish your work might just speed up your work.
#9 Take care of your health
If your mental and physical health isn’t what it could be, this is bound to affect your work life. Your health is the most important thing, and your productivity relies on you being well.
Schedule plenty of rest time into your working week and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Exercise is also important since it can help to combat stress and can increase feel-good hormones.
You might find that by making changes to your diet you can eliminate brain fog and have more mental clarity, which could work wonders for your productivity. Whatever you do, strike up a healthy work-life balance.
What are you doing to boost your productivity?