I hate when a sentence doesn’t end the way I think it octopus… I’m sorry, what was I saying?
Distractions. They tend to happen, especially at work. There are only so many hours in the day for us to get our tasks done. Would you rather put in more work or work more efficiently? We’re guessing you went with option two. So how can this be accomplished?
Here are 8 Effective Strategies for Increasing Your Productivity at Work.
Get Yourself Some High-Quality H2O: Water sucks. Gatorade is better. Right? If you ask Bobby Boucher, aka “The Waterboy”, you couldn’t be more wrong. As Adam Sandler once taught us in this classic comedy, water can be very beneficial. The same can be true for when you’re at work. Water is healthy, refreshing, and can actually subside the feeling of fatigue or hunger. Much has been touted that we actually mistake hunger for when we are simply thirsty. This thought being, if we would stay hydrated our brain wouldn’t be telling us we are hungry and we could eliminate the overeating issues that are prevalent in our society. By keeping a Yeti filled with ice water within arm’s reach, you can stay focused at your desk instead of having to get up and fill it repeatedly at the water cooler, and in return, possibly lose those stubborn five pounds.
All Hail the Snacks: Just like water, make sure you have healthy snacks readily available. This can help control hunger, as well as keep you productive. It also keeps you within your workspace and eliminates those office ‘chats’ and ‘visit sessions’ at the vending machines. It’s good to know how certain foods interact with your brain. For example, research has found that the brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream —the amount found in a banana. Other foods that give your brain the best boost and power are blueberries, carrots, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocados, and dark chocolate. Hungry yet?
Prioritize Your Tasks: Did you know people are the most productive during the first hour of work? Why? Because you have just started the day and your energy levels are at their highest. By putting your most critical and challenging tasks on your calendar during your first few hours on the job, you’ll be approaching them with attention and energy. By scheduling the most difficult tasks in the first part of your day, and following those up with the easier tasks, you’ll find you are able to concentrate more and be more efficient. There is nothing worse than having a task ahead of you that you are dreading. It can consume the rest of your day. Better to tackle those right away. Do this simple plan and you will stay focused, not stressed.
Headphones Can Be Music to Your Ears: Ring! Ring! Is that a cellphone I hear? Did someone just drop their stapler? Is that the mailcart making the rounds? In most offices, there are a variety of sources of sounds that tend to distract us. How can you protect yourself from these distractions? Put on a pair of headphones. They will help block out any unwanted or surprising sounds and keep you focused on the task at hand.
Trust in the Two-Minute Rule: You might be asking yourself, what is the two-minute rule? Simple, the two-minute rule consist of finding a task you can complete in two minutes or less, and doing it immediately. This simple rule helps overcome procrastination and basic laziness by focusing on tasks that are so easy to do; there is no reason you wouldn’t just ‘do them’! The two minute rule in the work place can mean; send that email, make that phone call, text that message. Anything that can be done in two minutes is such an easy thing to accomplish; you might as well just do them now.
Work in 90-Minute Intervals: According to Inc.com, researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. They also found that top performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day. We can’t argue with those stats!
Spice Up Your Space: Interesting enough, research shows that decorating an office with visually pleasing appealing elements—such as plants–can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Spice up your workspace with pictures, candles, and other decorations to boost your mood and your work performance. By making your space at work your own, you will enjoy being there and it can also help your mood considerably.
We’re Feeling Blue: Did you know the color blue is known to stimulate the mind? Studies show that blue rooms improve your study capabilities and increase productivity. Blue can also slow your heart rate and reduce your appetite. Try painting your office blue to increase concentration and your work performance. You’re my boy blue!
By following these simple strategies, you could start seeing improvement in your productivity at work!
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-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist