During this time of work happening at home and alternative locations, many have had to adjust their working habits. With plenty of distractions and calendars getting filled with video conference meetings, it is a great time to rethink how we work. So let's dive right in! Here are the five most important keys to increasing your productivity.
1. One Thing at a Time
Trying to juggle multiple things at the same time has been proven to confuse the brain and lead to less quality work output. With random text messages, emails, and time surfing the internet it is amazing that we can focus at all! So pause your email and put your phone away for work sessions and you will be amazed at the results. Then when you feel your focus is fading, go for a walk come back, and check your email and texts. Then rinse and repeat! This process will help you be less reactive while being more efficient and productive.
2. Have Fewer and Shorter Meetings
While meetings can be important for collaboration and aligning a company’s initiatives, they can also be a huge time waster. One option to solve this is to schedule your meetings every two weeks instead of every week and make them 30 minutes versus an hour. Move through your agenda quickly and stay positive with constructive feedback to keep the meetings efficient. Your coworkers, employees, and vendors will thank you and it may even boost overall morale.
There are a lot of reasons to rethink mandatory regular meetings especially if you want to keep your employees happy. If you were to calculate the money wasted when you consider the dollar per hour value of each staff member, it would probably make your head spin. Keeping meetings concise is good for individuals and the bottom line. Moreover, the practical changes to shorter productive meetings could even lead to healthier time management habits for all involved.
3. Eliminate Distractions
It sometimes feels like everyone needs our attention, and they need it now. However, studies have shown that it takes an average of over 20 minutes to return to our original task after an interruption. Quite often we lose the task altogether and if we do find our way back to where we were, the quality of our work is diminished. One way to circumvent this issue is to create better privacy at work so the distractions don’t eat away at your day!
Speaking of this, have you ever thought about how much distractions at work actually cost companies? One study found that nearly 3 hours are wasted per person every day! Also, when you extrapolate the monetary effects for a whole company across the whole year, the findings are staggering - click to learn more.
4. Don't Be A Perfectionist
Our society is obsessed with perfection. Whether it be striving for the perfect body, perfect outfit, 100% on a test, or even the top score in a game, we are programmed to achieve at the highest level. However, it can often be true that “great is the enemy of good” meaning that in the effort to do one thing great we drop the ball on ten other things. You can see how this relates to productivity.
It is admirable to do a job amazingly well but at what cost to everything else? A healthier approach is once you have gotten a project to adequately complete, move on to the next most important project. You can always go back to the first task and iterate later after you have made your rounds. And if not, you have accomplished way more than you would have otherwise. The takeaway here is that there is a certain optimal point when you can accept that your work is good enough, and keep moving!
Accepting Imperfection Makes You Happier
One nice side effect of this is that accepting imperfection can actually make you a happier person. At first you will be relieved to end your struggle for perfection, then your productivity will soar as you now have time for other pressing items in your work like. The constant pressure around you will dissipate as will your need to compare yourself to others. The gratification you get from completing tasks will further fuel your motivation and allow you to achieve even more. This is the positive feedback loop that the most successful people enjoy.
5. Get Fresh Air To Reset Focus
It is easy to fall into the trap of sitting at your desk without breaks for over 8 hours a day. Logically it would seem that any amount of time away from the desk will decrease your overall work output. As you can guess, this is not the case. Being locked behind a desk for extended periods can stifle creativity and your ability to problem-solve.
The hack for this is to break up your work sessions into smaller chunks of focus time. This requires getting up and changing your environment. Keeping your mind fresh often requires going outside, socializing, and recharging yourself. Then when you come back you will notice that you have a renewed purpose and motivation to work through anything! Your net output will actually increase as you blast through tasks in half the time you would if you were burned out and uninspired.
It is easy to lose focus at work and I encourage you to be inventive with ways to escape to reset your focus. The quick walk around the office can often be helpful but depending on your boss, stepping outside and going for a walk around the block or park can be much more beneficial. Breathing in some fresh air is essential to keeping your mind sharp but it also has proven to give you an extra energy boost. Also, working in a run, yoga class or exercise time during the workday can help you feel energized for the rest of the day.
Take care of yourself
So remember to give yourself frequent breaks, mind your physical health, and turn off smartphone notifications when you need to concentrate. You will be the beneficiary of these changes and it only takes two weeks to create a habit so stay on it!
Get a Dedicated Focus Space
If you are struggling to be productive with your work while at home, a great solution is using a TalkBox booth as a "Home Office in a Box."
Having an area dedicated to helping you focus is a game changer!
With the sliding door and a comfortable, spacious interior you can have a sanctuary where you can get tons of work done.
- Block out sound distractions (dogs barking, kids, deliveries, etc.)
- Look and sound professional on video conferences
- Ventilated for optimal comfort
- Spacious for long work sessions
- Booth fits easily almost anywhere
- Customizable to your needs
- Storage available in cabinet below desk
- Sliding door does not block walkways
- Technology-ready with charging, outlets and more!
Plus, if you need to move the TalkBox to your office at a later date you can bring your newfound productivity with you.
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We wish you the best on your journey to be more productive!