Time is of the essence, so here are three productivity hacks that most people haven’t considered or maybe take for granted.
Hack – #1 Take regular breaks
Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but working longer hours does not always mean you are getting more done. If you have ever stared blankly at a computer screen for more than 15 minutes, then it’s time to take a break. While being more time efficient is about doing more with your time, it is also about knowing when to take a break. Taking a break helps maintain your focus and can also stimulate new ideas.
The first step is to acknowledge the fact, that you are no longer being productive. Rather than trying to push your way through, call a spade a spade and take a break.
The key idea here is improving focus!
Hack #2 – Train like you want to win gold!
You are at your most productive when you are feeling fit and healthy!
Why? Firstly, exercise helps regulate your sleeping patterns. Most business owners know it’s very difficult to make important decisions after a poor night’s sleep.
Fatigue affects all aspects of your business, from critical thinking, mood and even your work motivation. There are a number of studies that show how much exercise has a positive effect on your sleep; reducing the amount of time it takes to get to sleep and improving the quality of your sleep. By exercising regularly you will wake up feeling well-rested and ready to take on challenges at work.
Another benefit of exercise is mood. A 20-minute session in the morning can boost your mood for hours afterwards. High-energy activities like running and cycling flood the body with endorphins, more commonly known as feel-good hormones. These hormones produce feelings of well-being and confidence. This is particularly useful if you are struggling with business related anxiety, stress or doubt; even if you aren’t experiencing these currently, regular exercise will help prevent these occurring in the future.
Hack #3 – Remove all distractions.
It’s hard to focus and get work done when you’re constantly receiving emails, Facebook notifications and instant messages. Each time you check or respond to one of these you aren’t only losing time you’re losing focus. Studies show that social media in particular can have a very detrimental effect on our levels of concentration.
The best work is done with undivided attention. Radically moving from task to task breaks up this concentration and makes it harder for you to complete tasks. The best way to get around this is to go on ‘airplane’ mode. Set aside a block of time in which you go completely offline.
Exit Skype, turn off your phone and focus on the task at hand. If you worry you don’t have the self-restraint, tools like Cold Turkey and SelfControl can help you by locking you out of certain websites or the web completely.
But of course distractions don’t only come from the online world. The real world can also be problematic. Long meetings, unscheduled telephone calls and pesky admin duties can also eat into your time. Try “Booking an appointment with yourself”. Lock a time away in your diary for an appointment with yourself, use this time to get important tasks done and establish a plan for future tasks.
Alternatively, switch up your routine. Instead of arriving to work on Monday with an insurmountable list of things to do, try working on Sunday night. Shut yourself off for an hour or so, knuckle down and get on top of your workload. Not only will you get more done, you’re likely to walk into the office Monday morning in a much better mood.
For more information on creating a productive workplace and improving team results in your business, contact PROTRADE United today.