How to Boost Your Work Productivity
The beginning of September signals the dawn of a new school year, and with it a change in routine, with the school run back in full swing and your working day returning to its usual term-time schedule.
Whether you're working from home, returning to the office, or enjoying a hybrid of the two - now is the best time to up your productivity levels and adapt to, not only make your working life more efficient, but to improve your own sense of wellbeing in your working life.
This is probably something that you already do in your working life, after all it can be hard to keep track of everything you have to do if you don't set yourself goals. The key is to make sure you're setting yourself goals correctly. We've all been guilty at one time or another of setting ourselves wide-arching or unachievable goals, that not only reduce our productivity but affect our own mental health and well-being as well. At the beginning of each week, or even better, make yourself a list of small, but achievable goals. This makes tasks much less daunting to tackle, makes you feel like you've achieved a lot more in your working day , and helps you to keep track on your progress for different projects.
It's born from that feeling you used to have at the start of the school year. New books, new year, new topics - I'm going to be more organised this year, my work is going to be neater, and then a couple of days in you make a mistake on the first page of your exercise book and you decide that's it. Try and organise your work life better, with some of our handy organisation and tidying tips:
Keep your inbox tidy
Nobody can be productive with 100s of read and unread emails clumsily cluttering your inbox. Once a day, or once a week, have a look through your inbox, filing away important emails into designated, easy to find files, and delete the ones you just don't need. It makes your inbox much less daunting to face, and makes those emails you need in an emergency easy to find.
Keep your workspace tidy
It's very hard to be productive in a messy workspace. Don't leave pieces of paper lying around, clear away your old mugs and keep your area tidy enough that everything can be found easily, as well as so that you don't feel cramped for room!
Try and keep your notes all in one place
I'm the worst for writing a note or a reminder on a scrap piece of paper that's the first thing in reach when I answer the phone. Inevitably, however, it comes to you needing that ever so important note and you can't find it amongst the other scraps of paper dotted around. Keep a notebook and a diary to hand and try to make sure these are the only places you write things down in.
Take regular breaks
This is particularly important when you work remotely, without the general buzz of the office to break you from that work stupor every once in a while. Nobody can maintain focus for the entire day, and it's actually been proven that taking small breaks, almost as "rewards" has been proven to make you much more productive and your mind much more focused. Try working in around 40 minute blocks, and giving yourself a 5 minute break to refresh, maybe step outside for a moment, or grab yourself a snack or refill.
Block out time
People can be persistent and sometimes it's good to turn off from it all and block out some time where you just knuckle down. No one needs to be in meetings every hour of the day, so why not try and take a day for yourself once a week (or every other week) where you can focus your attention on those bigger projects, without the distraction of a meeting or phone call every five minutes.
Go for a walk
This is especially key if you work from home, where you can spend the whole day shut indoors without ever venturing into the fresh air. Make time for yourself to go for a short walk, whether that's at the beginning, middle or end of your day. You'll feel much better for it, both physically and mentally, and it will make you much more productive and less drawn out in the long run.