Staying on task and meeting daily work goals isn’t always easy. We often face so many distractions that it’s a surprise we can get any work done at all. We’ve all been there: you’re halfway done with that assignment your boss needs handed in by the end of the day. But as time passes, it gets harder to think of new ideas. The few thoughts you manage to get out keep getting interrupted by emails, texts, and other coworkers. Your mind wanders, and suddenly, you find yourself laid back in your chair, watching the newest viral youtube video. Before you know it, the day is over, and you now have extra work to do tomorrow morning—and an angry boss.
No matter where you work, it’s essential to be productive while you’re on the job. But there’s more to productivity than getting your workload done on time each day. Being genuinely productive involves utilizing strategies to efficiently accomplish work tasks—and not at the cost of your health and sanity. Here are some tips to help you stay productive.
1. Get to Bed On Time
Your sleep schedule can take a massive toll on your daily productivity. Don’t just set a morning alarm. Set a reminder on your phone to start getting ready for bed so that you can enjoy a full 7-9 hours of sleep before your next workday.
Don’t sacrifice any of your sleep time to finish work at home — save it for tomorrow. Sleeping for even one hour under the minimum of 7 hours will noticeably affect your daytime functioning.
2. Listen to Podcasts on Your Commute
Listening to podcasts and audiobooks that pique your interest is a great way to fill up your free time. Finding informative shows to listen to while you commute or run errands will help you take in new information and find inspiration for new ideas. It’s a good idea to save these entertaining listens for outside of work. Podcasts are stimulating, but at the office, they can take away the concentration you need to complete your tasks efficiently.
3. Take Time To Move
If you own a smartwatch, you probably already get reminders every hour on the hour to stand up and move around. But your smart-device is right: sitting down at your desk all day is terrible for your health. Among a host of other health issues, staying seated for too long can create chronic pain in your neck and lower back. Not taking a break from sitting at least once an hour or, more ideally, every 30 minutes, can also result in psychological distress and depression.
Being uncomfortable and unhappy at your desk will not help your productivity. If you’re working and start to feel fidgety or frustrated, your body and mind are telling you that it’s time to get up and stretch.
4. Don’t Work Until Work Starts
Start your day right by taking time for yourself before you get to your workplace. It’s essential to set clear boundaries between work time and personal time. If your work bleeds into your personal life, you’ll burn out. Getting caught up with emails before you’ve even had breakfast is a sure way to set a stressful tone for the rest of your day. Take the time you need to center yourself before the real work begins.
5. Be Accountable
It’s a great feeling to be trusted by your employer to finish your work on time. But nobody’s perfect. When your workload gets heavy, it’s easy to let deadlines slip through the cracks. Have a fellow employee or manager check in on your progress at one or two points during your day. This will help you stay on task and focus on your most urgent deadlines, leaving you less likely to fall behind on your work.
6. Prioritize your most important tasks
A successful workday does not entail cramming in as much work as possible. Ticking 50 things off of your to-do list does sound amazing but, you’re only human. Less is more when it comes to working productively. Start your workday by accomplishing the most important things on your list. This will ensure that you’re giving those major assignments the attention they need, without rushing them.
7. Be Unavailable
Write your deadlines into your day’s agenda. When it’s time to work on those major assignments, don’t be afraid to let your coworkers know that you won’t be free to talk. If being so blunt makes you uncomfortable, you can always block off your power hour as a meeting period. You’ll also want to put your phone on silent mode to avoid getting distracted by texts and emails during these concentration periods.
8. Don’t Multitask
We’re all a little guilty of trying to multitask. When we’re working on tasks that are less than entertaining, it can be tempting to open up a browser tab and stream a movie or two while you work. The truth is, no one can truly multitask. What may feel like watching a program and typing at the same time is just your brain dividing its attention between the two activities. When you’re watching whatever’s playing on one side of the screen, your mind isn’t capable of thinking of new ideas for the work on the other side. So, it takes twice as long as it should to complete your task.
Trying to stay productive is no easy task. But if you don’t have a comfortable workspace that you love, being productive can feel almost impossible. Looking for a work environment you’ll be able to thrive in? 360 Lab San Francisco has private workspaces for your most important projects and co-working areas for you and your coworkers to collaborate. Contact a representative today to see which of our office spaces works for you.