9 Productivity Tricks For The Office
Being productive isn’t easy. There are so many distractions, and sometimes, you really just don’t feel like working. And the less productive you are at work, the more time you end up wasting, and the lower quality your work becomes.
So how do you make yourself more productive at work? Check out these 9 fun productivity tricks that can turn you into a productivity machine:
1. Take a walk.
Many people say that they do their best thinking while walking, and now there’s science to prove it. The American Psychological Association published research saying that taking a walk can lead to more creative thinking than just sitting does. So when you’re feeling stuck on a particular problem at work, or you feel like you’re in a rut and can’t get anything done, get up and go for a walk outside. It will do wonders for your productivity, and you even get a little exercise.
2. Stop multitasking.
You might think that you’re getting more done when you multitask, but spoiler alert: you’re not! “It has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time,” says Julie Morgenstern, a productivity expert, in an interview with Forbes. Instead of trying to do 5 things at the same time, arrange your tasks in order of priority, and focus on one at a time. You’ll get them done better and you’ll get through your workload faster.
3. Catch some ZZZs.
A 20-minute nap might just be the ticket to get you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your tasks. Find a comfortable place, and hunker down — just don’t forget to set an alarm so you don’t pass out for two hours!
4. Look at pictures of cute animals.
Japanese scientists published a paper saying that viewing cute images improves how well you perform in tasks. So if you’re getting stressed out or running low on ideas, take a short break and look at this baby panda (photo via cutestpaw.com).
Or this baby otter (photo via tumblr.com).
Doesn’t that feel better? Now you can get back to work with more gusto.
5. Do low-priority tasks to decompress.
If taking a break is out of the question, you can still give your mind a much-needed respite by doing those low-priority tasks taking up space in your to-do list. This way, your mind gets to rest, while you still make progress towards work.
6. Clean your workspace.
It’s hard to feel like you’re getting work done when your desk is a mess. If this sounds like you, take a 10-minute break to organize your workspace. Once your space is nice and organized, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to get work done — and you’ll be able to find things much easier than if you had to hunt through piles of papers and junk.
7. Do your hardest work in your most productive time.
If you’re an early bird, try to get to the office before everyone else so you can concentrate on the biggest tasks while you’re bright and eager. If you work better in the afternoon, spend the morning taking care of lower-priority tasks and laying out the groundwork for your more important tasks, so that when 1:00 PM (or whatever time is best for you) rolls around, you’re ready to take on the biggies. Learn when you work best, and schedule your hardest work for that time.
8. Try the Pomodoro technique.
If you haven’t heard of it, the Pomodoro technique is simple — you work for 25 minutes straight, and take a break for 5. Each 25-minute chunk of time is called a ‘pomodoro’ (Italian for tomato). Once one ‘pomodoro’ has passed, make a little tick in your notebook to keep track of how many you’ve had. Once four ‘pomodoros’ have passed, you can take a longer break, around 15 – 20 minutes. The Lifehacker blog says that this method “can help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in short bursts, while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax,” so if the Pomodoro technique sounds like it will work for you, give it a try and see if your productivity improves.
9. Plan for tomorrow.
Work on your to-do list for tomorrow, and your future self will thank you because you’ve already listed the priorities for that day. Not only that, you get to concentrate on the things you have to do today without worrying about tomorrow’s tasks too much.
Now you’re ready to take on the work day! If you have any more productivity tricks to share, let us know in the comments.