I recently read a lovely little infographic that said to be productive you had to start your day right – jump out of bed raring to go at your alarm, remembering your gym bag, you have time to stop for a coffee, smile at passers-by and arrive at your place of work early with a to-do list written. Yeah right!!! If your morning starts anything like mine it’s multiple hitting of the ‘snooze’ button and minor meltdowns over how much traffic and people there are when travelling in London – most of the time by the time I reach the office I feel many things other than how productive I am.
However there are few things you can do when you get to the office to increase your productivity, try a few of the below:
1. Golden hour
Dedicate one hour a day to turning off your emails and focusing on your days most important task; not only will this make you feel super-efficient when you finish one project each day but it also gives you complete focus on that task. Email notifications popping up can be very distracting, you think “ooo…I’ll just reply” and before you know it you are at lunch and you haven’t done anything on your project.
2. Listen to beats
Music is proven to improve productivity; whether its heavy metal (one of my old managers swears by this) or some chill-out tracks, listening to background music stimulates the part of our brain that controls motor actions, emotions, and creativity. It will cheer you up, calm you down and focus your mind all at once – what else produces such productive behaviours? Get those earphones out and get jamming – just remember not to start singing!
3. Clean up your inbox
Seeing 2000 unread emails in your inbox is enough to send the calmest person into panic, it is definitely unsettling to feel so overwhelmed by sheer volume of emails and you will definitely be missing important correspondence. Try scheduling auto-sort on your newsletter emails so they go into specific folders for you to view later, and spend time creating coherent filing folders and hierarchies. I live by a zero email policy and by Friday afternoons my emails are appropriately sorted, leaving only those that need actioning the following week(s).
4. Eat lunch in peace
Eating nutritious lunches give you vital energy for your day, keeping your mind focused and giving you proper nutrition – but if you eat at your desk you are undoing all of your hard work. Eating at your desk is a killer for productivity and many studies show that it hurts your health: you eat quicker which disturbs digestion, it’s not sanitary and it actually gives you less energy. You need a break from constant hard work and staring at a screen, to rest and rejuvenate; by eating lunch away and with colleagues you can stress bust and build better relationships too.
5. Keep hydrated
Hydration in adults is extremely important for concentration levels and staying alert; even being slightly dehydrated can make our brains ‘fuzzy’ and make us feel sleepy. Not only does H2O keep our skin clear, flush toxins and help with weight control but research shows it improves memory and reaction times. Just another reason to make sure you are properly hydrated – try delicious fruit water to top up those hydration levels.
Do you have any tips for me on productivity? There are 101 ways you can improve performance through apps and strategies but I like to know the more obscure things that can boost you!