We all have tough days at work, but did you know that constantly feeling overwhelmed can affect our physical and long-term health? When we can’t seem to get everything done in time, we stress, freak out, and multitask to complete projects and assignments until our eyes begin to water. Well, here’s another realization: highly productive, efficient work is more valuable. That’s why today is all about new ways to improve our productivity, or keep our nose to the grindstone, as we like to say. Let’s take a look:
Take regular breaks
Our minds become fatigued when we work for long periods without breaks. And if we don’t get that desired time for cognitive recharging, we can start to experience symptoms like daydreams, drifting, and irritability. We’ve all been there, I’m sure. Well, taking regular breaks during the workday is said to improve productivity and creativity levels. We don’t mean 30 minutes here and there. Rather, think of breaks as brief interruptions. Most companies allow and promote 10- to 15-minute breaks, one in mid-morning and one in mid-afternoon. So, moving forward, take a few minutes to get up, walk around, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air. It’ll be your little oasis of personal time. The time that can make you happier, more focused, and more productive.
Enforce standing meetings
The next time you’re called to participate in a meeting, suggest taking the chairs away. Beyond the negative impacts of sitting, and sitting, and sitting some more (which includes an unfortunate list of various cancers and diseases), having stand-up meetings eliminates many distractions for enhanced productivity. Moreover, standing up can increase the sharing of information, ideas, and lead to greater excitement about producing quality work and collaborating as a team. Another benefit: meetings are quick and efficient. Just the way we like ‘em.
Turn off notifications
This might sting a little bit, but turning off electronic notifications on your phone and computer—notifications that involve email and all social media accounts—will allow you to stay focused on your tasks at hand. And on a quest to experience fewer interruptions caused by notifications himself, Dr. Ed Cabellon of Bridgewater State University told LinkedIn, “I find myself more focused and productive, recognizing what I knew all along: electronic notifications are a barrier to productivity that encourages the fallacy of multitasking.” Don’t worry. You can catch up on them during your lunch break!
Establish a routine and stick to it
We’re creatures of habit and so are our brains. They’re wired to be very good at executing patterns. And if we learn to follow strict daily routines, from the time we wake up until the time we fall asleep, we can make a huge difference in how healthy, happy, and productive we feel. Most people make the mistake of setting weekend wake up times later than weekday wake up times, which makes it harder to get the routine started on a Monday morning. Even though staying up late and sleeping in seem tempting, building a habitual morning routine will be worth it. I’ll help you to start your day in the best way.
Sorry, guys, but multitasking doesn’t do us any favors. While it feels like we’re doing more, we’re actually getting less done. In fact, several studies have proved that the brain becomes overwhelmed when faced with multiple tasks (since it can’t effectively switch back and forth). Our retention rate of what we try to learn in the process is also lowered. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it, but from now on, let’s try to stay focused and concentrated on one task at a time. Greatist says, “Increased productivity is available to us all—and surprisingly, it may come in the form of doing only one thing at a time.” It’s worth a shot, right?
You know that saying, “Happy wife, happy life”? Well, we decided to change it to something more fitting: “Happy workers, productive workers.” When you maintain a positive work-life balance, no matter how much you love what you do, you’re treating and boosting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you have the weekends off, don’t work unless it’s necessary. If you’re going through hard times in the office, keep the stress under control before it leads to fatigue and burnout. This can allow you to maintain a quality of life that serves you best while continuously feeling refreshed and ready to take on new workweeks.
It’s important to maintain our well-being. And while we have probably thought that multitasking is beneficial, in the end, it’s simply not healthy. Listen to Inc.com when they say, “Take a step back and think about ways you can work smarter, not harder.” If you know of more ways to stay productive at work, we’d love it if you can share them in the comment section below!
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.