When considering workplace productivity, it is first important to consider factors contributing to lack of productivity. A fundamental question to begin with, is are you doing something that you are satisfied doing for work, given your present circumstances, experience and qualifications? If the answer is “no”, making a plan to find something that you are satisfied with, may help to boost productivity in your current work, as well as help with productivity long term in a job you feel more suited to.
For those who answered “yes” here are some work productivity boosting tips.
- Write a to-do list. Organising all of the tasks you have buzzing round your mind, can reduce the distracting thoughts that pop in reminding you about all the tasks you have to do!
- Prioritise the to-do list. Again, this helps quieten the mind and improves concentration, knowing that you are starting with the must-do’s.
- Tick off the to-do list. Ticking off or crossing out can give a nice sense of satisfaction, punctuating each task and allowing you to acknowledge an achievement, no matter how small.
- Distribute your workload. Taking regular short breaks rather than trying to blast through in one go. This can seem counter-productive but pushing through can impede concentration after a certain point, making you slower and more prone to mistakes.
- Identify what you are putting off. Sometimes we put tasks off because they cause anxiety. Sometimes because they are boring. The problem is, they can hang over us, in the form of distracting thoughts and/or feelings. Again this can affect concentration but also feelings of satisfaction that we might otherwise be getting from our work. The less satisfaction, the more resistant the mind is, the harder it is to be productive! Face the task you are putting off and get it out of the way.
- Drink enough water. A 2013 study found that drinking water resulted in a 14% increase in productivity and other studies have found drops in productivity related to drops in levels of hydration.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is a crucial restorative process to keep you alert, healthy and able to focus. The optimum amount of sleep varies across individuals but it is recommended to get at least 7 hours on average a night.
- Ensure work/life balance. Being stimulated outside of work, relaxation and enjoyment in your home and leisure time is important for your overall wellbeing. The better your wellbeing generally, the more productive you can be at work.
Author: Dr Sula Windgassen