Could you be more productive at work?
To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about this until a client recently asked me for tips and said they’d have to observe how I calmly get through my workday sometime!
I don’t think I do anything too different from the next person, but it got me thinking about how I stay productive – and what advice I could give to others.
Eight ways to be productive at work
To be productive at work, we need to rest and take breaks. Otherwise, we end up completely frazzled.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share my top eight productivity tips:
1. Take regular exercise
Exercise is good for the mind and soul. I love to get out in nature by going for a walk. The movement of walking gives me headspace and has been shown to improve productivity.
2. Do non-screen related tasks
Staring at a screen all day saps your energy, so take non-screen related breaks. Make a call to a client, read an article in an industry magazine or scribble notes in your journal.
3. Remove distractions
Even when you’ve got a deadline, you can find yourself checking your emails or LinkedIn. So, if you don’t need the internet, disable the connection on your computer or do what I do and put your phone in another room out of easy reach.
4. Group similar tasks together
Batch tasks or group actions into similar types as much as possible – e.g. respond to emails 2-3 times per day, rather than as each one arrives. This maintains my headspace to focus on client work and delivery. (For more on batching, read Getting Things Done by David Allen.)
For social media, I plan two weeks or one month at a time. I find it an effective way to stay organised and it can be more efficient as you’re working for a chunk of time ‘in flow’.
5. Write a to-do list
Before you finish for the day, write tomorrow’s to-do list so you can start straight away the next day. Tick lists improve productivity and break down overwhelming workloads into bite-sized chunks.
If you prefer an online to-do list, I recommend Asana. You can add tasks and create endless categories to place them into.
6. Create a work schedule calendar
Assigning time straight into a digital diary for projects, including meetings, helps me keep track of things. Yes, to-do lists are helpful, but setting times helps to plan projects and never miss a deadline.
Speaking of which…
7. Take regular breaks
Stretch your legs once or twice an hour. Make a brew, read a book, put in a load of washing and, well, go to the loo.
Regular non-work-related breaks are vital to clear your head.
8. Set boundaries
Only work between set times and make sure clients know you’re only contactable during working hours. Don’t reply to emails at 9pm or weekends as this gives clients the impression you’re always available.
I follow the above eight steps daily, but how do you keep focused and bring calm to your working day?
Let me know by sharing your favourite productivity tips.
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– Jennie Spears, PR & communications consultant, Bloom PR & Communications
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