Productivity in the office is essential. Whether you work for someone else or you are your boss, you need to make sure everything you do is worth the month. Procrastination wastes time devalues your work and makes you stay longer just to get tasks down. You end up working more for less.
Increasing your productivity is not always easy. There are so many distractions in the office. If you are at home, you have the TV and couch calling at you. When you are at work, you have got social media, office gossip, and so much more. Just the layout of your desk and the mess around you can affect your productivity
It is time to make some changes. You do not need to do a lot to increase your productivity. These top nine office hacks will work, wherever your office is located. Get on them today.
Change the Noises Around You
The noise around you will affect your productivity. Loud chatter will pull you into conversations. Some music will distract you and make you listen to the words. The radio can slow your typing speed down, as you listen to the conversations or think about the answers to quizzes.
The first thing you want to do is reduce the amount of noise around you. This is not going to be easy if you are in an office with a lot of telephone conversations or where chatter is common. You will need to find a way to cancel the noise from your ears.
If you can move space to a quieter area then that is great, but we do not all have that opportunity, right? Try noise canceling headphones if you are not needed for phone calls. You can even listen to music through the headphones. Find some classical, calming music that is not going to pull you in to listen to the lyrics.
White noise is also useful for getting rid of noisy distractions. Have the sound of rushing waves or rain patter through your headphones. Many music apps will have some white noise as well as sounds found in nature you can to listen to. You could also use apps that create the low hum of discussions in coffee shops, where many people find they work easily without distraction.
If you are at home, you could have your air conditioning or a fan blowing to help give you some white noise in the background. You will be surprised at how relaxing it can be at your most tiring times of the day.
Do not opt for complete silence. This can be more distracting than much noise. Anything that bangs or drops in your home will be audible, and you could be jumping every couple of seconds. It is common to start listening out for any sign of intruders, even though you know this is completely unlikely. Opt for a little white noise to help get rid of the deathly silence.
Remove the Clutter from Your Workspace
Clutter is one of the most common reasons for people to lose productivity. It is completely distracting. You find yourself looking at it every couple of minutes thinking that you just need to fix it. Even if you like clutter normally, you spend extra time looking for something that you need, leaving you slowing down your working speed and interrupting the flow of your thoughts.
The best thing to do at the end of each day is to clear your workspace. Declutter everything and make sure your drawers are for the next day. You do not need stacks of paper on your desk. File the paperwork, straightening out the notebooks, and make sure all files on your computer are in the right place. Yes, even your computer can end up cluttered.
Start right now by clearing out your desk and only putting things you need back in the drawers. This will be the longest you spend on decluttering since you will be able to stay on top of it moving forward.
When it comes to the home office, only allow work items around your office space. If you have an actual office, make sure nothing for the home sets foot in the area. If you use part of your dining room, living room, or bedroom for your home office, then make sure you have a space that is cordoned off just for your work needs. All your home things need to go elsewhere.
Hire a cleaner if you can afford it. Not only will you have more time in the day, but you will enjoy having a clutter-free home.
Change the Room Color
The color of your office will affect your productivity. It is amazing how colors affect our mental health and moods. Certain colors make us more energetic and help us to do more in a shorter space of time. It is time to add the right colors to your office space.
Look out for oranges, yellows, and other summery colors like this. They infuse your body and soul with energy and make you want to do more.
If you have a home office, you can add a whole wall of oranges and yellows. Include some paintings or portraits of summery sceneries and flowers. Add some bright flowers on your desk and do not forget about choosing stationary in these shades.
This can be a little harder to work in your office at work. You will need to use items on your desk to help. Opt for cut-outs, postcards, and stationery to add the color to your home. If you can have a photo of your family, make sure the frame is in an energetic color. Like to look at flowers? Some bosses will allow them on your desk if you look after them.
Include Nature in Your Office Space
Nature is not just a good way to add the right colors to your home. It is also another way to boost your productivity. Moreover, you do not just need a bunch of flowers on your desk.
Flowers are useful. Scents are powerful for exciting the brain and boosting energy. You can bring in peaceful and happy memories, making you more focused on tasks at hand when they are difficult. Try to have a few plants in the office, although be aware that you may be the only one willing to look after them.
Opt for real plants as much as possible. The plants will take in the carbon dioxide in the room and add more oxygen. You breathe in fresher air that will boost the brain power. You are not as likely to feel tired and drained.
Alternatively, arrange to sit by the window. This will give you the chance to look outside more. It is useful if you have a good view. If you cannot sit right by the window, be as close as possible and open the window a little to keep the air circulating. Of course, when it is freezing outside you will need to close it, but a slight crack should not affect too many people.
On your lunch break, arrange a walk outside. This is a great way to get real sun and air to boost your mood and get you ready for the rest of the day at work.
If you really cannot have any real nature in the office, opt for the fake stuff on your computer screen. Flowery, nature-filled screensavers will help to boost productivity levels.
When working from home, you have a lot more control. You can add the plants to the home, as well as open the window as much or as little as you want. If you do not have the greatest view, fill your wall close to your desk with pictures of nature. You will feel less stressed throughout the day and find yourself more productive without realizing.
Get Your Digital Inbox in Order
A messy email inbox is one of the biggest time zappers ever. You need to keep the inbox as organized as possible, especially if you do many messages through it on a regular basis. It is time to set up folders to make sure all your emails for work, home, and other needs get into the right place. You can quickly delete all the spam and marketing and just focus on the work emails easily.
The initial part of organizing your inbox is going to take some time. You will need to go through old emails and delete the ones that are no use anymore and then set up folders for the others. Organize the rest of the emails into their right inbox.
From then, you will find that managing your emails is much easier. When the emails come through, make sure they go to the right folder, so you know when and how you need to deal with them. You will find you are less stressed and more likely to get on with work.
Avoid checking your inbox every couple of minutes. Turn off the alerts and set up a plan to check first thing in a morning, at lunch, and then at the end of the day. Emails do not need an immediate response. Those that do arrange for the person to call instead.
If you can afford it, especially if you work from home, arrange for a virtual assistant to manage your inbox. You will only need to deal with the emails that your VA deems essential for you. This does not just improve your productivity but also helps to eliminate the amount of work you need to do.
Invest in a Good Chair and Desk
Setting up your office correctly will also help improve your productivity. Having an uncomfortable chair or a desk at the wrong height will affect just how much work you can get done, as it affects your comfort while you do the work.
Start by getting a high-quality chair. If you cannot change the chair you use, get a memory foam cushion and back support for the extra comfort. Those who have physical disabilities can often work with their workplaces to arrange suitable chairs and desks for their needs.
Now make sure the chair and your computer are placed the right distance apart. When you type, your forearms should rest on the desk, with your wrists in line with your elbows. Your back should remain straight with your shoulders back, and your eyes should be in line with the computer monitor. There shouldn’t be any need to look up or down, removing strain from your neck. Sit with your eyes about 24-36 inches away from the screen for eye comfort.
During work, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at a focal point 20 meters away for 20 seconds. Your eyes will get the chance to adjust and relax after straining against the computer screen.
Your feet should reach the floor, so they sit flat. If they do not, you are putting extra pressure on your lower back. Arrange for a stand or stool to place under your desk to keep your feet flat always.
Do not Forget About Regular Breaks
People think that to work productively they need to avoid taking any time off. That is certainly not the case. In fact, trying to work flat out for 7-8 hours is going to reduce your productivity.
We sit down for way too long, and our bodies are used to being active. When you move around more, you will find that you get more energy, remove some of the boredom, and find it much easier to focus on work when you are at it.
You can take breaks both in the work office and your home office. If your boss has a problem with the breaks suggested below, you need to remind him that you are far more productive when rested and you will get more done for him. Show him the difference in your performance to make a point.
Every 25 minutes, take a five-minute break from your work. You can opt for a 10-minute break every 50 minutes if you would prefer. During that 10 minutes, stretch your muscles and take a walk around the office. This is a great excuse for a toilet break, to make a cup of coffee, or to collect things from the printer. You can also get some exercises in at your desk; yes, desk workouts are a thing and are good for you.
Some of these allotted time slots can be used for distractions. Permit yourself just to check your social media, or read an interesting blog post on a subject. Keep everything short and time yourself to make sure you return to work on time. With the knowledge you have a 10-minute window coming up, your brain is more likely to remain focused on the task at hand when you work.
Follow time chunking techniques when you are doing tasks that you hate. Set an amount of time to get some things done and then move onto the next tasks on the list. Spend some time on them, before working back on the tasks that you hate. You will find yourself happier throughout the day and will be more productive since you will enjoy your job more.
Step Away from the Desk
Too many of us opt for lunch at the desk daily. This is doing nothing for your productivity levels. Whether you work from home or at the office, you need a lunch break away from your computer. Find a spot that is comfortable and relaxing. If that is not the staff lunch room, do not eat in there! Get out of the workplace completely and escape the dreary world for 30-60 minutes.
You will find you are far more renewed throughout the day. This is especially beneficial if you get that walk in at lunchtime.
However, it is not just about what you do at lunch but also what you eat. Opt for nutritious meals that are low in saturated fats and simple carbs. You want proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. They will break down slowly, so you do not get an instant sugar rush. That 3 pm slump is less likely to occur.
Likewise, throughout the day make sure you remain hydrated. Experts recommend 2 liters of water daily for optimum health. Split that up throughout your day. Have half a liter before lunch, half during lunch, and another half after lunch before you go home. Then you can save the final half for when you are at home.
When you are hydrated, all your organs act efficiently. Your brain is not as foggy so that it will remain focused on the tasks at work.
Get Rid of the Digital Distractions
It is not just office noise that causes a distraction. The things on our computers can pull us away from our work.
We have already touched on email alerts, but you want to stop all alerts from your computer during working hours. Do not allow your web browsers to alert you to social media notifications or when a new article is published on your favorite website. Stop your phone pushing notifications through when something happens.
It is possible to set up “Do Not Disturb” functions on phones. These functions even allow you to set exceptions to the rule, so emergency phone calls or messages will still come through.
However, your distractions will also involve websites that you visit. Opt for desktop blocks, so you cannot visit the sites you are more frequently on. If you work in an office, talk to your boss about setting up blocks so nobody can access them. It takes away the temptation to use them. When working from home, have your blocks on your website.
Fewer distractions will mean the ability to focus on the tasks at hand. You will not miss access to sites after a few days.
Are You Ready to Boost Productivity?
With a few simple tricks, you can improve the productivity in your office. This is possible whether you work in an office for your boss or you have the luxury of working from home. It is time to eliminate the distractions, remove the unnecessary burdens, and boost your mood when you are working. You will soon find that slumps and procrastination are things of the past and you get far more done throughout the day.