Ways to boost productivity
For when the motivation is low
It’s already enough of a slog to get back into the swing of things after a few days off, but it’s made even more difficult amid a pandemic and for some people, a lockdown.
So we’ve rounded up our top tips for productivity to help you get back at it.
This one tops every productivity list and may even seem odd because it’s suggesting that you do the exact opposite: stop working. But without breaks, your mind can get foggy and that’s when errors happen and it might take you longer to do a task. It can be easy to just sit down and work through the day, especially when you’re working from home. But breaks are important for productivity and mental clarity.
One popular method for taking breaks is the Pomodoro Technique, which basically splits your workday into smaller, more manageable chunks and tracks them with a timer. You work for 25 minutes and then get a five-minute break. After completing these, you get a longer break of about 20 minutes.
The idea behind this method is that by breaking your working time into 25-minute increments, you experience a sense of urgency, and you’ll naturally want to get as much work accomplished in that period as you can, plus it also incorporates breaks into your schedule.
Don’t be a slave to your inbox
Instead of having your attention disrupted every time an email pops into your inbox, allocate certain times of the day to read and respond to emails, such as 11 am and 3 pm for example. This will help you fight the urge to constantly monitor your inbox and getting distracted from your work. You can even create an automatic response so that people know the times that you’ll be checking your inbox.
Similar to emails, it can be really easy to get sidetracked by the avalanche of notifications from your office’s chosen messaging app. Often there are many non-work-related channels (water cooler or #random channels) or side chats going on that can distract you from your work. As they say, Slack is crack.
Try silencing your notifications for an hour or two for some much-needed uninterrupted time to focus and get work done.
Make a to-do list
To-do lists are often the top productivity tip. They ensure that you don’t forget anything and helps organize your day. It’s also a way to help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. It can feel difficult to know where to start when you just know you have A LOT to do, but when you have a to-do list that clearly identifies what you need to accomplish, ordered by priority, it can really assuage a lot of anxiety.
Use templates & cheat sheets
Templates can help save you a ton of time. If you send many of the same responses over email, create a canned response that you can just use each time, customizing when the need arises.
Similarly, it’s also helpful to create a cheat sheet of information you’ll always need. Put it on the notes app on your computer or even an actual sticky on your monitor for easy access.
Make time for self-care
Whether it’s meditating, doing an elaborate skincare routine, or simply taking a bath, whatever self-care looks like to you, make sure you make time for yourself. It’s what helps prevent burnout and takes care of your mental health.
Squeeze in a mini workout
When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try to squeeze in a workout between meetings or go for a walk outside if you can. Check out our round-up of short and sweet workouts that you can do throughout your workday.
Jump on a call
Sometimes it’s much easier to get on a call and talk it out. A call may resolve or clear up an issue much quicker than a long email exchange or multiple back-and-forths via Slack. Inefficient communication wastes everyone’s time.
Remember to drink water and eat
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve worked through lunch or was too busy to grab a drink of water. But both water and food are sustenance that you need to be able to function properly and think clearly. And try not to reach for junk food as a snack. Make sure you eat proper food too
Fix that posture, girl
When you work, sit with your shoulders back and engage your core. Your back will thank you later. Plus you burn a few calories and it’ll help you present a more confident front during meetings. And when you look confident, you feel more confident and do more quality work.