Do you find time flying by without much getting done?
At 9 a.m. you switch on your computer and get to work, ready for a productive day at the grind. You grab a coffee, blink and, before you know it, it's 4.30 p.m. and you've hardly done anything. Sound familiar? If you struggle to stay on top of your daily tasks, know that you're not alone. Many of us suffer from this affliction and it's only got worse with remote working. Fear not, there are things you can do that will help you to improve productivity in the workplace..
How to boost your productivity
Looking for ways to boost your productivity? We've got you covered. Let's take a look at seven of the easiest lifestyle changes you can make. Try these and watch your productivity levels go through the roof.
1. Stop trying to multitask
Think you're a multi-tasking genius? Think again. While you may be under the impression that doing many things at once is productive, the opposite is true. The reality of the matter is that when you try to complete too many tasks at the same time, you may struggle to focus on one.
The bad news for multi-taskers doesn't end there. Research from the University of Sussex suggests that this move can harm your brain. The study found that people who used multiple devices at the same time - e.g. a smartphone and laptop - have decreased grey matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex. Since the area is linked to emotional responses and decision making, that means that you may struggle to get your work done.
2. Avoid checking social media
Repeat after me: social media is a drain on your productivity levels. You might think that checking Instagram or Twitter now and then has no impact on your work. However, if you do this frequently, you could be eating into your working time. The average internet user spends more than two hours a day on social media. While some of that time may be spent out of work hours, it still makes a dent. To solve the problem and increase productivity, take your social media apps off your smartphone or don't log in on your desktop when you're at work.
3. Take regular holidays
When was the last time you had a break? Thanks to the pandemic, many of us haven't seen the golden beaches of Costa Del Wherever since 2019. However, prioritising holidays could make a major difference to your in-work productivity. Research published in the Psychology and Health Journal suggests that taking a holiday improves your physical health, mental wellbeing, and even your cognitive function. If you put that in simple terms, it means that taking a week away somewhere warm and sunny could help your brain to work better.
If you haven't had a holiday for some time, it's time to change your ways. You don't have to opt for the most expensive all-inclusive trip in the world. You may want to try a "staycation" somewhere in the United Kingdom or look for an affordable package deal. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that this decision may improve your work-life no end.
4. Try a standing desk
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for our health. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that this can lead to a risk of early death by increasing your chance of having heart problems, a stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancers. Moreover, spending too long sitting and not enough time exercising can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. With that in mind, it's crucial that you get up and get moving during the working day. Believe it or not, this change may also increase your productivity.
Whether you're working from home or in the office, it could be worth investing in a standing desk. Research from Texas A&M University suggests that this small change increases workplace productivity by a massive 46%. Aside from standing up while you're doing your work, you may find that it's helpful to walk around when you get the chance. For example, you may want to try a walking meeting or head around the block when you're on a break.
5. Exercise on your break
Ready to take things one step further? If you want to enhance your fitness and your productivity in one move, here's the perfect lifestyle change for you. Research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that devoting some of the working day to physical exercise increases productivity. While the study found that there are advantages to taking time out of work to workout, that may not always be possible. You can speak to your boss about this but, chances are, they won't give you extra time for a run.
However, when you get a break in the working day, why not use it to your advantage? You might want to squeeze in an exercise class, head out for a run, or simply take a walk. The choice is yours. If you struggle to fit a form of exercise into your daily tasks, it could be worth looking into other options. For instance, you may be able to save money and increase your fitness by cycling to work each day. Small changes can make a big difference.
6. Enlist the help of apps
Sure, technology can eat away at your productivity levels but - when used well - it can also help you to get more done. If you find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand, it could be worth looking at some productivity-boosting apps that can spark some innovative ideas to improve productivity. Whether it's organising your browser, managing your time better, or prioritising your day, you can bet there's an app for that. Investing in some handy technology could give you a real boost when it comes to how much work you get done on a daily basis. Why not take the time to research a few now?
7. Write a to-do list every night
What's the last thing you do before you go to bed each night? One of the ways to increase your productivity is to write a to-do list. That way, when you get up the next day, you will know exactly what you have to do. This simple lifestyle change means that you can hit the ground running first thing in the morning, rather than scrambling around trying to figure out where to start. While there are plenty of apps that will help you, using an old-school notepad is easy.
Supercharge your productivity
These small and simple lifestyle changes could be the answer you've been looking for. Give each of them a whirl and see whether they make an impact on how much you get done. You've got this!
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