We can all be a little more productive. Even the most productive of people would argue that they could do more. Did you know that we spend at least two days a month on Facebook? Alarming isn’t it? Imagine how much of that time is work-related… And we wonder why we haven’t yet received that promotion we’ve been working so hard for. I think it’s safe to say that we could do with some productivity tips to keep us motivated and, well… productive at work!
In order to understand how productivity tips can help you improve your performance, it’s important to understand the four categories that these tips can sit within. There are physical and mental tips, motivating and stress-relieving. All are focused on allowing for positive direction and increasing your productivity. Mixing ones that suit your lifestyle from each group will help you to maximise your efficiency within your own time scale.
mental productivity tips
Tips that improve your mental productivity, and keep you thinking in an efficient and focused manner:
Naturally, listening to music we like improves our happiness. When we are happier, we work harder. Depending on our preferences, certain genres of music motivate us; boosting dopamine levels and inspires us to ‘get things done’.
If we’re feeling really up for it, listening to podcasts is another way to motivate and inspire us. Listening to entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and industry experts on topics that interest us helps us to learn and feel motivated to take action with our findings. The motivation transpires into productively showing your skills, learning’s and insight in your work.
Taking regular breaks sounds counter-intuitive to wanting to increase productivity, but it works. Sitting at your desk all day, without regular coffee breaks or time away from your screen not only negatively affects your body, it affects your brain too. Without breaks, you fatigue quicker, taking longer to finish tasks and burn out way before the day is over. Ever felt like you’re falling asleep at the screen? You, sir, are suffering from fatigue and need a break!
physical productivity tips
Improving your physical well-being is proven to improve your productivity. Due to the scientific nature of exercise and stretching, studies have proven dramatic increases in productivity percentages as a result of improving your physical well-being.
exercising before work
There are a lot of studies and reports around the benefits of morning exercise and they’re all spot on. The benefits of exercising before work are astronomical, but from a productivity perspective, there are a few to take note of.
Firstly, exercise in the morning boosts your energy levels. A study by Samantha Heller discusses the positive effects that exercise has on our mitochondria cells, which produce energy to use throughout the day. If you don’t exercise, you don’t feed these cells the nutrients they need to produce energy. As a result, you are more likely to become fatigued and far less productive.
Secondly, exercise has shown a 4% increase in brain function and cognitive performance. Meaning you make better, more efficient decisions as a result of exercise in the mornings
Finally, your mood improves as a result of the dopamine released from physical exercise and the energy produced from the mitochondria cells.
stretching in the workplace
Stretching helps increase blood supply to joints and soft tissue. Again, this reduces fatigue and keeps you energised in order to stay productive.
An additional benefit of stretching can be doing stretches in groups. This fosters a ‘bonding’ workplace culture between colleagues which has a secondary benefit of building working relationships that can help contribute to collaboration within the workplace. With teams working collaboratively, they can be more efficient and effective at achieving deliverables.
tips that motivate
A lot of productivity tips have additional benefits of improving motivation and happiness within the workplace. Productivity can often come from being motivated and so it’s important to stay as motivated as possible each day.
tackling tasks early on
As a result of our morning activity, the best time for motivation and productivity is at the start of our working day. Therefore, it’s important to tackle the harder tasks first, using that motivation and the energy from exercising earlier, you can tackle the harder tasks with more energy. Once the tasks are completed, you feel a sense of inspired achievement, leaving you even more inspired to maintain your work levels for the rest of the day.
recording the positives
One of the most popular tasks to hack your motivational productivity is to improve your positive psychology.This can be done through a simple, yet effective trick called ‘three positives’. Take the time to write down three positive things that you’ve done each day. This can be anything from hitting targets to putting forward an idea. What you’re doing here is training your brain to think positively, all the while improving your happiness.
This trick motivates you through happiness, while not forcing you to keep chasing goals.
stress relieving tips
Stress can demotivate us and affect our productivity levels. We can burn ourselves out if we continue to get stressed about managing our workloads and so it’s important to stay relaxed, yet focused at work.
Mindful meditation only needs to take 5-10 minutes of your day, but the benefits of it are impressive. The main benefit is lowering stress, which we have already discussed, but by clearing your mind through meditation, you can tackle problems with clarity and focus.
Additionally, meditation mentally prepares you for tasks or the day ahead. Through increasing blood circulation to the brain, meditation exercises your concentration and enhances the power of your mind. A clearer mind can make better decisions more efficiently.
Finally, meditation works as an exercise for the brain muscle that feeds it with energy so that you can enhance your creative spark and the way you think about things. A sub-benefit of this may be the creative thinking to create leaner working processes or finding solutions to problems more effectively.