Tips For Improving Productivity In the Office

1. Plan Before Executing
The level of detail in daily planner ranges, depending on the tasks on the list. The goal is to plan enough to where you don’t feel stressed, wondering how you will get to everything on the to-do list.

2. Regular Breaks
Getting up and walking around the office is a great way to take a break from the screens you stare at all day. Sure, scrolling through Facebook and Twitter feed might seem like a break from work, but you don’t really feel refreshed. Getting up, walking around the office and chatting with colleagues for 10-15 minutes gives us the boost you need to refocus and power through your to-do list while avoiding burnout.

Some scientists say that taking breaks every 90 minutes, kind of like your sleep cycle, can make a world of difference. Outside of walking around the office, if it’s an extra hectic day, should center yourself and meditate in your office for 15-20 minutes as it has both mental and physical benefits that ultimately help improve the productivity. This also helps us refocus on what’s important, and process the distractions out of your mind.

3. Invest In Your Space
Whether it’s office furniture that perfectly wraps around you for a spread out workspace, or adding some light in a dark space, your workspace has a huge impact on how well you can focus and get things done. Invest some thought into how your workspace is arranged.

According to PMC National Institute of Health: “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout the visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.” This directly points to a cluttered desk or workspace negatively impacting your ability to focus and get assignments completed in an efficient manner.

Beyond the desk, you’d like to love being able to look up frommonitor and see a clear blue sky on a sunny day, so you should positioned the monitor in front of a window; also keeping the glare off the monitor. Quiet is also important, so you should keep your door shut when you are in power work mode. It’s all about making the space yours, and only spending time in it when there’s work to be done.

4. Mute the Alerts!
Facebook updates, text messages, tweets from friends, all of these things prompt your phone to buzz and beep. If you need to power through a tough assignment with maximum focus, you should silence the phone (Do Not Disturb Mode is awesome!) and throw it in your desk drawer. At most, you’ll glance at the phone every hour or two, until your time sensitive work is complete. The experiences of famous artists and scientific studies could back up your experience, showing that focus and efficiency vastly improves when working in a silent environment.

5. Moderate Caffeine Intake
To keep yourself alert and focused, you are mindful of the crashes that accompany caffeine chug-a-thons. You could down a pot of coffee over a few hours, but you’d be completely trashed 3-4 hours later when the caffeine wears off. Plus, your hands start to shake a little bit with too much caffeine, which kills your words per minute when communicating with your team.

The general rule of thumb is no more than 1 cup of coffee per hour. If you decide to stop at 7/11 and grab an energy drink, then you limit yourself to one energy drink per 2-3 hours. Although, honestly, coffee is cheaper and seems to do the trick all on its own. If you want to get a little more technical, European Food Safety Authority recommends no more than 400mg of caffeine in a day.

6. Get In Sync with Your Office
When you are working as a customer retention specialist, your customers would ring your phone all day, looking to cancel their services or qualify for special discounts. While working in a cubicle, dealing with disgruntled customers, you would notice something. Corporate had scheduled everyone’s lunch breaks during different hours of the shift. This made sense, considering you were worried about having enough people on the phones to handle incoming calls, but it would made you think about how you could catch up with the rest of your team.

So, you should made an effort to get up from your desk every hour and talking with a different person in your department. You wanted to genuinely get to know them and learn a little about their life outside the office. What you found was that your personal satisfaction and happiness at work went way up. Plus, when you needed help figuring out a complex problem, your colleagues were falling over themselves trying to help you figure it out.

Getting to know the people you work with on a personal level, investing in real relationships throughout the office, made your work easier and your workday immensely more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to reach out and meet someone new. It’s always easier to get help from a friend.

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