Work Wise Week 2017: 5 easy ways to boost your productivity at work

With the dreaded end of year appraisals under way, now’s the time to reflect on your year’s achievements.  Did you get everything done that you wanted to?  Or were there certain tasks that remained neglected all year?  To mark Work Wise Week 2017 , we’ve come up with 5 easy ways to boost your productivity at work. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got, so now’s the time to grab the bull by the horns and turbo-charge your work efficiency in 2017.

close up of two sets of post-it notes at work

Dean Hochman Post-it notes

Beat the crowds to boost productivity 

Hate getting up?  No matter what time we stumble out of bed for work, it always feels too soon.  Getting up one hour earlier may seem a horrifying prospect, but in reality, pulling back the duvet is no less painful one hour later.  Instead of focusing on what you’re missing, imagine instead the joy of getting a seat on the tube and smugly breezing into an empty office before the chaos of the day unfolds.  That first hour is when we’re at our most alert and crucially when we experience the least distractions.  Imagine an office devoid of phone calls, e-mails and demanding clients and colleagues and welcome to a sanctuary of undisturbed productivity.

Plan your day to maximise work efficiency

We all know about the tedious “to do” list but how far should you go in scheduling your day? I advocate using military precision to plan it hour by hour.  Outlook and/or Google calendars provides a blank sheet every day to plan each hour.  If you’re juggling multiple tasks, this is a great way to ensure that you’ve allocated enough time for all of your workload while effortlessly riding the crest of those looming deadlines.

mug with a happy face on a desk

Glen Wright Mug with a happy face on an office worker’s desk

Do the worst things first 

Are there certain tasks you avoid like the plague?  Whether it’s the end of year finances or contacting new business leads, there’s always going to be tasks we put off.  What we don’t realise is that we only have a finite amount of willpower and energy each day.  Habitually putting stuff off makes it harder to concentrate on the task at hand.  It also increases the likelihood that those shunned tasks will morph into even greater monsters tomorrow.  Tackling the horrors first thing gives us a feeling of relief and success – motivating us to become more productive for the rest of the day.

Never skip a lunch break 

Does your lunch break pass in a blur?  Do you habitually munch while hunched over your screen? If so, you’re in good company as two-thirds of British office workers don’t always manage to take even twenty minutes for lunch.  Taking a lunchtime break away from your desk, preferably outdoors, is essential to our sense of wellbeing -helping us feel more focussed and alert during the afternoon.  A lunch break run, a trip to an art installation or even a fifteen minute brisk walk round the block will provide the stimulation to keep you revived until home time.

Pink heart shaped graphic with the word work

Sean MacEntee Pink heart-shaped work sign

Build relationships outside the email world

in today’s technological world, it’s all too easy to email colleagues with a list of demands that are all too frequently ignored. Getting up from your desk to speak to colleagues is more courteous and fosters stronger working relationships. Expressing your thanks for a job well done also ensures that your future needs are prioritised, saving you valuable time not having to chase, nag and cajole your comrades to help you out.

Do you have any other productivity tips that you would like to share with us?  For more ideas on what to do during your lunch break, head over to our categories section on the right hand side of our website.

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