Have you ever heard of the phrase, “work smarter, not harder”? It might seem like a throwaway slogan, but it actually holds a lot of weight. Sometimes it seems like no matter how long we sit at our desk for and no matter how much we might pound away at our keyboard, we just cannot seem to get all of our work done. Well, our main issue just might be that we are not giving ourselves the breaks and breathers that we need in order to actually work effectively. We also need to make sure that while we are working our butts off, that we are utilizing the right tools and electronics to make life a little easier on us.
So, here are five tips on how to improve your office productivity, from going outside for a walk to making sure your computer works as hard as you do.
Make Your Workspace Yours
Whether you have your own office or you work in a more open environment that you share with others, your work day will seem a lot brighter if you make your workspace as comfortable as possible. By personalizing your office space, you will be surrounding yourself with things that you love, whether it be colorful prints or desk trinkets. No clue what to get, browse sites like Art.com, where you can look through countless categories. You should also make sure that your chair and desk is set up ergonomically, so that you don’t walk away every day with a kink in your neck and carpel tunnel in your wrists.
Always Straighten Up
Speaking of your workspace, you should do your best to always keep it as clean as you can. Having a messy desk definitely reflects your work ethic, so not only is it a good idea to keep it tidy so that others will have a good impression of you, it will also impact your actual work ethic. Think about it, if you have massive piles of paperwork all over your desk, how are you supposed to find last week’s report? And if your computer files are all saved in random folders (or even on the dreaded desktop!), how in the world do you expect to find anything that you need?
Working From Home?
Whether you always work from home or you just find yourself doing it occasionally, you might have a tough time getting your work done efficiently if you do not have the right electronics to support you. The best thing to get is a good laptop (one of our favorites is the HP notebook) so that you can easily take it from place to place and work at the drop of the hat whenever needed. Trust us, if your computer is quick, easy to use and has tons of storage, your ability to get things done increases exponentially.
Take Plenty of Breaks
It might seem like taking more breaks would mean that you are wasting time that you could be working, but it is incredibly important to take breaks and actually step away from your computer. Not only does it allow you to relax and re-center, it also allows you to actually get up and get moving. Maybe go outside and walk around the block. Just those five short minutes outside can make a huge difference in your mood and mindset.
And never, we repeat never, work through your lunch. If you have to work through half of your hour lunch, then you better get up and take that half hour for yourself. It has been shown that eating while in front of a screen messes with you in so many ways, including impacting the way you digest, which will have an effect on your health.
Speaking of never working through lunch, stop multitasking. It might seem like the ability to multitask is a desired trait in an employee, but it actually is not a good thing. If someone is multitasking, it means that they never direct 100% of their attention on any given task.
We get it though, sometimes work gets stressful and when tons of people throw work at you all at once, you feel like you have to try and do it all at the same time. But this is how mistakes slip past. Instead of multitasking, making a list of everything that you have to accomplish on any given day and then prioritize. Do the most pressing tasks first and once you are done, move on to the next. Obviously, things might come up that take precedence, but you then have to pause what you were doing before and solely focus on the new task.
Using these tips, you’ll be on your way to a more productive work day. It’s all about having balance and knowing when to push through a lull and when take a break to get a mind refresh.