It’s perfectly normal to have days when we’re not feeling it; when the last place we want to be in the office. Despite best efforts, our energy level remains sluggish throughout the day and before we know it, it’s the end of the day and you just realized you have nothing to show for your workday. An occasional slow workday is ok but do it often then perhaps it’s time for an intervention.
Good thing this guide can help you how to fight unproductivity in the workplace. Here are seven ways to hit your productive groove:
1. Make a to-do list and prioritise your tasks
Start your workday by making a to-do list. This helps you to organise your day and prioritise tasks by urgency and importance. Having a to-do list ensures that you have an overview of what’s been done and what’s outstanding, which also helps with time management besides keeping you focused.
Ticking off action items on the list is also a great way to stay motivated, as well as a handy way to document your productivity and daily activity.
2. Start with the easy tasks
Try easing into your workday by starting with the easy tasks — think of it as a mental warm-up before tackling the complicated tasks that require your full focus and energy. It helps to start the day on a positive note, and ticking off a couple of tasks on your to-do list within the first hour of your workday gives you a quick morale boost to get into the swing of things.
3. Work in short bursts
Work in short bursts to stay energised. Taking regular breaks every hour will keep your mind fresh and engaged. Stretch your legs, make yourself a cup of coffee and have a quick chat with a colleague. Besides giving your eyes a break from being glued to the computer screen, getting up and walking around will minimise your chances of developing back problems later on.
4. Listen to music while you work
If you have trouble staying focused at work, why not try focus@will? Using human neuroscience, focus@will is a revolutionary music service that helps users focus, reduce distractions, maintain productivity and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading. This scientifically tested technology has been proven to affect brain activity by enhancing its productive state.
Alternatively, you could listen to your favourite tracks on Spotify. Whichever app you use, listening to music is an effective way to set the mood and boost your spirits, if you’re feeling uninspired.
5. Reward yourself
What’s the best incentive for you? A nice cold beer at the end of the day? Leaving work on time to hit the gym? Going for dinner at your favourite restaurant? Or perhaps you can’t wait to get home and binge-watch the latest season of Game of Thrones with take-away pizza? Whatever it is, focus on that reward and work towards it. The hours will fly by when you keep busy.
6. Change your working environment
Have you tried changing your working environment? If your company allows remote working, make the most of it by working from co-working spaces or cafes for a change of scenery. On the other hand, if your company doesn’t currently allow telecommuting, try these 5 practical steps for getting your boss’ approval to work from home. For further insights, here are 5 compelling reasons for telecommuting that your boss can’t argue with.
7. Identify the cause of the unproductivity
Is it just an off day, or are you detecting a pattern? Bear in mind that sufficient sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise are key towards maintaining a productive state of mind. If that’s not the issue, perhaps it’s time to do a self-assessment of your job satisfaction and/or career progression. Perhaps it’s time for you to embrace a new career challenge to reignite your passion for the job.
As long as you don’t get to the root of the problem, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to snap out of it. It’s natural to get complacent when you’ve been at the same job for a while, but it’s important to recognise the signs and take constructive action to turn things around rather than getting stuck in a rut.
We live in an era of distractions. Smartphones, computers, smart displays: Our surroundings are constantly demanding our attention, not to mention the regular interruptions by co-workers and bosses throughout the day. It’s a wonder that we’re able to get anything done at all. In our haste to be faster, better and more productive than the next person, are we perhaps compromising on the quality of our work and output? Something to ponder on perhaps.