Our Top Tips for Increasing Productivity
‘If I don’t leave my desk all day, I’ll get all my work done. Correct?’ No.
Not leaving your desk all day will actually be less productive than taking regular breaks. Our brains are not designed to concentrate for long periods of time, research suggests that our attention span typically only lasts for just 14 minutes before we lose focus, a study by Stacey Stothard of Skipton Building Society found.
Now with that being said are you aware of your concentration span? It is useful to tune in to this for yourself. For me personally, I’ve been told I lose concentration after 20 minutes. Which just means I need to keep myself active, have regular breaks and re fuel at multiple points in the day.
Albeit not everyone can leave the office after every 20 minutes, there are other ways you can improve your focus and increase your productivity.
Have you read our self help stress tips?
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Here are our top 5 tips:
It can be tempting to want to take care of a few tasks at once, especially if they seem small or easy. But it simply doesn’t work. According to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller, “multitasking is not humanly possible”. We’re fooling ourselves when we say we can easily juggle phone calls, presentations, and eating lunch. Focus on one task at a time, and you’ll actually end up completing it faster.
Make use of your commute time
For many of us, work begins and ends in the office. But why not make use of your commute? Ok. Yes, you aren’t getting paid, but there’s no harm in feeling one step ahead by checking all your emails before you’ve even got to the office!
When I wake up, I always check my diary just to make sure I know what I’m doing and when, it saves me that dreaded ‘what have I forgotten’ feeling when I’m in the office or meeting with clients.
Don’t put off the ‘boring’ tasks
I’m great at putting off the more boring or challenging tasks (who isn’t?), but there’s no time like the present. You are at your most productive in the morning, so try to get the more ‘boring’ tasks completed before lunch and guaranteed you’ll feel much calmer in the afternoon.
Set small goals
The idea behind setting small, accomplishable goals is that you’ll feel much more in control. Seeing a handful of big projects on our calendar can be stressful, but if you break it up into smaller tasks, they’ll feel more manageable and you will be more productive. There’s also the satisfaction of seeing how much you’ve achieved at the end of a long day!
Take regular breaks
It’s important to take small and frequent breaks (often called ‘microbreaks’), to keep you performing at your best. Research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps to maintain a constant level of performance. While working at a task non-stop leads to a steady decline in performance.