With the impact of Covid19 on our workplace, the percentage of people remote working from home has skyrocketed. Working from home has its own unique challenges but if your goal is to increase productivity, it is important for you to understand how crucial the role habits can play.
The habits we develop can have a significant impact on our productivity. Our goal should be to replace bad habits that are often caused by reactive patterns of behaviour with good habits that will make us proactive and enable us to take charge of our own agendas.
While we are experiencing workplace changes, it is an opportune time for us to review our work habits to change any unproductive habits and build new more productive ones.
The following are 12 ways to form habits that increase work productivity.
Habit 1 - Start each day with a plan.
Having a plan can drastically increase your work productivity. A plan can enable you to focus on what’s important instead of getting distracted by unforeseen tasks that inevitably pop up.
It is a good habit to create a plan during the afternoon for the following day. Select any essential tasks that are crucial for you to finish by the end of the day and then block out times in your calendar to complete them. For the most important work it is suggested that you use the most productive times of the day when you are most efficient.
Remember, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
Habit 2 - Try to minimise distractions
Minimising unwanted distractions will help keep you on task and increase productivity. Wearing headphones when there are noise distractions or reducing visual distractions such as pop-ups on your computer screens are just a couple of simple ways to increase productivity.
Habit 3 - Concentrate on one thing at a time
Single tasking is one key action towards improving productivity. Research has shown that multitasking can negatively influence your productivity. You may think that by multitasking you will get more done, but when you jump between tasks, your cognitive processing is hindered and you are less productive. By focussing on a single task enables you to get into a deeper state of mental concentration and achieve your most efficient results.
Working deeply can take a lot of energy and effort so it’s important that you take breaks. The Pomodoro Technique provides a useful guideline when working intensely. Work 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break.
Habit 4 - Start your day early
Early in the morning is a time when it has been shown that your creativity and willpower is strongest. Coupled with this is the time of day when you feel fresh and energised. By starting early you can also reduce the number of interruptions you may get as emails, phone calls and personal interruptions become more frequent during the day.
Habit 5 - Time-blocking works wonders
Time blocking is an excellent way to organise your time more efficiently by assigning tasks to time blocks that you have divided the day into.
By time blocking you can be proactive by prioritising your most important tasks and focus on one task at a time increasing proactivity.
Habit 6 - Close your inbox
Email is one of those 21st Century tools that you could not do without but it can also be one of your biggest distractions. By time blocking specific times to check and reply to messages and having your inbox closed and out of sight for the rest of the day can be a significant habit that will lead to greater productivity.
Habit 7 - Take small steps
A huge project can often feel daunting and we begin procrastinating over it. We find other tasks such as cleaning out our desk or redesigning our work space to put it off. A more effective approach is to break the project into smaller achievable steps that forms a list of tasks that are much more manageable and motivational.
Habit 8 - Reward yourself
Create a positive mental cycle by rewarding yourself for completing work and doing a job well done. When you finish a task, reward yourself and this will make you feel more inclined and motivated to begin the next task. For mental health, the habits of treating yourself when you reach milestones and celebrating success will have a positive effect on future productivity.
Habit 9 - Eat smart
The World Health Organisation has estimated that eating the right food can boost our brain power by up to 20%. An important habit to increase productivity is to eat healthily and regularly. Choosing nutritious foods and avoiding sugary snacks that make you crash will help you work at your best. Skipping meals can make you tired, irritable and mentally fatigued negatively affecting your productivity.
Habit 10 - Exercise regularly
A healthy habit such as regular cardiovascular exercise can be a crucial factor in working productivity. Exercise can boost your memory, attention span, creativity and can also lower stress and improve mood - a plethora of positive outcomes to increase your productivity.
Habit 11 - Use productivity apps
If you want to be the best you can you need to take advantage of the best, most efficient tools that are available to you. There are many apps that are available to boost your productivity and you should be building your arsenal of technology to give you the edge in a very competitive market. A great example of this is Microsoft To Do. This app syncs between your mobile and desktop to help you keep on top of your to-do lists and organise tasks by stream and deadline.
Habit 12 - Delegate wisely
Taking the burden and workload of too many tasks can be anti-productive. If you are trying to carry too much weight on your shoulders you likely to crash and burn but by delegating wisely you can share this load. If there is someone else who is better suited to a job then delegate it. Smart delegation of jobs when needed helps you achieve your goals without sacrificing productivity.
By developing good habits you can build a productive workplace to help you work to your potential.
Collagis is committed to helping businesses like yours to optimise workforce and organisational effectiveness. We'd love to share with you how we can help you to improve productivity.
The Personal Efficiency Program (PEP) helps individuals and teams to improve personal productivity and gain back on average 2 hours per person per day for meaningful work. Ask us for more information about how this could help your organisation to thrive.
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