Step up your productivity in 6 simple steps

The modern workspace is full of distractions that can be a drain on productivity – whether you work from home or spend your waking hours in the office, there’s always something to distract from what you’re doing.

Follow these 11 simple steps though, and you’ll instantly see an increase in your productivity…

1. Switch off the smartphone

The smartphone is a major source of distraction – even if you’re intent on ignoring the thing and don’t even give it a glance when it buzzes, just the sound of it buzzing is enough to make your mind wander and distract from the task in hand.

And that’s not just anecdotal evidence – in a recent report published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, researchers from Florida State University found that even if you don’t look at your phone when it buzzes, the sound makes your mind wander.

So make sure the smartphone is switched off – unless, of course, it’s a business phone, in which case you need to make sure it’s not used for any personal calls or messages.

2. Can the clutter

Having a messy and cluttered workspace can be a real drain on productivity – open files and an overflwoing in-tray can keep unfinished tasks at the front of your mind, while an unread book can be a catalyst for procrastination.

And even if you think you’re not noticing all that clutter, it can still affect your ability to focus.

So clear up that clutter and see how a clear workstation can help you concentrate.

3. Work a bit less

You might assume that working  more hours means you’ll get more done – and it well might mean you get through more work – but studies have shown that after working 49 hours in a week, productivity actually decreases, to the point where someone working 70 hours has the same productivity as someone who worked 56 hours.

4. Sharpen your focus

Splitting your tasks into 90-minute chunks can help, while putting aside an hour-and-a-half for the most important tasks will make the right things are prioritised.

This means that just using 20% of a regular eight-hour day means you can make great progress, even if you do next-to-nothing with the remaining 80%.

5. Sleep on the job

Taking a daytime nap can actually boost productivity, counteract impuslive behaviour and increase tolerance of frustration, meaning those who can take a nap partway through the day may actually get more work done.

Good luck running that one by the boss.

6. Keep an eye out for distractions

If you don’t know what’s distracting you, it can be all but impossible to cut out those distractions, so keep an eye out for these top five productivity killers:

  1. Smartphone
  2. Non-work related web browsing
  3. Office gossip
  4. Social media
  5. Non-work emails

How do you maintain productivity during the working day? Let us know…

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