Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the following restrictions and lockdowns, an increasing number of individuals were forced to work from home, finding it quite difficult to maintain focus and productivity in these unprecedented circumstances. And as the pandemic is slowly dying down and more and more people are going back to the office, achieving the same level of efficiency they once had at work seems like a demanding goal for many. If finding ways to be more productive deserves a place on your 2022 to-do list as well, here are some simple yet efficient strategies that might help:
Work in 90-minute sections
Research conducted at Florida State University has come to the conclusion that elite performers such as chess players, athletes, and musicians who work in 90-minute intervals or less tend to be significantly more productive than their counterparts who work in longer sections. They also concluded that the best-performing individuals often work approximately 4.5 hours each day. These are some interesting findings you might want to incorporate into your own work schedule as well, for a more productive workday.
Adhere to the “two-minute rule”
In an effort to make the most of those small windows of free time you might get at work, many experts recommend implementing the “two-minute rule”. The idea behind this method is to immediately do any action or task that takes two minutes or less to finish as soon as you notice it, if you have some spare time to complete it. Finishing small tasks straight away instead of putting them off for later is thought to actually take less time overall, and lead to higher productivity due to no disruptions in the workflow.
Impose stricter deadlines
Even though stress is generally considered to be quite a negative and damaging thing, a small and manageable amount of self-imposed stress might actually be quite beneficial when it comes to increasing productivity. It turns out that being under low pressure can give us more focus and motivation to successfully reach our goals. To that end, you might want to try giving yourself stricter deadlines when working on open-ended projects. It’s surprising to learn just how fast and efficient one can be when they are racing against the clock.
Take advantage of massages
Physical health is just as important for productivity and concentration as your mental performance, and relaxing massages could present the perfect solution. They help to reduce stress levels, boost the immune system, promote wellness, and even ease the back and neck pain that’s often associated with prolonged working hours. Due to these and many other benefits, it’s recommended to invest in a great handheld tool such as the brilliant Melo massager for encouraging relaxation and pain relief. Being small and easy to use, such a massager could be utilizied both in the office and at home to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, and relieve built-up stress that’s preventing you from being an alert, focused, and productive worker.
Take frequent breaks
Although it might sound counterintuitive to many, taking a few scheduled breaks from your work could actually help to improve focus and productivity. By allowing you to refresh and recharge, breaks can lift the mood, boost concentration and attention, and give you the opportunity to maintain a more constant level of high performance. For that reason, it might be a good idea to take regular breaks during your workday, such as taking a five- to ten-minute break once every hour.
In the fast-paced world we live in, multitasking has seemingly become a necessary and highly valuable skill. But contrary to popular belief, multitasking might actually hinder our efficiency and prevent us from performing optimally. Attempting to do several different tasks at once can result in lost time, the inability to focus, and ultimately decreased productivity. Rather than attempting to multitask, it might be better to commit only to one task before continuing on to another, in order to improve your attention span, sharpness, and efficacy.
Aim to be proactive
If you allow constant emails and phone calls to dictate your working hours, you might be doing a good job of solving immediate issues as you go. Unfortunately, that could also be the only thing you manage to accomplish throughout the day. In an effort to boost productivity, it’s recommended to create a plan for each day in advance, and aim to stick to your schedule as best as possible. Of course, setting some time aside for answering calls and emails is still important, but instead of allowing them to take over your day, you will have more time left to focus on other, more crucial aspects of your job.
Try to minimize distractions
While popping into a colleague’s office for a quick chat might seem innocuous, even the briefest of interruptions can cause a change in your work pattern and lead to a sudden drop in efficiency and productivity. To that end, a good way to maintain your focus while working could be simply minimizing constant distractions, whether that means keeping your office doors closed, setting stricter working hours, working remotely when it comes to more important projects, or simply turning off the notifications on your phone while you work.
Whenever you feel the need to improve your productivity at work, resist the temptation to work longer hours or to overcram your schedule. Instead, utilize the helpful tips mentioned above in order to work smarter rather than harder.