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Most Employees Are More Productive When They Work Somewhere Other Than The Office

Most Employees Are More Productive When They Work Somewhere Other Than The Office

It’s possible that most of your employee’s are wasting time while at work. It’s not their fault, though. An open-floor office is a jungle full of distraction, and it can be hard to get anything done in a space like that.

A new survey of 2,600 hundred people found that 76 percent of people can do better work outside of the office! Flex Jobs, a job bored focused on finding employee’s remote jobs, cited that most people found the office too distracting and that interruptions from coworkers killed productivity.

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It takes time to get in the zone when you begin working each day, and it takes a lot to stay in the zone. Consider working like driving on a long road trip. When you’re on the highway, you’re getting to your destination as quickly as possible. It takes time to get from your home to the highway entrance ramp, and each time a coworker pulls you away from your task, you have to get off the highway and pull into a gas station. It takes time to get back on the highway and get into driving mode.

Commuting Leads to Decrease in Productivity

Distraction and interruption isn’t the only reason that employees prefer working from home, a coffeeshop or a library. They also cited commuting as a major reason for their lack of productivity. It’s important to begin each day on the right foot. How you start your day sets the tone for everything you do that day. Many employees are starting their day in an hours worth of bumper to bumper traffic.

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According to an article in TIME, the morning commute causes a rise in blood pressure, anxiety and stress. Many employees are on the edge when they arrive at work, long before they have the chance to even start interacting and being productive.

Office Politics as a Big Productivity Killer

In addition, employees cite office politics as a big productivity killer. Like the morning commute, this is a big form of stress and anxiety. It’s true, many people do thrive on a cutthroat office environment. Some find it exciting. Many people don’t find it exciting, though. In fact, many people are disengaged by the office politics game, rather than being motivated by it. 

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This should come as a wake up call to office managers out there. The work environment we’re used to may be outdated, and it may be time to reevaluate your companies policy on remote work. If you’re worried that some of your employees aren’t being as productive as possible, consider taking action:

What to Do Then?

Offer a Remote Work Policy

Most survey respondents cited that they’d be most productive at home. In fact, 30 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to take a 10 to 20 percent pay cut if they could telecommute. As a company, you could test that theory out. It may be quite a stretch to suddenly allow all your employees freedom, but you could give the policy a test run with a few of your trusted employees.

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Create And Do Not Disturb Workspaces

This idea comes from my college library, where we had large rooms that were strictly for studying. In these rooms you weren’t allowed to talk or collaborate, you were only allowed to work on your own. This is a good option for companies that aren’t ready to offer a telecommute option, but see the need to revamp their office culture.

Make Your Office Healthy

According to the survey, health is a growing concern in the office culture. The lack of flexibility of a job means that your eating and exercising habits are at the mercy of your office. In fact, 80% of respondents think they’d be healthier if they didn’t work at an office. Not only that, but eating health foods increases brain power and productivity. Ease your employee’s minds and make them productivity machines by offering healthy snacks at the office, and possibly even an exercise break.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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