Advertising
Advertising

8 Clever Ways to Level up Productivity in Your Office

8 Clever Ways to Level up Productivity in Your Office

With so many distractions, it’s not a mystery why we’re not getting any work done. It’s more than easy to get seduced by the internet (naughty little devil) and forget all about your tasks, just because you found something interesting and went down the information rabbit hole.

My office is quite dynamic and there’s always something interesting (or dramatic, possibly) going on and it can be really hard to for me to maintain my focus and stay productive throughout the whole day. Once I realized I’m not getting any work done, I decided to do some experimenting of my own and see what works for me.

1. Help!

img01
     Image source

    Don’t hesitate from reaching out. If you’re anything like me, you’re capable of spending hours trying to learn how to do a bit of work that the rest of your task depends on without asking for advice. Being stubborn, or persistent as I like to call it, can be good on occasion, but not in this particular one.

    The chances are at least one of your colleagues had experience with a problem you’re trying to deal with, and if they don’t seem to be able to help you figure it out they can point you in the right direction and give you a base to work on. Swallow your unreasonable pride and communicate with your office – that’s what the teamwork is all about.

    Advertising

    2. Getting Nowhere? Move on

    Creative jobs can be particularly troubling, especially on those gray days when you can’t find anything to be inspired by. If you continue to bang your head over one single problem for a while, it will create even more obstacles for you to solve.

    Frustrations like this make the whole thing worse – you end up doubting your skills. In order to avoid this blockade, you should simply move on to the next task unrelated to the problematic one if possible. This way, you’ll give your mind enough time to work without you pressuring it to come up with a solution and you’ll get there in time.

    3. Be a Busy Bee

    The very moment you catch yourself doing nothing productive, find something to do – anything that can benefit your overall performance. Procrastination is one deep abyss and you shouldn’t allow yourself to get anywhere near it because it’s really hard to get out of it.

    Therefore, don’t lose time on meetings that are irrelevant to your area of business, make sure you’re keeping up with your schedule and keep track of time – and this is very important – because it can get away from you without you even realizing before it’s too late.

    Advertising

    4. Listen to Your Body

    img02
      Image Source

      Let’s be honest – you can’t expect your mind to be capable if your body is yelling for nutrients – this is one snooze button you shouldn’t press (this is quite ironic coming from me because I really enjoy my beauty sleep).

      Many people are prone to energizing drinks and junk food because they believe it’s a way to intake a lot of energy for a short period of time. This isn’t healthy, which is why it’s not a solution. Traditional wake-up drinks like coffee work just fine for me, although there was a time when I had to cut back for a bit because I was exaggerating, to be frank.

      If calories are your concern here, you should read up on the subject – the numbers are fairly insignificant and you shouldn’t be bothered by them at all.

      5. Move Those Muscles

      A great way to make your mind work a bit faster is to move your body. Simple exercises like squats will get your blood going faster and help your mind become significantly more productive. The secretion of happy hormones that your glands produce while you workout will make your body more healthy and yourself more useful, and you don’t have to do them for everyone to see – a bathroom or lunch break will do here.

      Advertising

      6. Challenge Your Mind

      img03
        Image Souce

        I already mentioned how troubling lack of inspiration can be, and if you don’t seem to be able to start your engine in the morning, you shouldn’t consider the whole day lost. What you should do is take the matter into your own capable hands and light up your brain with an intellectual challenge such as Sudoku or a quick mind puzzle. There’s a bunch of these games online and you’ll be able to find the one that works great for you.

        7. Don’t Go Nowhere Near Social Networks

        Entering Facebook just to check something that won’t take more than a minute or two is one nasty lie you tell yourself and you know it. It won’t take less than fifteen minutes and that’s the best version – we all know how easy it is to get distracted, so this is a huge no-no.

        It’s not just Facebook but other social platforms as well, so my sincere suggestion is to steer clear of them. Check your messages (email included) while you’re taking a break; this way you won’t miss anything and you’ll stay disciplined simultaneously.

        Advertising

        8. Aesthetics is Helpful

        Instead of looking at a blank wall in front of you every time you have a blockade of any type, you should do something nice for yourself and decorate your desk with something you like – a family photo, a nice plant, a dear ornament, or something that’s just pretty to look at. Your office and aesthetics around you have a major impact on your performance and you should do something about it.

        The best thing for your productivity would be to try each of these eight things I have listed so you can test them all in order to find the one (or a couple of them) which works best for you. Professional stagnation will eventually lead to you going backward and this isn’t something you should make room for in your career – the sooner you deal with it, the sooner you will keep moving forward.

        Featured photo credit: great-action.com via great-action.com

        More by this author

        Being Asked a Tricky Interview Question? Give These Skillful Responses to Earn Extra Time 6 Useful Gadgets Every Proud Workaholic Should Own How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car How to Show Affection without Looking Needy or Being Clingy When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

        Trending in Brain

        1 How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly 2 11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind 3 25 Memory Exercises That Actually Help You Remember More 4 7 Most Effective Problem Solving Techniques That Smart People Use 5 How Cognitive Bias Influences Our Decision Making

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Published on November 23, 2020

        How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

        How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

        Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

        Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

        Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

        Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

        Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

        Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

        Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

        In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

        Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

        Advertising

        After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

        What can we learn from this historical lesson?

        1. Focus on the Consequences

        Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

        So was Moscow not an important target after all?

        Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

        When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

        • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
        • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
        • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

        The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

        This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

        2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

        Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

        Advertising

        Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

        If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

        Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

        This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

        Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

        • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
        • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
        • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
        • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

        Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

        3. Ask for Advice

        Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

        Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

        A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

        Advertising

        Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

        4. Beware of Biased Advice

        Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

        For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

        • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
        • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
        • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
        • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
        • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

        However, most purchases are unnecessary.

        Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

        Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

        After all,

        • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
        • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
        • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
        • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
        • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

        There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

        Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

        Advertising

        Bottom Line

        It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

        You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

        Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

        Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

        Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

        Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

        Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

        More Tips on Thinking Clearly

        Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
        [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
        [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
        [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

        Read Next