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10 Things You’ll Never Find In A Productive Office

10 Things You’ll Never Find In A Productive Office

To ensure that work is completed, deadlines are met and workflow is steady throughout an office, employees must be productive. There was a time when this meant employees should work at full capacity constantly and that they must prioritise their tasks above all other responsibilities.

Fortunately, this is swiftly becoming an outdated idea. Today, many bosses are encouraging their members of staff to be creative, sociable and happy as well as proactive, accurate and productive. These new work environments that avoid an uninviting, bureaucratic setting or situations where employees feel overwhelmed often result in a significantly more productive atmosphere!

To ensure your office is a constructive and dynamic workplace, check out these 10 things you’d never find in a productive office:

1. They Avoid Progression

As I mentioned above: times are changing. Employees can no longer be viewed from a head office as stock-humans that must dedicate all of their attention to work between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

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For productivity to flow, trust to build and overall employee happiness to flourish, you must encourage it. By following these steps you can begin to evolve, progress and improve.

2. Leaders Set Unclear Expectations

When it comes to working with others, be it in an office or everyday life, it’s important to remember that your group is not comprised of psychic super beings. If you are unclear about your expectations your team will have no real idea of what they’re supposed to be achieving.

Be sure to set clear, attainable goals for both the team and the individuals within it. Be accommodating to each individual and make sure you are fully understood by all before sending them on their way.

3. Nobody Plans Ahead

It’s far easier to plan ahead than to regret a project’s flaws in hindsight. Worse still, trying to work out a plan whilst in the middle of a task can completely drain your productive energy and focus.

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Make sure you construct a few guidelines and goals before beginning an assignment and you’ll have it done in no time.

4. Delegating Is Discouraged

Have you ever wondered why potential employers always want to know whether you work well in a team? Well one of the reasons could be because they expect you to delegate work to increase productivity. Each individual in an office has different skills that are better suited to different tasks, so it makes sense to assign tasks to those best suited instead of becoming overwhelmed and disheartened.

5. Multitasking Is Encouraged

Whilst delegating is a great idea, multitasking isn’t. Switching and sharing your attention between tasks may mean you get more done, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a satisfactory level of quality. Focus all of your attention on one task and your dedication will show though.

6. There Are Interruptions And Distractions

Whilst were on the topic of focus: nothing is more detrimental than being constantly interrupted or distracted. Whilst you’re working, close your email and other tabs to ensure you are 100% disruption free. If it’s an employee or manager that’s causing the interruptions, it may be time to hold an interruption intervention.

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7. Breaks Are Few And Far Between

If you’ve ever seen a movie or TV show set in an office then you’ll know those who have breaks around the water cooler are often seen as slackers. Meanwhile, those who skip their breaks are depicted as productivity champions who are more dedicated to their work than their social lives. This could not be more wrong!

Breaks are a fantastic way to allow employees to decompress their brains, relax, get their thought juices flowing and most importantly: enjoy work. Walk around, grab a coffee, go on social media or call someone: these are not time wasters! When you return to your work, close your tabs and put your phone away you’ll feel refreshed and ready for another focused, productive few hours.

8. Games Are Forbidden

Speaking of breaks: what could be more fun than a game of pool or ping-pong? Games areas are becoming more and more popular in work environments, particularly in the tech industry and in start-ups. Allowing games into your office will encourage bonding, develop team dynamics, relieve stress and advance activity.

9. Working From Home Is Not An Option

Another idea that’s becoming more popular is telecommuting. Many employers believe working from home will lead to a decline in productivity, when really many employees will work harder in order to disprove these misconceptions and maintain the privilege.

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Working from home has never been easier, with new video conferencing apps, chat tools and task sites being developed almost every day.

10. No Flexible Work Times

For decades now, a 9 to 5 day has been the usual and for most this just isn’t beneficial. Modern life and workloads can be unpredictable, meaning some people may need to come in earlier or work later into the day. To accommodate this, try trusting your employees with their working hours. For example, if somebody stays late on an evening, why not allow them to come in later the next morning.

Featured photo credit: Workspace Desk from Above via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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