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10 Weekly Ten Minute Practices to Boost Work Productivity

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10 Weekly Ten Minute Practices to Boost Work Productivity

    Let’s face it: You can’t overhaul your personal efficiency overnight.

    You can, however, boost work productivity over time by adopting one or more of these weekly 10-minute practices. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, try at least one each day.

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    1. Declutter your inbox

    Dedicate 10 minutes each week to unsubscribing from useless or unwanted emails. They come in all forms: newsletters you never read, redundant notifications from social media sites (do you really need to know if someone new is following you?), daily-deal emails and marketing emails from online stores you’ve patronized in the past.

    Eventually, you’ll have pared your inbox down to a more manageable size, giving you more time to attend to relevant emails.

    2. Meditate

    One of the best ways to boost your productivity at work is by recharging through meditation. While meditation is best when you have ample time to relax, you can still reap its benefits by sneaking away for 10 minutes during your workday. Find a quiet spot where you can close your eyes, breathe deeply and clear your head: a quiet stairwell, an empty conference room or even a nearby park will do just fine.

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    3. Weekly wrap-up

    End your workweek with a quick self-audit. Set yourself up for success on Monday by jotting down a list of projects and to-dos to tackle when you head back into the office. Take a moment to also note some of the successes and shortcomings you encountered, and learn from them week over week. What worked? What didn’t work? To amp this up further, end each workday with this practice.

    4. Take a walk

    Once a week, take 10 minutes out of your lunch break and use it to exercise. Walk around the block, or take the stairs to your office instead of the elevator. If you opt for take-out, select a spot that’s 5 minutes farther away, or take the long way to your usual restaurant. Like meditation, exercise resets your brain for creativity, ultimately boosting your work productivity.

    5. Race the clock

    Set a timer for 10 minutes and do as much work as you can on a big, imposing project you’ve been putting off. Alternatively, knock out several smaller tasks. Force yourself to avoid distractions during this 10-minute burst to really pump up the intensity. These short yet intense work periods can help you build the momentum you need to take control of your to-do list.

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    6. Do nothing

    Follow up an intense 50-minute work period with 10 minutes of unrestricted time. Take a walk around the office, catch up on your favorite blogs, play on Twitter or just do some quick stretches at your desk.

    7. Clean your workspace

    A clean, organized and clutter-free work area minimizes distractions that can hamper productivity. Take a few minutes at the end of each week to eliminate the unnecessary and give yourself a clean slate on Monday.

    8. Plan a project

    Before you begin a new project, spend 10 minutes creating a mind map or outline to focus your efforts. This process will let your unconscious mind marinate on your next steps and keep you on task while you’re working on said project.

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    9. Compile boilerplate text

    We all work with content that can be made into boilerplate text, whether it’s HTML code, canned email responses, blog post templates or custom signatures. Use a tool like TextExpander or Texter to create shortcuts for these blocks of text. Bonus: TextExpander also automatically corrects common typos as you write.

    10. Reward positive behavior

    Top up your emotional tank by recognizing and rewarding the good things you do at work. Perhaps you helped a coworker diagnose and solve a problem, or a blog post you wrote got more comments than usual. Don’t rely on your boss noticing this and complimenting you; instead, remember each “win” as self-motivation for later.

    Put together, all of these practices will drastically improve your productivity if you dedicate a few minutes out of your day or week to follow them.

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    (Photo credit: Ticking Clock via Morguefile)

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2022

    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

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    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

    Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

    Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

    Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.

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    1. Take Your Time Getting There

    As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

    But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

    Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.

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    2. Go Gadget-Free

    This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

    If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

    3. Reflect and Prepare

    Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.

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    After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.

    Conclusion

    Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

    More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.

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    If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

    Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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