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How You Poop At Work Actually Affects Your Productivity

How You Poop At Work Actually Affects Your Productivity

Everybody poops, and sometimes it stinks.

Everybody works, too, and that stinks all the time.

Pooping at work, or in any public place, can be an overwhelming obstacle. Someday you’ll need to overcome the crippling awkwardness of the public plop.

Here are some effective techniques to combat social constipation, toilet paper tyranny, and the discomfort that accompanies the work poop.

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And let’s be honest. If you don’t poop at work, you won’t be comfortable, and if you’re uncomfortable, you’re not going to get s*** done. These tips will help you overcome stall schizophrenia to help boost your work productivity.

Remind yourself of the natural, biological state of poop

Every person you know does it. Your grandma poops. Your high end corporate boss poops, and even your mini dachshund Tootie drops a deuce probably once a day (and you probably have to pick that poop up). Poop may be mysterious, but it’s a natural part of a healthy life. Without getting too graphic, poop needs to happen lest your body retain all it’s waste and you become a bloated irritable mess. Ever been seriously constipated? It’ll only take one bout of that to appreciate every urge to go.

Re-calibrate your ‘colon clock’

Since at least the 1600’s, Americans have been caffeine guzzling machines. As a guy who loves coffee, I understand what my body needs to do almost every day after that first cup goes down the hatch. If this is you, simply change the pattern of your coffee (or tea) intake. Pour your first cup after the 8 am toilet troop has already gone, or drink your coffee during your commute so poop comes before other poopers down their dark roast at their desks.

Bring your Jukebox (iPoo’d) 

Take your mind to a special place when doing your dirty business. This can be even more crucial if you share a “communal” bathroom where stalls are snug. Queue up TNT by AC DC or Full Body Yawn by Walter Mitty & his Makeshift Orchestra (my preferred poop tunes) and let your poopy paranoia fade away. If music isn’t your thing, listen to a podcast or talk show. If you want to avoid things in your ears all together, put some toilet paper down on the seat to create the aversion of a crinkling sound.

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Secret, secret, I got a secret (poop place)

Aside from Caroline from OutKast’s Roses, everyone’s poop stinks (okay, her’s probably does too). You surely don’t like the idea of Ted from the fraud department knowing what your specific scent smells like. Do you work in a floored business facility? Use the bathroom a couple floors above or below you. Even if you’re stall to stall with someone else, chances are high that you don’t actually know them or interact on a daily basis. The cafeteria or cafe is completely empty a 10 AM? Sounds like a perfect excuse to head there, enjoy the tranquility of an empty bathroom, and grab a starchy ripe banana on your way out. Search around and experiment with a few different locations to find the specific places and times which are the least busy. Be sure to keep an eye out for single bathrooms, the sanctuary for defecation.

Break free from technology

This point may seem a bit contradictory to one listed above, but having a quick “drop-n-dart” is essential to overcoming the fear of public pooping. Part of the “drop-n-dart” is limiting distractions so you can focus on the poop at hand (not literally). Removing the use of time wasting apps, crosswords, flash games, and videos is crucial to a successful “drop-n-dart.”

Be weary of reading materials

Things like magazines, books, and newspapers can be dead give aways if you don’t work at a newsstand or a book store. As someone who loves to read while they poop (old school aesthetic), keep an eye out for pocket sized bathroom readers that are easily concealable.

Double check the lock 

It seems obvious, but I haven’t met anyone who wants their boss to accidentally disrupt their stall solitude.  If they walk in on you, expect uncomfortable cooler talk and to be the butt of every joke that week.

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Always bring a match

They’re free almost anywhere and, though some may know what you’re up to when they smell something slightly ashy, it’s preferable to something that smells like two week expired eggnog.

Utilize the No Look Flush

No, I’m not talking about a LeBron James breakway dunk. Sometimes people have a trouble with understanding how something so disgusting (poop) can come out of such a pristine and perfect creature (human). If this is your holdup, simply reach behind you, close your eyes if need be, a flush without giving it a second glance. Never saw it? Never happened.

Cover your tracks

At some point, everyone’s poo has streaked down the sides of the bowl like a soccer spectator hoping desperately for press coverage. There’s no reason to let the person who follows your toilet tirade see aftermath of that morning’s biscuits and gravy. If need be flush several times to leave a clear path for the next occupant, so be it.

Wash Your Hands…

You slob.

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Get over it and just poop already.

Your porcelain throne awaits, your majesty.

Pooping at work can be challenging, difficult, and scary, but everyone has to do it, and it will always stink. Unfortunately, the office or professional work environment is where you’ll spend the majority of your time, second only to your house or apartment. So feel powerful when you poop, get excited for excrement, be cool when you crap by using the steps outlined above.

Say goodbye to being defeated by your own defecation, and say hello to pressure release and productivity.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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