Good habits and a healthy routine form the bedrock of effectiveness and productivity. However, habits and routines become difficult to keep when one is in a hectic job. For example, when working on a deadline, you may not get enough sleep even if you need it. In such situations, we must become conscious of small steps or office hacks that we can take toward our well-being and work productivity. In today’s times, one of the chief sources of reduced productivity is the overuse of smartphones. Various researches have shown that having a smartphone next to your table, constantly checking for updates, brings down your productivity substantially.
Ten productivity hacks
Following are some productivity hacks to reduce your distraction, become more energised, and increase your productivity:
1. Stop ‘mindless scrolling':
When you pick up your phone, make sure you use it for the intended purpose, and don’t waste time checking needless notifications from apps that you do not use. You can also delete a few apps if you feel you are spending too much time on the phone.
2. Allow only calls and SMSes to buzz your phone:
Today, people know that if they want to get your attention urgently, phone calls and messages are the best options. Hence, press the snooze button on all other features on your phone. Don’t allow WhatsApp messages, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or Twitter notifications to distract you from your work.
3. Create a space at home for work only:
Even today, many people work from home to some extent. Often, we tend to work sitting on our bed or at the dinner table. This can increase your screen time but reduce your productivity. Therefore, one productivity hack is to create a dedicated workspace that enables you to create a focused, distraction-free work atmosphere.
4. Use a day planner and project management tools to map your tasks:
Using a day planner app can help your list tasks and organise your time better. Explore various apps, such as Google Keep, TickTick, WeDo, Anydo, Trello, etc., and see what could be suitable for you. Or just use a well-prepared excel sheet to meet the purpose.
5. Use email or phone rather than video meetings:
When working with your colleagues with whom there is already an existing rapport, evaluate if you can communicate via message or a phone call instead of a video call. If you are spending a lot of time on video calls, this is one productivity hack for you to consider seriously.
6. Declutter your email by unsubscribing to non-essential mail lists:
We still take email notifications seriously, and if you see yourself repeatedly looking at your inbox because of an email you are not even going to open, it is time to declutter your inbox. Hit unsubscribe, notify nagging emails as spam, and ensure that only genuine emails reach you.
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7. Relax better after work:
When we are not at work, we end up doing things that stress, rather than recharge, us. One of the best ways to be productive at work is to use your off-work time in better ways. For example, instead of spending hours together on your phone, watching a movie can relax you better. Playing a game, listening to some soothing music, or reading a book is more helpful than indulging in debates on WhatsApp groups.
8. Consciously make meetings more productive:
Some meetings can take very long and drain your energy. To make meetings more productive and useful, plan the agenda of the discussion in advance with clear start and end timelines for the meeting. That way, everyone will be prepared.
Also, read this article on Mindfulness
9. Reduce distractions at work:
Some of us take time off at work to make tea, coffee, or food. This can derail our momentum at work. Consider reducing the number of unnecessary breaks if possible.
10. Focus on one task at a time:
A busy worker who is multitasking can end up spending a lot of time at the office, but getting very little work done. Instead, prioritise the tasks at hand and ensure that the most important work gets the most time. This approach may help you get your work done faster and feel more satisfied at the end of each day.
Improvements in workplace productivity are good for office workers as well as the organisation. However, such improvements are not easy to achieve, as this McKinsey report shows. Thus, it makes sense to pay attention to how you spend your day at work and use productivity hacks to bridge the gaps. We hope the above tips have helped you do just that.