The Top 10 Ways to Become the Most Productive Person In The Office
Matcha Design - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Remaining focused, energized and productive at the office can seem impossible, especially during that mid-afternoon nosedive. You know the one – that 2 p.m. crash that not even a Starbucks run or a hastily chugged Red Bull can cure. Here, our experts offer 10 easy (and less caffeinated) ways to head off the slump and keep you energized and productive throughout your workday.
1. Recognize Your Body's Schedule
Tackle complex tasks when your energy's at its highest level. For many, this is first thing in the morning, when they’re rested. Save routine, low-intensity tasks for periods like late afternoon, when your energy usually dips. Everyone is different, so it's important to understand your own internal body clock.
2. Line up Priorities
Prioritizing tasks takes a lot of mental effort, so you should think about the time of your day or week when your brain is freshest. Then organize your time considering which tasks are most important, how much time you'll need to accomplish them, and the best time of the day or week to complete them (based on your body’s rhythms).
3. Form Routines
Our brains are wired to be very good at executing patterns. Forming routines around the way you carry out regular tasks makes you more efficient and productive. For example, you can create email rules to automate the checking of email, respond to routine requests, and archive emails. You may create a similar routine for opening, reading and filing physical documents.
4. Group Related Tasks
The brain also learns and executes complex tasks by lumping together related items. Tate suggests leveraging this ability by scheduling similar tasks back-to-back. For example, you might place all of your phone calls one after another, or draft and send emails at one time.
5. Take Breaks
Complex tasks, like writing or strategizing, take a lot of mental effort, and your brain can only focus for a limited time. That means it’s critical to take breaks and let your brain rest. Take a walk, or socialize for a bit. When you get back to work, you'll be re-energized.
6. Produce A 5-Minute List
When you don't have the energy to start a major task or you find your energy waning, using a 5-minute list: A to-do list of easy, low-intensity tasks that you can do in less than five minutes. It might be an internet search, printing out and sorting documents, or light research. Whatever it means for you, the 5-minute list can help you be productive, even during times you may have difficulty concentrating.
7. Don't Multi-Task
One thing the brain is not good at is multi-tasking, or switching rapidly between tasks. Nothing gets your full attention, and you’re more likely to forget things. Focus on one item at a time.
8. Prepare A Day-to-day Brain Dump
We recommend eliminating "popcorn brain” – the incessant popping of ideas and to-dos into your thoughts – by doing a brain dump, where you empty the contents of your brain by writing down all the myriad thoughts, ideas and errands that pop up.
9. Make Daily Tasks Fun
One reason why people procrastinate is that they may find a task boring and have trouble motivating themselves to do it. But those tasks still need to get done. We suggest making the routine work more fun, perhaps by listening to music or doing the activity in a new environment. Have your team meeting in the park or during lunch, for example.
10. Custom 'High-Performance Procrastination'
Believe it or not, procrastination is not always the enemy of productivity. It sends an important signal. If you're procrastinating, ask yourself why. Is the idea not yet fully formed? Is the task even worth completing? Is the project out of alignment with your goals or skills? Use the information to cull your to-do list and focus on what's really important.
About Matcha Design
Matcha Design is a full-service creative agency specializing in web design, print, identity, branding, interface design, video production, still photography and motion design. Using our passion for excellence, multi-cultural background, and award winning practices, we consistently provide high-quality, custom, innovative solutions to meet the diverse marketing needs of our clients. For more information, visit www.MatchaDesign.com.