Maintaining Productivity Throughout The Day
Maintaining high levels of productivity throughout the working day is something many of us struggle with at times. Whether you get distracted easily or are usually good at focusing for long periods of time, staying productive all day is a challenge all of us have experienced. These tips may help you if you find yourself struggling to be productive for long periods of time.
Movement throughout the day
If you work in an office environment where you spend the majority of your day sitting down, it is important to get some movement throughout the day. Go outside for some fresh air or do a lap round the office whilst you’re having a phone call. It wakes the body up, gets your blood moving and reduces stiffness, cramping and any aches that may occur particularly in your back, shoulders, and neck. Even if it’s just for a short while, you feel more refreshed and awake afterwards.
Try productivity techniques and take frequent breaks
The Pomodoro method (work for 25 minutes and break for 5, repeat 4 times and then break for 20-30 minutes) is a proven effective method of maintaining productivity throughout the day, particularly if you find yourself easily distracted or have lots of open-ended work that could take unlimited amounts of time. If these specific methods don’t work or don’t appeal to you then still make sure you take sufficient breaks as even microbreaks reduce fatigue significantly. Frequent breaks help clear your head and focus better on what you were doing, you may come back with a new or different perspective on things afterwards.
Invest in a planner / create a list
Planning in advance, whether its hours, days or weeks ahead is always helpful. Being aware of what you need to do and what you have coming up allows you to plan your time accordingly. You are able to track your work, prioritise tasks from most to least important and get stress inducing things out of the way. You can make it personalised so your approach to your work is more positive, colour coding or adding small notes and reminders are good examples.
Turn off notifications
Put your phone on do not disturb and try to not check your social media regularly throughout the day, incoming notifications that aren’t work related can be a huge distraction. Similarly, do not allow other people to distract you. If possible, move to a quieter space to work if you feel it will be helpful to you.
Get a good night’s sleep
The average adult needs 7-8 hours a night, and most don’t get that. Sleeping well helps you to stay focused throughout the day and puts you in a better headspace. A lack of sleep over a long period of time leads to memory loss, irritability, and many other things that can impact you and your work if it continues for long enough.
Have something to look forward to after work. Meeting friends, taking a class, or picking up a hobby are all things you can do. This gives you energy and motivation throughout the day and pushes you to want to leave on time, ensuring you get all your work done. It also breaks up the monotony of the typical routine of wake up, go to work, go home, repeat, and the time away from work helps you feel more refreshed and ready for the next day.
Hydration is important and helps keep you more focused, less fatigued and puts you in an overall better state of wellbeing. Our brains depend on proper hydration to function; water provides the brain with the electrical energy needed for optimal performance and without it brain function is severely impacted.
Make lunches and don’t go hungry
Healthy, nutritious food and snacks make you feel a lot better throughout the day and week. Good food boosts your mood; being hungry can impact your frame of mind, we all get a bit grumpy when we’re too hungry… so ensuring you eat well is important.
Focus on one task
Multitasking and switching your attention constantly between several different things can cause you to make mistakes and get overwhelmed easily. Focusing on one task at a time ensures you are organised and remain clear headed when completing things, a good step towards maintaining productivity.
Invest in a standing/walking desk
These are a good idea if possible. A standing/walking desk helps with better posture and your body is more engaged throughout the day. You tend to feel sleepier if you’re sat down all day and the change can help you be more focused and productive.
Make yourself an uplifting, concentration playlist
Many people find it helps to have some level of background noise when working. Those working in busy and loud environments often find listening to music helps them concentrate by tuning out people talking and other general office noise. Music can greatly impact your mood and put you in the right headspace to get lots of work done.
Keep your workspace clean and clear of clutter
Mess can make you more stressed or just be distracting. Being organised and clean can impact your headspace and mental health more than you think and help you maintain high levels of productivity throughout the day.
Everyone gets distracted and loses focus sometimes, the important thing is how you react to it and whether you let it affect you in the long run. If there’s a big underlying factor affecting your focus, it’s important to recognise and work on that. It’s also easy to just slip into bad habits so making a conscious effort to implement positive habits will no doubt help in increasing and maintaining productivity. The early trials of a 4-day working week have so far resulted in an increase in productivity and wellbeing of employees, perhaps the work life balance is something to consider in the long term…