In a perfect world, we’d be at our peak productivity every time we walked into work.
Unfortunately, that world doesn’t exist. If it did, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t be on your phone and your coworkers wouldn’t be stopping by to interrupt your work cadence.
In our first post about productivity, we highlighted five tips that included learning how to say “no,” taking mini-breaks, avoiding over-scheduling, cutting back on emailing and cleaning up your desk.
Each of these bits of advice is easy to implement. However, they aren’t the only ways to augment your creativity. The experts we reached out to were more than happy to share their wisdom with us, so much so that there was too much advice to fit into one article.
So, in this post, we’re going to list an additional seven tips straight from the experts’ mouths.
1) End Your Multitasking: Marc Prosser, Co-founder of FitSmallBusiness.com
“Numerous studies have found that multitasking does not enhance productivity. In fact, multitasking reduces productivity. However, we often need to accomplish personal matters while we are ‘at work’ or during the workday.
“Instead of trying to do ‘personal business’ while listening to a phone call or making evening plans on your phone during a meeting, take a five- or 10-minute break to handle personal matters. Those around you will notice that you are more focused and less distracted as a result.”
2) Plan the Night Before for the Next Day: Suzanne Brown, Founder, Mompowerment.com
“Use the night before to play the upcoming day. If you’re in an office environment, take about 10-15 minutes before you leave to understand what your next day will look like. Understand what your most challenging tasks or goals are and prep for those.
Gather any resources you might need or put headings on a few slides. The idea is to take the time the day before so that you know what the flow of your day needs to look like and so that you can hit the ground running.”
3) Wean Yourself Off Social Media During Work Hours: James Pollard, Owner, TheAdvisorCoach.com
“Use a browser extension that blocks social media sites. There are horror stories of how much time—many hours—workers spend on social. You can solve this problem by completely eliminating the temptation
“If you’re using Google Chrome, I recommend installing extensions like StayFocusd, which allow you to block certain sites”
4) Plan Your Week Ahead, Not Just the Day Ahead: Samantha McPhall, Marketing associate, Aciron
“At the beginning of each week, create a weekly check-in where you make a list of the tasks you want to complete during the week as well as the time you think it will take to complete each task.
“Throughout the week, categorize and track your time not just by to the tasks your set for yourself at the beginning of the week, but also by the unforeseen tasks that arise on a day-to-day basis.
“At the conclusion of the week, compare your weekly check-in to the actual time you tracked to give yourself a better understanding of where you’re spending your time in the office.”
5) Monitor How Much Time You Spend on Tasks: Nellie Akalp, CEO, CorpNet.com
“A real downer on productivity is spending too much time on one certain task. Spending hour after hour on one thing can make your eyes blurry and your brain go radio silent, which doesn’t help that project get done any faster!
“I’ve found that if we have large-scale projects that take a lot of time, my team is much more productive when we divide and conquer the tasks between employees and for only a certain amount of time at once. This ensures the job gets done but morale stays high with everyone.”
6) Block Off Time During the Day for Focused Work: Jessica Watson, President, Points North
“When we are interrupted by phone calls or emails during a time when we should be productive, we have to start all over again with getting focused back on our project.
“If you are able to and your company allows it, block time on your calendar (maybe a 2-hour window in the morning or afternoon) that is uninterrupted time for some of the more complex tasks you are working on. This will allow you to get focused, stay focused and be more productive in a shorter amount of time.”
7) Front-Load Your Week: Lindsay Satterfield, Founder, Satterfield & Company
“Figure out what you most want to accomplish that week and begin working on it on Monday. What often happens is you know what you want to accomplish and you start thinking about it on Wednesday. And then, it’s Friday and that important thing is still untouched on your to-do list, hijacked by all those everyday ’emergencies.’ But, if you start making progress on that high-impact work on Monday, you start out ahead of the game.”
Wrapping It Up: It’s All About Focus
Productivity is a matter of discipline: Can you remove distractions and plan ahead? According to the experts we interviewed, it’s well worth the time to have a plan of action each week with the proper protocols in place to help you avoid social media and email distractions.
One of the things that defines the way we handle our interactions with our clients is planning and protocol. We meet with you to find out what your office needs, then we apply our expertise and meticulous installation standards to provide you with a finished product that matches the dream office you had in mind.