When it comes to career development and striving for success, it’s clear that productivity is a major factor to hinge on. If you’re not being productive, it’s hard to start climbing the ladder and tick things off the list.
That said, finding the right balance of active output can be hard during the vast shift brought on by COVID-19. Too often, people do too much and burn out or not enough and end up feeling regretful. Both of these scenarios only hinder individuals from achieving their full potential.
In order to attain your goals, make sure you use effective and healthy solutions to boost your productivity.
Find your ideal environment
You want to create a space that is conducive for creativity, attention, and thinking. When seeking out your spot in the home to work in, try to set up a station that is inspiring for you but still eliminates distraction. A potted plant can liven the area and stimulate your mood, but a tablet at arm’s reach is too easy a temptation to scroll away the day. That said, your biggest priority here is to make an environment that is comfortable. Few things are as distracting as feeling cramped, getting muscle pain, or even having poor temperature in the room.
Since modern professionals spend most of their days in front of the computer, one must consider ergonomics when setting up. This is why Pain Free Working highlights the importance of ergonomic furniture, which starts with the chair you sit on. You want a seat that is comfortable for prolonged sitting, supports your back with optimal posture, and can be adjusted to your proper leg height. This is complemented by your table and monitor, which should make your arms fall straight forward and keep your eyeline slightly downward respectively.
Map out your tasks ahead of time
Listing down the things you need to do and then scheduling them out ahead of time can help you get through you tasks more efficiently. Entrepreneur suggests setting aside time to prioritise and write tasks down to determine which ones need your attention the most. This works on a day-to-day basis, but can also help you start mapping out bigger goals for your overall plan. Aside from helping you map out your road to success, doing this daily can also significantly lessen stress, improve focus, and stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed.
Remove the notion that you can do a lot of little things at once to be more efficient. This will only increase your stress and actually make your tasks take longer to finish. In fact, Very Well Mind shares that multitasking actually reduces productivity by up to 40%. If you were able to prioritise your tasks, then simply go through them one by one.
If you have a lot on your plate and a shortage of time, consider techniques like the 2-minute rule or the Pomodoro. The former simply rules that if a task takes less than two minutes, you should just finish it immediately. The latter is a time management method wherein you put your tasks into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between.
Make room for rest
When making use of the techniques above, you also make more room in your schedule to give your mind a much-needed break. For instance, in Pomodoro, strictly adhering to the cuts ensures that you get things done when you need to and they don’t slip into your relaxation period.
This trickles over into when you “clock out”. Work-life balance may feel harder to accomplish now that work and life are under the same roof, but make the rule that you stop any work-related activities at a certain point. In our own guide to the 8 Steps to a Work-Life Balance, we note how sensible boundaries result in individuals becoming more engaged, more productive, and even happier in their work. Simply turning off your work notifications at night and making sure to take breaks can do wonders for your motivation and health.
It may be a challenging time for professionals to get things done, but moving forward in a productive way is still doable with the right attitude and action.
Guest blog by J Brent
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