If you want to succeed at work, you need to be both efficient and happy, among other things. But simply walking in with a general idea of what’s on your calendar won’t cut it. Check out our not-so-obvious tips that will help you boost work productivity and your job contentment:
Make an “ABC” Checklist
Chances are you already have a checklist, but to prevent overwhelm and stress, label each task A, B, or C:
- A for items that are urgent and/or will move the business forward;
- B for helpful tasks that will make you more productive, and
- C for the “nice and easy” stuff.
Once you complete all the A’s, move onto B, then C. Whatever you don’t finish on that day, move them to the next day’s list. This is the system touted by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, so you can bet it’s effective!
Take Physical Breaks
You’re completely engrossed in a project and the next thing you know, you haven’t left your chair for three full hours. It happens. Often. Researchers have indicated that working in 90-minute intervals optimizes productivity. So, set your timer so you can get up at least every hour and a half to take a break and move around. That’s right, a “break” doesn’t mean you should stay in your chair and browse Facebook. Experts believe that employees who engage in physical activity throughout the day are more engaged. Even if your break is five minutes long, use that time to walk around outside.
Note: The 90-minute rule can and should be broken if you’re mentally exhausted. In that case, give yourself a longer break to reboot.
Sit Up Straight
It’s easy to hunch as you sit in front of a computer, particularly if you’re staring at details like reports or numerical charts. But (to channel your mother) you need to focus on good posture. According to a study, sitting up straight actually can help make you feel better and more energetic and assertive. Not to mention, crouching over can’t be good for your back!
Have you ever told an interviewer that you were an “excellent multitasker”? Although it might seem like a desirable quality at work, experts are now noting that the brain wasn’t built for multitasking, and it can lead to decreased productivity. Think about it: When you check your email while you’re on a conference call, are you really focused on what’s being said? Probably not. So, to get things done more quickly and efficiently, concentrate on one thing at a time.
Create a Space You Love
Whether you have a corner office or a cubicle, find ways to make your work area aesthetically pleasing. Research has shown that adding things you find pretty, like plants, candles, or a framed photo of your loved ones to your desk can increase productivity. While you’re at it, make sure your space is organized, since it apparently makes you more happy on the job.
As you can see, the smallest tweaks to your environment and routines can drastically help you enjoy your job while boosting work productivity. Remember: Everything you do is better when you take care of yourself first, so follow these tips so you can boost your productivity and happiness with minimal effort!
2 Rampton J. 15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work. Inccom. 2015. Accessed January 18, 2017.
3 Toker SBiron M. Job burnout and depression: Unraveling their temporal relationship and considering the role of physical activity. Journal of Applied Psychology. 2012;97(3):699-710. doi:10.1037/a0026914.
4 Bos MCuddy A. iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects our Behavior. Dashharvardedu. 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.
5 Multitasking: Switching costs. Accessed January 18, 2017.
6 15 Proven Tips to Be Happy at Work. Inccom. 2014. Accessed January 18, 2017.