Hands up if you spend an inordinate amount of your day perusing the ASOS ‘new in’ section? Or on Facebook stalking that girl from school who used to bully you but now has a bad haircut? If the answer is “No” and you are owning it Tim Ferriss 4 Hour Work Week style, then I bow down to you, I really do.
But me? Not so much. I have to drag myself back into the reality of my day several times an hour before I hit a wall about 2 pm when all I want to do is take a nap.
Instead of berating myself, I’ve come up with a few cheeky tips and tricks that are currently making me feel more productive and in control, and in turn — getting more work done. I’m not selfish, so I wanna share them with you, my wonderful Wanderluce readers. Because you’re worth it *flicks hair*.
5 Ways to Be More Productive
1. Own Your Schedule
If you are a morning person, schedule the important stuff for the beginning of the day, and check your emails then. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t fight it. The frustrating thing about a lot of workplaces is the sheer lack of flexibility so obviously, you probably have to go to work at a set time each day. So don’t whine about it and give in to The Man and his timelines, just change what you are in control of. You are in control of when you look at your emails, so do that when it suits you and how often it suits you also. Put delays on when you send emails so you don’t get into a back and forth volley before you are ready. These are all things that you can control.
2. Take Breaks
It’s super important to take breaks from working for your eyes as well as for your sanity — especially when you are staring at a computer screen all day. I don’t love being told when and how long I have to take a lunch break for, and would always recommend you take breaks when you need them, not because you have been told to take one. Everyone’s work environment is different, but we all make excuses for why we can’t do something, don’t have enough time etc and actually — you can take more control than you think. It’s just about shifting your mindset.
3. Hydrate Yo’Self
Did you know that when you yawn, it’s usually not because you are tired but because you are dehydrated? Also, when you are dehydrated you can be irritable, and prone to snack more so make sure you drink a shit tonne of water. I have a nice little carafe style thing at my desk, so I don’t have to keep getting up every few mins as I guzzle the good stuff.
4. Write Lists, Keep a Diary
I find that when I get anxious about having too much work, the art of simply writing my brain schisms down shows me that it is manageable. I use Evernote to manage all of my lists, add web clippings and save useful articles there too. It’s free for the basic membership, which is what I have. I have one big list which I manage weekly, with categories like Work, Home then subcategories which tend to be for work where I need to manage several clients. That way, I feel organised. I also LOVE using my iCal with a few different calendars – Work, Lucy and Lucy&Oli which Oli set up to manage our explosive social life 😉 No really, it’s so easy because it’s colour coded so you can simply see everything you need to do each day and which category it falls under. So, when the work cat gets a bit hectic – you can see it quickly.
5. Mindful Consumption
I recently shared a post about my favourite podcasts, and somehow I missed the Lively Show off, which is insane, as I love it. Although to be honest, I love the others I listed more….so, c’est la vie. Jess Lively talks to different people each week about a huge range of topics with the overriding theme of ‘adding a little extra intention to your everyday life’. I really love to listen to it when I take the dog for a walk, get the tube and when I’m working sometimes too. Something I’ve learned, is to be a little mindful of what you consume — and by consume, I don’t mean eat — so that you don’t clutter up your brain with crap that’s going to derail your day. For me, that means less social media and more thoughtful podcasts.
How do you stay productive at work? Share your top tips in the comments.
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Also published on Medium.