10 ways you can increase your productivity at work
For freelancers and small companies with small teams, high levels of productivity are business crucial.
But let’s be honest, we can all be guilty of allowing procrastination to bite us – and bite hard.
Deadlines creep up and an overwhelming workload is never a fun place to be.
So, what can you do to boost your productivity levels and maintain a level of balance and poise to your work and home lives?
Here are our top-10 tips…
1. Get rid of all distractions…
Being organised and focused is crucial to maintaining productivity levels.
But it’s fair to say it’s very easy to become distracted in the digital world we live in.
Phones, tablets, voice assistants and often other people can all have a huge impact on the amount of work we produce and how long it takes us to produce it.
If you’re easily distracted by your phone, switch it off or put it on silent while you’re working.
Put a temporary ‘out of office’ notification on in your email account, letting people know that you’re on a deadline and that you’ll get back to them.
If you’re in the office and being distracted by other members of the team, you could even put sign on your desk politely asking people not to disturb you.
And of course, if you work in one of our serviced offices in Bournemouth, you could retire to one of the many break-out spaces on offer for some much-needed peace, quiet and focus.
2. … but adding music can help
Okay, so in the section above, we said no distractions.
But music while you work has actually been proven to boost productivity.
A few tunes while working can help keep you calm and boost your energy – particularly nearer the end of the working day when your body and brain may be telling you to take your foot off the productivity pedal.
Of course, the type of music you have in the background is key, though.
It has to work for you, but also your colleagues – so maybe give the speed metal or Balearic house a miss in favour of some jazz or soothing soul.
3. Use a workflow app
We’ve already alluded to the importance of structure and organisation when looking to boost your productivity.
And one of the best ways to introduce those key traits to your working day is by using a workflow program or app.
There are dozens to choose from, but our favourites here at Bourne Space include Monday.com, Trello and Asana.
Create your tasks at the start of the week, or month, and divide up the workload between your working days – ensuring you complete all your tasks on each given day.
Trust us – you’ll never go back once you start and the sense of serenity that washes over you when you can see the structure of each day in black and white is borderline addictive!
4. Prioritise your tasks in advance and group similar tasks together
Although using a workflow program or app can greatly improve your productivity and lower your stress levels, it’s hugely important to prioritise your tasks.
If you know you have meetings or other commitments on a certain day, shift your most pressing deadlines to days when your diary is less congested.
And if you have a batch of tasks that are similar, such as a sending emails to various contacts or clients, batch them together as one task – this way they’ll look less daunting on your Trello, Monday.com or Asana board.
5. Do you most taxing (or dreaded) tasks first thing
There’s always that one task, isn’t there?
The one that you put off because, frankly, you’d rather slide down a sandpaper banister than actually do it.
Instead of putting it off, take a deep breath and drop it into your task list for first thing on Monday morning.
Firstly, you’re likely to have more energy in the morning and, secondly, once that nightmare task is complete, everything else will seem easy.
6. Celebrate the small wins
A big dose of motivation is often the best stimulant for increased productivity.
And the best way to motivate yourself is by celebrating your progress and rewarding yourself occasionally.
If you find yourself in the highly productive position of being able to pull some tasks from the following day into the current one, completing more than you set out to, treat yourself.
If you work for yourself, that could mean taking a few hours off the following day.
And if you’re part of a team, why not celebrate as such as treat your colleagues to some cake.
Because cake is life – especially here at Bourne Space!
7. Work offline as much as you can
We outlined some of the most common work day distractions at the top of this piece.
But while you can switch off your phone or put on your ‘out of office’, one thing most people don’t consider is working offline.
If you’re able to tap away on your laptop and complete some of your tasks without the need for a web browser, shut off your WiFi and work completely incognito – that quick five-minute search for a pair of shoes that actually takes 30 minutes can wait!
8. Get plenty of sleep
Let’s be honest, sleep can pretty much cure anything.
While it’s easy to fall into the trap of working long, draining hours when you’ve a lot to do, this can actually be counterproductive.
Plenty of good quality sleep can help you get more done in a short space of time and, most importantly, during daylight working hours – making those late nights glued to your laptop a thing of the past.
9. Set yourself moonshot goals
‘If you shoot for the moon, you’ll hit a few stars on the way up’, so the adage goes…
And it’s true – setting yourself goals can make you more motivated and, subsequently, boost your productivity.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and set yourself targets that are out of your comfort zone.
And make sure you tell the people you work with – accountability is key when goal setting.
10. Take regular breaks
You’re not a superhero (but if you do wear your pants on the outside of your other clothes, we won’t judge).
You can’t work at breakneck pace all the time – and if you try, you’ll do yourself more harm than good.
Take regular breaks during hardcore productivity stints and drink plenty of water.
Your brain will thank you for it and you’re more likely to concentrate for longer if you take five or 10 minutes to refresh and recharge throughout the working day.
Inspiring spaces for the ultimate productivity
Check out our serviced offices in the heart of Bournemouth – five minutes from the beach and surrounded by the stunning Lower Gardens.
We’d love to show you around, so get in touch and we’ll do the rest!