We all know the feeling of stepping away from our desk at the end of a long day and feeling dissatisfied with what we managed to achieve. There are so many distractions in modern offices, from noisy co-workers to cluttered workspaces to social media.
At moll Shop Australia, we are focused on designing and manufacturing quality ergonomic furniture for offices around the world. Ergonomic furniture has been proven to reduce injury and enhance productivity in the workplace. But how else can we work more efficiently and get our tasks completed on time?
In this month’s blog post, we give you 5 tips for increasing your productivity at work:
Our first tip to increase your productivity at work is getting organised. This means organising both your work environment and your workload, in order to declutter, prioritise and clarify your work day.
Messy work environments lead to stress and distractions. Taking a few minutes to sort files, clean up coffee spills, put rubbish in the bin and generally organise your workspace will do wonders for your mood and ability to focus. Creating a to-do list will help you in ordering your tasks for the day or week. Using either a paper or online planner will allow you to keep track of upcoming appointments, deadlines and meetings. A printed planner will also give your eyes regular breaks from the glare of your computer screen. Having this information at your fingertips will let you prioritise your workload and finish tasks on time.
One of the advantages of prioritising your work is being able to avoid having to multitask. Although multitasking is often looked upon as a desirable skill, a 2014 study from the University of Sussex argues that media multitasking is having an impact on our attention spans, our social-emotional well being, and even changing the structure of our brains. Focusing on getting one task completed before moving on to the next will definitely assist in increasing your productivity in the office.
Our second tip to increase your productivity at work is to limit distractions. Distractions in the office can take many forms, from co-workers to emails to the ever-present siren call of social media, and any one of them can be responsible for our well-planned work day deteriorating into hours of procrastination.
Although having co-workers can be one of the most positive parts of working in an office, there will be times when you need to be left alone to make a deadline or finish a project. In order to avoid any tension, it is best to clearly communicate to your co-workers when they are distracting you, or when a task requires your complete attention, both directly and through online messaging.
Emails are vital to the running of any workplace, but receiving a high volume of emails is sure to limit your ability to be productive. Turning off email and phone notifications will prevent your being distracted, and allow you to set aside a part of your work day to deal with your inbox, such as 30 minutes when you arrive in the morning and 30 minutes before you leave.
Social media is best used as a reward, such as in your lunch break, or after you have completed a large or complicated task. Saving your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feeds for special occasions will help keep you motivated and prevent you from feeling guilty for procrastinating when you should be working.
Make Healthy Choices
Another way to increase your productivity in the office is to make healthy choices throughout your work day. Taking regular breaks, for example, allows your brain a chance to reset and come up with new ideas, while keeping your caffeine intake under control will allow you to concentrate for longer periods without becoming restless.
Exercise is particularly useful for productivity, because physical activity has been proven to enhance brain function, as well as lowering your stress levels and enhancing your mood. Exercising during your lunch break has also been proven to leave you more equipped to deal with co-workers, and more satisfied at the end of the day.
Ergonomic office furniture is another way to maintain good health and increase your productivity. Ergonomic furniture corrects your posture and is able to be adjusted to suit your body and movements, preventing workplace injuries and protecting your spine. Ergonomic work furniture includes office desks, office chairs, study desks, computer mice, adjustable keyboards and mobile drawers. Our range of ergonomic office desks, desk chairs and other products can be found here.
Set your own Deadlines
Increasing your productivity can also be achieved by setting our own deadlines. This has the effect of holding yourself accountable for completing particular tasks, as well as being able to break down large projects into achievable goals over a certain period of time. Creating your own deadlines is a way to ensure that you are effectively managing your time and seeing tasks through to completion.
There are many time management methods in existence to help you break down tasks and meet deadlines, and one of the most effective of these is timers, such as the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique was invented by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, and involves setting a timer and working in controlled 30 minute bursts interspersed with short breaks. The completion of each ‘pomodoro’ is noted by keeping a tally, motivating you to keep going and providing a visual reminder of your achievements during the day. There is a Pomodoro app for both Androids and iPhones, and several other similar applications and websites involving timers are also available to keep you on track in completing your work.
Use Ambient Sound
Our last tip for increasing productivity at work is trying ambient sound. If you work in a busy office and find it difficult to concentrate, ambient sound can be used to increase your focus and stimulate your creativity. In 2014, a peer-reviewed study from the University of Chicago found that a ‘moderate level’ of ambient sound is ‘conducive to creative cognition’, sharpening our problem-solving and creative skills.
Popular sounds include waves, wind, rain, fireplaces, cafes and birdsong, and there are a variety of websites and apps available that provide free ambient sound for both desktop and mobile. Coffitivity, for example, reproduces the ambient noise of a cafe, while Rainy Mood is famous for its thunderstorm track. A Soft Murmur allows you to mix various sounds into your own ambient soundtrack, including Tibetan singing bowls, white noise, thunder and crickets. With a further four million results for videos featuring ‘ambient sound’ on YouTube, you are sure to find the perfect sound that will help you complete any task.
Overall, diverse studies have proven that getting organised, limiting distractions, making healthy choices including the use of ergonomic furniture, setting your own deadlines, and using ambient sound are all effective ways of increasing your productivity at work.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of ergonomic furniture or wish to purchase an ergonomic office chair or office desk, feel free to visit our Australian online store.