Lack of productivity is a very common problem, and working from home has made it even harder for some of us. It usually goes either way: You’re either in a very productive mood and don’t see time flying; or you struggle to get into work and nothing around you stimulates you.
For that second category I have gathered some of the best tips I received from BetterSpace’s COO Helen, who helped me when I was struggling with my productivity.
1. Set an intention for the day
Have you ever finished your working day thinking “I know that I’ve been very busy today, but I am not sure what I have actually accomplished”?
We often tend to rush into checking emails first thing in the morning, and suddenly half of the day is already gone.
Setting an intention for the day is a good way to be more mindful about how you want to use your time and what you want to achieve. It gives you a vision to follow for the day and avoids letting you be distracted by other things. It’s also incredibly helpful to make sure that everything you do contributes to achieving your bigger goals.
It is useful to do it every morning for each day, but you can also set a time to plan your intentions for the week. I usually set up 30 minutes or an hour every week on the calendar to think about what I want to do the week after and how it’s going to help me reach my monthly goals. I have noticed that when I start Monday morning with a plan, I feel more motivated.
2. Set 45 minutes full focus sessions
This is probably the advice which helped me the most!
You can’t be productive every hour of every day. Some days feel like you get trapped into a vicious cycle of unproductivity, and it’s the worst feeling ever (well maybe not, but it’s not a nice one anyway).
Helen gave me this really good advice to avoid staying trapped in these unproductive cycles.
When you feel the procrastination/unproductivity coming, give yourself one task to focus on for 45 minutes non-stop. No phone or emails are allowed during that time. You can’t switch tasks, you can only commit to focus on that one particular task. After the 45 minutes session, have a little break, reset and go again. You can do it once a day or several times a day, depending on how you feel. I usually use this technique if I have been procrastinating too long on one particular task which I find difficult.
When you feel really fatigued and struggle to focus even for 45minutes, don’t forget to allow yourself to take a nice break! Go for a walk, get fresh air or maybe even have a nap. You will feel much more productive after.
3. Break down your tasks into bullet points
We all know the classic to-do lists to support our productivity, but most of us usually abandon the idea of using them. Why? Because we often write down too many tasks and forget that each task may require various actions. It ends up being very frustrating to finish the day and seeing that you haven’t ticked all of the boxes. It feels like the to-do lists will never end!
Helen gave me this really good advice to build more efficient and realistic to-do lists. All you need to do is break down your tasks into bullet points. It gives you a comprehensive vision of all the things you need to do in order to accomplish your task, and it helps you better apprehend the amount of time that you will need to complete it. For example, instead of writing down on your to-do list “Do monthly performance presentations”, you could break it down into “1. Write down bullet points of the key messages for the presentation; 2. Collect all the necessary data; 3. Create presentation design; etc…”
4. Finish the day with your TaDa list
This advice was actually given by one of my lovely colleagues, Elisabeth. And I think the idea is brilliant! It’s very simple but very effective.
At the end of the day, set up 5 minutes to sit down and write your TaDa list. It’s a list where you write down all the things you’ve accomplished during the day. It may be small or long, it may have easy tasks or difficult ones. Whatever it contains, take a moment to recognise what you have done and feel proud of it.
BetterSpace is the employee wellbeing platform putting control where it belongs: in the hands of the individual employee. Our groundbreaking solution has been developed with medical and domain expertise and is aligned to our Six Pillars of Wellbeing. BetterSpace empowers your workforce to understand and fulfill their mental health needs.
This approach has achieved engagement rates of 94%, compared to the average usage rate of 2-18% for Employee Assistance Programmes and 10-40% for points solutions.
Want to know more? Schedule a product demonstration with us today.
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