Working in the technology industry, it can be difficult to shield oneself from the various distractions that are only a click away. Because the social media world is abuzz with the day’s hot topics, funny cat videos, and the most recent Presidential debate meme, it can be hard to focus on the tasks at hand. Often times, the gravity of these distractions is too strong to resist; it pull us in for seconds, minutes, and in the worst cases, hours at a time. This is detrimental to productivity.
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You should enjoy your job, of course. However, enjoyment in the workplace comes primarily from performing at a high level. If you aren’t doing your job well – if you aren’t being productive – chances are that you probably won’t get the fulfillment you’re looking for. Let’s look at five ways you can increase your own productivity in the workplace.
1. Take a Break Now & Then
If you consider yourself a “nose to the grindstone” type of employee – someone who seldom removes his or her eyes from the spreadsheet – you may be interested to learn that your productivity could be suffering as a result. That’s correct. Studies have shown that taking breaks actually helps to reinvigorate the mind – bringing focus and deliberation back to your workspace. Be it a walk around the block or a stroll to the community refrigerator, take a break! You might be surprised at how much it helps!
2. Try Non-Lyrical Music
If you’re the guy or gal who comes into work every morning armed with a set of trusty headphones, this is for you. There’s no doubt that listening to music can truly increase productivity. If you happen to do a lot of writing, though, listening to words being sung can create a jumble of graphemic thought not conducive to productive writing. Sound familiar? If so, try listening to music without lyrics – Beethoven, Bach, Hanson (just kidding) . . . take your pick. Non-lyrical music can be both soothing and focus-instilling.
3. Limit Your Internet Intake
The amalgamation of servers and networks that make up the Internet likely facilitates much of your day-to-day work-related activity. That said, it doesn’t have to facilitate your non-work activity during work. If you find yourself working in a browser with nine tabs open – four of which read ‘Facebook’ – you’re likely not working as productively as you could be (unless, of course, you work in social media or at Facebook!). Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit claim countless hours of employee productivity each year.
As an employee, your best defense is will power. When your fingers instinctively move (or, more accurately, don’t move) to the ‘F’ and ‘A’ keys upon opening a new browser tab, resist the urge to type the ‘C.’ Over time, you’ll find that avoiding these types of websites during work hours provides for a less stressful, more productive work day. This isn’t to say that an occasional tweet during work hours is a terrible thing – just that one tweet leads to reading another, which leads to a 200-comment Facebook thread. You get the idea.
4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. By eating a wholesome, healthy breakfast, you provide your body with vital nutrients that it needs to push through the long work day. The office pot of coffee will only take you so far!
5. Master Common Keyboard Shortcuts
Working at a computer all day? Master your keyboard shortcuts! Executing common commands or tasks via your keyboard can save you a ton of time in aggregate. Abandoning the mouse will feel unnatural at first, but you have to start somewhere. Begin with the simple commands – copy, paste, find, etc. – and then move to browser and program-specific shortcuts.
These are just five of the many ways that you can increase workplace productivity. Try them one at a time or all at once! We’d love to hear about the results. If you have any productivity tips you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments below!
Find out how Sherpa can help your organization increase productivity with our software solutions for email management.