Discover 11 Ways on How To Be Productive At Work, Part 2

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Last week I let you know 6 ways to ace your working life, in part 1 of how to be productive at work.

Well, this week, there are even more ways to increase your productivity (yay! Thanks Mitch). There are…drum roll please…

11 ways to triple ace that working life! (imagine if you played poker? You’d be a millionaire by now).

Without even the slightest work ado, here they are:

Prioritise the Important

Don’t put it off. You know it needs to be finished quicker than a sunny spell in December. So, get it done.

Spend time at the start of the day recognising the important parts of the following eight hours. Doing this avoids procrastinating all day about the jobs that need doing.

Do them first and the you can focus on the smaller tasks. There’s even an acronym for this method (isn’t there always?). It’s called (now hold those socks):

Most Important Task method, or MIT (whoa. Serious reveals here at Spiela).

Or, as Josh Kaufmann puts it:

"A 'Most Important Task' (MIT) is a critical task that will create the most important results you're looking to achieve" - click here for even more MIT know-how


Look the Part

How often have you known, without even knowing why, that the person who's strode through the doors is the CEO? Or, they’ve got their shiz together. It's the clothes they wear. Well ironed, well fitting, un-faded and stylish, we pick up on looks - and make the uncontrolled judgement call - within nano seconds.

Also, studies show that when you dress to impress you act it; feel more confident; and are generally more productive at it.  

See also The Best Ways to Interview

So, invest in those threads.

Be More Mono

Multi-tasking is big, puffed-up professional myth. Our brains have evolved to focus on one task at a time. They do this to conserve energy. Flipping between tasks (probably what the working world means when the M word is batted around) not only increases your chances of not finishing both to a suitable standard - but it takes far more energy to do so.

Better to stick at one task then move on.

Emails at 09:00. Presentation at 10:00. Meeting with Mark the Multi-tasker at 11:00 (let's hope he's brought along this weeks figures) and so on.

Keep to one and mono until you just can’t stop.

Breaks (yay! get the Kit-Kats!)

You are only human. And us humans run out of energy.

When we do, we become unproductive, sensitive, and likely to push things away until rested. So, pre-empt that tired phase by taking regular breaks to rejuvenatChte your working soul. 

Worked solidly for 2 hours? Barely breathed for six? Parched from twelve hours of Spiela scrolling (we're here for you)? Then it's time for 20. After all, studies show  (yay to break studies - can we have more please?) that breaks can reduce stress, help maintain performance throughout the day, and reduce the need for a longer recovery at the end of the day.

And, there’s even more benefits to taking a break. So much so, that there’s different types of breaks (even more yay!). They are:

Relaxing breaks: can help with your mental and physical recovery. This is the putting your feet up sort of break. Go on, grab the tea, grab the remote, and most importantly, grab the Kit-Kat.

Social Breaks: Chit-chat between tasks helps you feel part of a group. Which, in turn, releases the brain chemical oxytocin. Oxytocin is associated with trust and collaboration. So, those small chats can increase group and individual productivity (more on social breaks later).

Mini breaks: and even just being away from the working day for a few minutes can boost your well-being and productivity. So, grabbing the coffees; using the toilet; walking between floors and small-talking with the CEO. All great ways to increase your output.

 So, work smarter. Not harder. Your body, and your boss, will thank you for it. 

Remove Distractions (wave goodbye to WhatsApp) 

Always pulling your phone out of your pocket and scrolling through social media? Then remove it from your workspace and watch your productivity soar. One study shows mobile phones reduce outlay by 55%

Another shows uncomfortable chairs are the culprits (god damn those batch made, one-size fits all, swivel chair without the arm-rests. Jeeezz)

And a third shows Spiela articles related to increasing productivity give their readers a short, fun, informed break (see the previous point on breaks), with them coming back to their desk ready to blow the QWERTY out of that keyboard.

"We discovered that with blocking software, participants assessed their productivity significantly higher and could focus significantly longer. People who benefitted the most from the software were the those most distracted by social media" - click here for more


Team Production

You can't do everything, so don't let the ego get in the way. Admit when you don't know and find the colleague who does. Successful teams, and therefore productive ones, are ones where each individual knows their role and is aware of their colleague's. Not only that, but increased team production boosts individual effectiveness too!

And, it’s great for networking, a break (yay! Another one!) and it gets you speaking to people which releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel good (like oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins).

Be the Person You Want to Be Around

It’s no good being this productive if nobody will approach you. Be friendly, positive and open to colleagues  and it will increase both yours, and theirs, productivity.

In fact, people pick up on personable behaviour before competence. Why? It's because we associate friendly people with trust; good communication; concepts; and we're even more influenced by them

So, be positive people. It helps everyone in the short, medium and longest runs.

You Want to Do It 

"Time flies when you're having fun" - old English saying

You're passionate about your role. Naturally, it falls into place. You're focused for longer; produce more work; and generally smash the hell out of job spec. After all, you've waited years for this role and you're not about to slack off now. 

Especially since you've find your 'Flow'.

There’s a psychological concept called ‘flow’. It’s when we are ‘in the zone'. It leads to creativity, productivity and an abundance of ideas. We only attain this awesome sounding state when taking on tasks with positivity, which we can only attain when we do something we enjoy.

For more on this fascinating state of mind, click here or try out Mikhaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, ‘Flow’.

#Be more Flow

Checklists

Have your bullet points ready to tick off throughout the day. Doing so reminds you what you need to do, gives shape to your day, and is a great reminder of how you're conquering that day of yours.

See also The Power of Checklist in the Workplace

Socials (or a cheery chat with your No. 1 colleague) 

We touched on this earlier, but meeting with your pals, chums or whatever you like to call yourselves, outside of work, is also a great way of making you more productive. Why? How? I hear you cry! It’s those incredibly powerful feel-good chemicals.

We’ve touched on them a little already, but here’s what they do and how they’re activated:

Oxytocin: the trusty one. As mentioned earlier in this article, oxytocin is the chemical of trust and collaboration. But, it’s also associated with generosity; bonding; and making us ‘feel human’. How and when will it be released? Well, meeting those friends, family and even the person you only know by walking by in the street on the way to work.

Dopamine: the rewarding one. Oh holy dopamine, come at me when you will. You may just have heard of this charming chemical in popular culture – but, even If you haven’t, you’ve definitely felt it (sometimes, this can be a daily occurrence). It affects our mood, memory, attention – and our productivity (yes!). How and when you ask? Well, meeting friends, exercising and even texting – ever wondered why you feel euphoric after receiving laughing emoticons from a friend? Yep, it’s dopamine.

Endorphins: the laughing one. I let you know  about endorphins in part 1 of How to be Productive at Work. It’s the chemical that is activated by laughing, smiling and more often, from exercising. It’s pretty much impossible to feel down when you laugh, and that’s because of endorphins. Name of the endorphins game? To increase pleasure and reduce pain.

An added bonus to this chemical gang having a ball in your brain?

Well, they reduce stress, low mood, depression and anxiety. All factors linked with low productivity.

So, drop the ‘no distractions’ sign for a second and holla at ya crew. It means more to you than you know.

Loads of quality content on the holy trifecta of chemicals that are oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins. The links below pack even more substance:

The relationship between sociability and productivity

The magical science of storytelling  (this one is a video that will change how you view stories, socialising and how to release those chemicals at a moments notice).

Your Desk, Posture and Technology in General

Your desk, chair and computer position seriously affect your ability to focus. Good posture allows us to breath better, which in turn reinforces that production. 

Unfit for purpose office chairs can be real energy and posture zappers. They increase muscle fatigue; can lead to musculoskeletal system disorders; and loss, or restricted use of body parts (serious stuff). 

Desks! They can be messy, clunky, and some don’t even receive the right amount of natural light (what! How the solar are we supposed to tan?) – which all affects how we think and work. Here’s a great, in-depth blog post on how to boost your productivity by boosting your desk

Ever shouted at the screen (who hasn’t, Mitch); remonstrated with the Wi-Fi as if their your partner; and asked the almighty to prevent carpal tunnelling? Then, you are in the zone of how your computer, or technology, affects your productivity. One survey shows workers lose 22 minutes a day because of techthrowing a toddler strop.

And, that is part 2! Well done you.

You’ve worked through both parts and come out the other end a productive little bee.

Well done you.

Be happy. Be productive.

Click here for Discover How to Be Productive at Work, Part 1

 

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