Our work lives used to revolve around “routine” 9-5 days, but that’s no longer the case! With the internet and mobile communication revolution, we now live in a constant work-related mindset. The phenomenon of downsizing and outsourcing has also not helped, making our work days even more stressful by expecting the workforce to do more with less!
Stress, burnouts, work-related medical conditions – these are all hallmarks of working people trying to be competitive and productive any way they can, but it doesn’t have to be that way:
Many successful entrepreneurs and celebrities work harder than the average worker, yet they manage to be highly productive throughout the day – everyday!
So, how do they do it?
5 Simple Tricks To Boost Your Productivity
The secret to staying productive through long workdays, impossible deadlines and little time off has eluded many of us. But many successful people have demonstrated that they can indeed remain productive, despite their hectic and often stressful schedules.
Here are 5 simple tips that you can use to boost your productivity by making effective use of each work day:
1. Daily themes
There is no such thing as a “typical day” anymore – as an entrepreneur, every day brings new challenges, and daily ‘to-do’ lists can quickly spin out of control! Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and founder/chairman of Twitter has a novel idea to stay focused and be productive every day: He themes his days – Management Mondays, Product Tuesdays, Marketing Wednesdays, Media Thursdays etc.
While other “stuff” definitely fits into the day’s schedule, themed activity takes priority, allowing theme-workers to stay focused on the day’s most pressing tasks.
2. Add color to the day
There’s no denying the impact that color brings into our work lives. VMWare CEO Patrick Gelsinger takes “colored productivity” to the next level by color-coding his daily calendar. Meetings with customers or partners are turquoise, yellow is for strategy reviews, and so on.
By developing your own personal color-coding scheme, you can not only boost your daily productivity but also stay organized through visual cues.
3. ‘Mobile-only’ days
Let’s face it – most of us love to sit behind our desks and hack away at our keyboards throughout the day. The result: We are cut off from social contact and chained to our desktops. Why not combine productivity and social interaction into the day instead?
Aaron Chong, a prolific mortgage broker from Melbourne, Australia, tries to implement a “mobile-only” day, where he and his staff only use their phones to work with throughout the day. It will not only help you stay connected with your business partners and clients, but will also improve your sense of networking, which is a key element of being productive!
4. Stay fit
You are only as productive as your body allows you to be. That’s why, Evan Williams, founder of famous companies like Twitter, Blogger and Medium takes time off at some point during the day to work out at the gym. Leo Babauta, founder of ZenHabits, suggests doing away with frequent drinks of coffee and soda and switching to fresh water instead.
Working out daily, taking frequent rest breaks, and having healthy eating/drinking habits not only allows you to boost up your energy levels throughout the day, but also helps you de-stress so that you are even more productive when you get back to your desk.
5. Learn to relax
When tied to your desk, make it a point to stand up every 15-20 minutes or so and walk about. Still-jogging, flexing your legs and stretching your hands, giving your neck a shake from side-to-side every so often can also help you relax and stay focused – something that’s a prerequisite for being productive.
Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Huffington Post, and occasional actress, advocates taking brief afternoon naps to help you recharge. This productivity-booster may not be practical for everyone, but companies like Google and Procter & Gamble encourage their employees to take full advantage of “nap rooms”.
Making it work for you
We all have our unique work habits and working styles, so not all of these tips and tricks will work for everyone. The secret however is to find the ideal combination of these tricks that work for you, and then personalize and integrate them into your own work day.
Mark Twain once famously said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day!”. Well, for most of us taking that advice may be just too much – we’d much rather find something more palatable instead. That’s why following these 6 tips can not only make your work more palatable, but will make your work day more productive too!