With the new year upon us, many of us are making resolutions for a more productive and efficient 2015.
So to help kick off the new working year, here are our productivity tips for 2015;
1. Distract yourself
It may seem a strange tip to improve productivity, but studies have shown that listening to background music can increase your focus and drive, as well as drowning out distracting or sporadic noises. Owen Oliver, lawyer, plays music to help take away from the monotony of tasks, allowing him to really get stuck in to his work.
2. Keep everything in one place
In the words of our Matt Brown, he lives and dies by his mobile phone. Using one device or application to store all he needs for the upcoming day, week or project means that everything is always in one place, accessible wherever he is. This makes it easier to stay on top of what needs to be done, at his fingertips!
3. Cut out wasteful time
Take one day and write down what you do with each 30 minute increment. Initially it may seem like it takes more time than it saves, but Anthony Foy, Workshare CEO, uses the first few weeks of January to track what he is doing every 5 minutes of the working day. Doing so gives perspective on what the important tasks of the day are, and what activities can be cut down, or cut out. This resets priorities for the year, and means you can move ahead with a more efficient approach to time management.
4. Plot your day
Plot the day hour by hour, and assign tasks or projects to work on within those time constraints. This gives a bit of proactive pressure, and the extra motivation to complete tasks within the hour, and a sense of accomplishment when they are done!
5. Reduce email
Email overload is a well-known and well-cited productivity zapper. After catching up on the holiday backlog, take proactive steps to reduce the amount of emails you send, and therefore receive. Start using alternative applications or methods to effectively work with others, cutting down on the amount of emails you have to trawl through each day, freeing up time to get on with your work!
6. Make lists
There is a lot to be said for a good old fashioned list. Making a list at the beginning of each week with top priorities by day, with deadlines, ensures that you have a week-long view of projects and how much time you’ll need for them. This means that when unexpected or menial tasks come up, they’re not prioritized above existing and time-sensitive work, making sure you’re using your time effectively. It also feels incredibly satisfying ticking, or for more trying projects, scribbling things off your list!
7. Keep moving
Don’t stay sat down at your desk for too long. If there’s anything that halts productivity, it’s stagnating at your desk for hours. Make sure you’re up and regularly moving to keep the creative juices flowing and motivation up. If you are feeling particularly energetic, going for a brisk walk or run around the block in the fresh air will reinvigorate you, and the natural endorphins released through exercise will make you feel more energized, happy, and motivated to push on with your work.
Here’s to a productive and happy 2015!