According to research, stress has a huge impact on your work performance. Highly stressed employees have 50 percent higher presenteeism rates, and they also take more sick days than their less stressed counterparts.
Don’t want to be one of the unproductive?
Here are six ways to help you to improve your productivity in the workplace:
Become BFFs with your calendar
Your calendar shouldn’t be limited to meetings; schedule time for everything. Whether you are writing a proposal for a client, finalizing your department’s quarterly budget, or following up on action items from your last meeting, don’t hesitate to pencil in time to work on your personal tasks. This includes email! Designate time to respond to unanswered emails. This can help you stay on track with other work responsibilities, without allowing important messages to slip through the cracks.
Scheduling your day based on the way you work can also yield better productivity. For example, if you’re a morning person, use the first half of your day to work on things that require more focus, and save the afternoon—when you might have less energy—for tasks that can be accomplished on auto-pilot.
Find Your Groove
Per research, 70 percent of all office workers work in open-plan offices, making them more susceptible to noise; and this extra noise can decrease productivity by as much as 66 percent. Therefore, leaders in companies are recognizing the impact of music on productivity. Listening to music can block out the ringing phones and chatting coworkers, allowing employees to focus on their work. Different music can help in different ways—an article from The Telegraph cites a study that recommends listening to ambient music if your tasks require high levels of accuracy, dance music if your work involves proofreading, and pop music to improve data entry efficiency.
Put things where they belong
Have you ever spent an hour hunting for a stapler? Us too. That’s why putting things where they belong is a little-known productivity booster. Not only does it keep your desk or home a lot neater, it makes finding things a lot quicker and therefore, saves you a ton of time.
Pause before saying “Yes”
Many people have difficulty saying ‘no,’ especially at work. We often feel the need to please others, meaning we always want to help, even when we shouldn’t. The next time someone asks if you can help and you can’t, pause for 5 seconds or so, say ‘I’ll think about it’, and then, either email, call or text message your refusal. Not saying ‘yes’ to everything is a great way to keep your schedule uncluttered and helps you be more productive in everything you do.
Get Away from Your Desk
You can start reducing your stress and boosting your productivity by learning to walk away from your desk occasionally. Going for a walk has been shown to increase overall brain function by 4 percent and boost creative output by 60 percent.
Try the “5 Before 11” Rule
It isn’t unusual to come to work and find yourself overwhelmed by all that needs to get done. That’s where the “5 before 11 rule” comes in handy: Pick five things that you would like to accomplish before 11 AM. Make sure they are things that will make you feel productive and accomplished. That feeling will help you maintain high levels of productivity throughout the day.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to make too many changes at once. Take it one step at a time. Whether you’re trying to boost productivity by saying ‘no’ or by managing your calendar, choose one and stick with it for as long as it takes for it to be a natural part of your life.