It can be easy to get lost in your workspace and find yourself operating less productively than you want to be. Here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way that have helped me to focus and work better.
1. Check in with your seating arrangement.
How’s your posture right now? Are your shoulders back, your feet flat on the floor; are you hunched over? Having good posture can translate into a more productive workday, as well as prevent muscle strains and injuries.
I’ve recently learned that I do really well when my seat and desk are up high and when my shoes are on a little step-stool (yes, my feet don’t touch the ground on their own).
2. Avoid texting and being on social media at your desk.
This will help you train your brain that when you’re seated/standing at your desk, that is your space of work, and it is not intended for technological/social interaction. I’m totally guilty of this one (*takes a video of self while bouncing on office’s bouncy ball*), but I’m working to break the habit and take my social media elsewhere.
I actually just discovered the app called Freedom, which allows you to block your social media apps from use for a specified period of time. It’s game-changing for my productivity at the office.
3. Find a soundtrack that allows you to flow in your work.
I used to think that I couldn’t listen to any type of audio while working. This may be true for reading textbooks and writing papers in school. However, I’ve discovered recently that when I’m working on a big Excel project, I can be even more productive and focused (!!!) when listening to chill music by artists such as John Mayer, Ben Howard, or James Bay. Those are three of my favorite artists, too, so it makes the whole data-entry ordeal enjoyable.
4. Keep your work calendar open, and USE it.
This way, you’ll always be on top of when you need to be somewhere or doing something. I use my work Outlook calendar for three main reasons. To:
1. Know when I have meetings,
2. Set reminders for myself, such as for when I’d like to go to the gym and for when I need to log my work hours,
3. And block off decent chunks of time when I need to work on a project, so that I know I’m not free and can’t schedule other meetings and activities.
5. Before leaving the office in the evening, make a list of what you want to get done the next day.
When you arrive at work in the morning, you’ll already know what you have to accomplish that day, which puts you on the path to a successful, productive day. Boom!
6. Incorporate movement into your day.
Whether it’s before work, during lunch, or in the evening, schedule a few (or more) times a week where you can be active. It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, spinning, running, yoga, lifting, or a bodyweight workout. All that matters is that when you move, you exercise, stretch, and strengthen your muscles, give your eyes a break from the computer screen, release stress, improve your sleep cycle, boost creativity, and trigger positive feelings in your body (thanks, endorphins!!).
I’ve been absolutely LOVING the on-demand workout app called Aaptiv, which offers spinning, elliptical, stairmaster, running, walking, stretching, HIIT, meditation, and yoga classes all in one convenient place: my phone! The best workouts I’ve done so far are yoga classes with Ceasar and Amanda, and the 30-minute stairmaster sessions with Candice (which are so tough!).
7. Take a lunch break — AWAY from your desk.
Leaving your desk for 30 – 60 minutes to catch up with colleagues, EAT, and take a walk (in or outside, depending on your area’s weather right now) can vastly improve your work productivity when you return to your workspace for the afternoon & evening final stretch. Your break will rejuvenate and refresh you!
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