How many times have you started your day intending to be fully productive at work, only to get to the office and fail? Maybe your morning meeting goes sideways, you only seem to be adding to your to-do list rather than checking tasks off, and the distractions are endless. Let’s be honest: life happens, productivity levels ebb and flow, and some days are just plain difficult to concentrate, no matter the task. But don’t fret—the solve is simple!
There are two ways to address this problem: work longer hours, or work smarter. If you’re like most workers, the latter option sounds more appealing. And believe it or not, working smarter is surprisingly easy. Here are five ways to increase your productivity:
5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity at Work
Take more breaks. It may sound counterintuitive, but taking quick breaks could actually boost your output. Research indicates taking short breaks while performing long tasks can help maintain productivity levels, whereas working at the same type of task without a break may have a negative impact on your performance. The next time you’re having trouble staying focused, consider stepping away from your desk for a few minutes to clear your mind, so you can return to the task fresh.
Stop multitasking. Switching back and forth between two tasks might seem like a good way to get more done, but in practice multitasking can actually increase inefficiency. A recent study show multitasking is probably no big deal if you’re doing chores, but your brain might not keep up when tasks are more complex. Instead of juggling multiple things at once, commit to completing one task before beginning another.
Sweat it out. Working out can boost your endorphins, making you happier and more engaged in what you’re doing, and studies show getting exercise can help improve productivity. What’s the best way to get moving? Research shows walking can help spark your creativity. (Bonus: Being fit can help you be a better employee overall!)
Sleep better. Adults should aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health. That’s probably not news to you, but when was the last time you actually hit the hay on time? While it can be tempting to work late into the night—especially if you’re a night owl who doesn’t get grooving until the sun goes down—don’t! Research shows the more sleep-deprived employees are, the less productive they’ll be at work. Boost your productivity (and save your company some cash!), by getting the rest you need.
Plan ahead. The same way you use a task planner to organize your daily action items, use your calendar to plan out your week in advance. Schedule one-on-one meetings with project stakeholders before deadlines creep up, block off time to work on your most challenging project on Tuesdays (the most productive day of the week, according to a 2013 Accountemps survey), and create chunks of time to get through everyday tasks, like emails and returning phone calls.
Looking to step it up? Learn how Fitbit Health Solutions can help your company develop a successful wellness program, boost employee health and happiness, and improve the bottom line.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.