There’s no denying that maintaining high levels of productivity throughout the day can be challenging. In fact, the battle to stay productive has led to many professionals relying on caffeine and other stimulants to get them through their hectic workdays, which doesn’t do the body any favors in the long run.
When it comes down to it, boosting productivity is always going to be advantageous. However, you don’t need to turn to stimulants and supplements for this. Instead, read on as Circle Hub explains how to be more productive by making a few simple tweaks to the way in which you work.
Cut Out Distractions
Let’s start by talking about distractions – something that we all experience on a daily basis. A 10-second distraction may not seem like a big deal at the time but, considering that it can sometimes take up to 23 minutes for the brain to fully refocus, each little distraction really adds up.
Distractions fall under two categories; self-imposed and environmental. Self-imposed distractions refer to things that you have full control over. For example, if your thought flow is interrupted each time your phone makes a noise, simply keeping it on silent could really help to boost your concentration. A browser blocker could be useful too – this will help to curb your web-surfing habits when you’re meant to be working.
Environmentally-imposed distractions are things that you may not have full control over, such as your kids screaming in the background while you’re working from home, or an office colleague stopping at your desk for a chat. Donning a pair of headphones can help with both but, if you’re working on an important project and need a distraction-free environment for a while, consider booking a private office for a few days, or even a few hours. At Circle Hub, our private office suites are sleek, modern, and, most importantly, quiet. They’ll provide a distraction-free environment where you can be your most productive self.
It’s common to hear people boasting about how fantastic they are at multitasking. However, they’re mistaken, with research showing that it’s actually impossible for the human brain to truly multitask. Instead, it switches back and forth between various tasks, with the brain being interrupted by each switch.
As we mentioned above, it can take a while for the brain to properly refocus again. This means that multitasking, which may initially seem like an effective way to work, is actually eating away at your productivity.
If you’re guilty of often trying to multitask, it’s time to change your habits. Aim to focus on just one task at a time, ideally working through them in order of importance. Do this for a while and you’ll soon find that not only are you making your way through more tasks each day, but you’re completing each one to a much higher standard.
Take Regular Breaks
When you’re trying to be as productive as possible, taking regular breaks can feel counterintuitive. However, breaks are anything but a waste of time, so long as you plan them strategically!
Research shows that taking regular breaks is an effective way to boost productivity and performance capacity. Breaks can help to increase attention span, which is something that naturally depletes over time. By ramping this back up, you’ll be able to give your mental all to the task at hand, rather than feeling mentally drained and unable to function at your best.
How many breaks do you need to take in order to keep your attention span peaked? This is something that experts haven’t yet agreed on. Some say a 15-30 minute break every 90 minutes, while others recommend a 17-minute break every 52 minutes. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to figure out what works best for you, but try to avoid working for longer than 90-minute stretches. If you need to, set a timer to help keep yourself accountable to your new routine.
What should you do during your breaks? If you’re working at Circle Hub, you have plenty of options!
Start by grabbing yourself some refreshments from our kitchen – numerous studies have found a correlation between hydration and productivity. Alternatively, you could head to our onsite gym for a quick workout, with exercise also being linked to higher levels of productivity. Another option would be to enjoy some downtime in our gaming room. Research shows that playing video games for 45 minutes can make you 20% more productive!
Switch Up Your View
This may seem too simple to be effective, but switching up your view so that you’re looking at something different while you work can really help to encourage productivity.
How? It all comes down to how the human brain thrives on novelty. The switch doesn’t need to be anything big – simply moving from your home office to your balcony will help to refresh your mind. Choose a location that excites you in some way and you’ll also be encouraging your brain to release dopamine. Not only will this improve your mood, but it will motivate you to be more productive too.
Being able to have access to so many different working areas is one of the reasons why coworking has become so popular. At Circle Hub, our Designated Desk system enables you to pick and choose from available desks. You can sit at a new desk each day or even move to the other side of the room halfway through the day. Either way, you’ll experience a surge in productivity by doing so.
Cultivate a Motivational Workspace
The space that you work in has a huge impact on how productive you are. Being surrounded by clutter, for example, will make it much harder for you to fully focus on the task at hand.
If you have your own office, then you’ll have full control over its decor. Start by thinking about mood-enhancing colors. Blue is known for its soothing effects while red can encourage accuracy. Understanding the effects of various colors will enable you to deck your office out in a way that keeps you mentally alert.
Research has also found that being around plants while working can help with productivity while reducing stress. So, add a few potted plants to your workspace. If you don’t have a green thumb, pick varieties that thrive on neglect – there are plenty out there!
Of course, find yourself a good coworking space and all of this will be taken care of for you. At Circle Hub, greenery is everywhere, making for a very calming ambiance. We’ve also utilized the colors that we mentioned above in various workspaces. This means that you can choose to work in an area that truly caters to your needs for the day.
Make the Most of Meetings
Meetings are something that many people dread. They can often drag on, making them feel like a waste of time. However, when done properly, meetings can not only be incredibly productive in themselves, but they can also give you the mental boost that you need to increase your own productivity afterward.
So, how can you make a meeting more productive?
To start with, choose a good meeting room. You need somewhere quiet and distraction-free. This is why Circle Hub members love having access to our conference rooms, which can be rented by the hour. They provide a bright and spacious area to host a meeting while also being kitted out with productivity-boosting essentials, such as a whiteboard and a flat-screen TV.
Some advanced planning can be helpful for a successful meeting too. Note down the topics that need to be discussed and allot a timeframe for each one. Not only will this keep everything focused but it’ll also prevent the meeting from unnecessarily dragging on.
If you’re willing to try something a little quirkier, a standing meeting may appeal to you. Here, everyone attending the meeting stands up instead of sitting down. If this sounds like it would be uncomfortable after a while, that’s the point! It ensures that the meeting remains short and on-topic, making it as productive as possible.
Learn How to Delegate
Sometimes, delegation isn’t an option. However, when it is, it’s an opportunity that you should grab with both hands. It will free up a significant chunk of your own time, which you can then spend being productive on other tasks.
For some, delegation comes naturally. For others, it’s not quite so easy. Many people struggle to delegate for a variety of reasons. Some may think that it’ll be faster to do the work themselves rather than explain it to someone else while others might feel guilty about adding to someone else’s workload. Either way, it’s natural to find delegation difficult at first, which is why this is something that needs to be practiced.
Start by delegating tasks that are small and not quite so important. Choose tasks that can be re-done if necessary, rather than something with an urgent deadline. Hopefully, you’ll soon realize that not only can your team members successfully carry out the tasks that you assign to them, but the extra free time that you end up with makes delegating so worthwhile!
Establish Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Being more productive doesn’t only encompass making changes to your working habits, it also relates to ensuring that your lifestyle habits are as healthy as possible.
Sleep, for example, plays a huge role in mental clarity. If you want to feel energized and productive each morning, you need to be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Ideally, sleep and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This will do away with any morning grogginess that you feel on workdays.
Research shows that the food that you eat directly influences productivity too. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day will give your brain the mental boost that it needs. On the other hand, sugary and highly processed foods may provide an initial kick but they then lead to a slump that reduces productivity.
It’s common for productivity levels to decline as the day progresses, but this isn’t helpful when it comes to getting your work done to a high standard as quickly as possible. So, to counter this, keep our tips in mind before your next workday. Try to implement as many as possible and you’ll likely notice that your productivity begins to soar!
Need an inspiring, distraction-free environment so that you can be your most productive self? Click here to book a tour of Circle Hub’s coworking spaces!