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Essential tips to instantly inspire productivity at work

04/02 2019Posted by: npower Resourcing Team Subscribe to this blog


If your to-do list looks more like a novel than a note, fret not. You can get more done with your time than ever before by making a few adjustments to your workday. It’s been reported that employees who are highly engaged with their work have a productivity rate that is 38% higher than average, according to a study by The Workplace Research Foundation. As productivity is closely tied to engagement, these fast-working tips will help to instantly maximise your energy levels, happiness and focus while at work. 

Declutter your desk and organise your work 

The chaos of a cluttered environment has been proven to make you less able to process information than a more orderly space, according to a Princeton University Neuroscience Institute study. 

You can use this new information to increase your productivity by minimising the risk of potential distractions. Try to start each working day by clearing your desk of any documents that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Similarly, arrange everything you may need within arm’s reach so you don’t waste time searching for a vital piece of information or document. 

These decluttering and organisational exercises are also good to practise digitally with your e-mails and work documents, which will help increase their accessibility. 

Simply having a pleasant working environment can do wonders to boost your creativity and productivity. 

Prioritise and break up the workload 

After clearing your desk, declutter your mind by creating a list of everything you aim to achieve that day or that week. While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending list and consider multitasking — don’t, this has actually been observed to impair cognitive control according to a study by Stanford University. So, it’s essential to focus on one task at a time without spreading your efforts too thin. The key here to staying on top of your work is prioritising and breaking up your larger tasks into small, manageable sections. 

Streamline your workload by rearranging tasks into groups of importance from ‘A’ to ‘D’. After working on everything in category ‘A’, you can then consider moving to category ‘B’. Remind yourself that the main priority is not to get everything done but to get the most essential tasks done, which is much better than feeling stressed and getting nothing done. 

After prioritising your workload, consider breaking up each individual task into timed sections. Your ultradian rhythm shows that working in 90-minute periods is best since you naturally follow that peak with a 20-minute rest period, which brings us swiftly to our next tip. 

Take breaks, get moving and reward yourself 

Take a break! While this may seem counter-productive to getting your heavy workload completed, this will actually help you more than working through your lunch break would. Overexerting yourself might lead to producing lower quality work and feeling demotivated — which is why it’s also important to maintain a good work-life balance

Studies show that taking regular breaks helps to increase concentration and boosts your mood. Spending a few minutes away from your desk by making some tea, talking to a colleague or eating a snack are all highly beneficial to your productivity and wellbeing. It’s also good to reward yourself in small ways for completing tasks. 

In the same sense, exercise has been proven on multiple occasions to boost brain power. In Amy Cuddy’s interesting Ted Talk, she explains how something as simple as posture can affect our hormone levels and explores the impressive benefits of power posing. Consider including a short walk in your lunch break or stretching at your desk from time to time to relieve any bad posture which might be contributing to your stress. 

Set accountable, false deadlines 

For many of us, it can be difficult to stick to our internal deadlines since we intrinsically know there are no repercussions for missing them. Setting false deadlines, but externalising them, will allow you to stay ahead of your work. 

You can do this by making an appointment with your line manager to go through your work (which forces you to have work to present). Similarly, you can arrange weekly check-ins with a co-worker or set your own deadlines but announce them to others and have them check up on your progress. Often, having to present your work to others motivates you to complete it to a great standard and makes you accountable for completing it on-time. 

Join us 

npower helps create an open and productive work environment for our employees by offering agile working to many of our team members, on top of our many added benefits. Consider making your next career move with npower today. We have a variety of exciting opportunities in locations all over the UK and in a wide range of roles.
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