No matter what you do, working the 9-5 can be a drain on your energy, motivation, and social life. We’ve aimed to tackle this inherent life drain by providing these 10 essential #WorkHacks to increase your productivity and make your day a little bit easier. These tips are provided by Lizzi Hart from the Graduate Recruitment Bureau.
1. Plan Your Day the Night Before
Plan your outfit, prepare for breakfast, make some lunch, and assemble your bag. Yes, you may be feeling a bit lazy after a day of work, but if you can make yourself dinner, then you can do a few extra chores, too. Just think about the time and money you’ll save the next day!
2. Plan for Monday on Friday
As you’re whiling the hours away on the most beautiful weekday of them all, Friday, make sure you plan ahead to salvage your upcoming Monday. Think of all that dull catch-up work you’ll be faced with after a lovely weekend! Lessen that load by leaving yourself a to-do list so you can jump straight back into those imminent tasks when you return to the office.
3. Clear Your Inbox
By doing a simple search in your inbox for the term “unsubscribe,” you can efficiently work your way through those pesky spam emails that are clogging up your productive hours!
4. Call a Loved One for an Energy Boost
While making personal calls from work may be frowned upon, research has shown that “microbursts,” including speaking to a loved one, can keep your energy levels more consistent. These microbursts can even topple coffee, in terms of the powerful energy fixes they afford!
5. Dedicate at Least One Hour to Focused Productivity
While working in an office can both accelerate and hinder your productivity, sometimes you just need to knuckle down in your own little bubble. Aim for at least an hour a day of no distractions. Pop your headphones in, listen to some motivational music, and power through. If your job doesn’t allow for this type of focus, choose the quietest time of the day to attempt it.
6. Turn Down the Brightness on Your Monitor
Do you find your eyes getting extremely tired as the day goes on? It’s probably from staring at a screen all day, and while regular breaks from your desk are advisable, sometimes you just can’t tear yourself away. If that’s the case for you, consider turning down the display brightness on your computer monitor to ease the strain on your eyes.
7. Always Finish Meetings Like This
During meetings, participants often suffer from an overload of information and unnecessarily lengthy discussions on one topic, leaving people unsure of the conclusion. Therefore, you should aim to leave each meeting with answers to these three questions: “What are the next steps?”, “Who will be responsible for what?”, and “What is the time frame?”
For more ways to keep your meeting on track, see here.
8. Obey the ‘Two-Minute Rule’
If a task can be completed within two minutes, do it immediately. Do not put it off; resist the urge to procrastinate. Taking 2 minutes to reply to an email right now allows you to focus on the bigger tasks at hand, and you won’t have to worry about that pesky email later on.
9. Get Up Earlier
We’d suggest taking this piece of advice with a pinch of salt, but research suggests that those who are genetically adapted to wake up earlier — i.e., “morning people” — are likely to do better in business.
But, you can change your ways: not by sleeping less/more, but by going to bed earlier and getting out of the house and into the daylight sooner. To truly obtain the accolade of “morning person,” you need to wake up at the same time seven days a week (though 1 P.M. doesn’t count). Good luck!
10. Keep the Office Warm
Some believe that having a cold breeze run through the office can make you more alert and less sleepy. However, Cornell University completed an in-depth study into the potential correlation between room temperature and productivity/accuracy. The findings suggest that a Floridian office operating at a comfortable 25°C (77°F) was 44 percent more productive and accurate than another office cooled down to 20°C (68°F). When you use less energy to maintain your core temperature, you have more to expend on work.