7 Ways to Boost Productivity At Home This Winter
Winter is here! For most of us, this holiday season means snow on the ground, good food, and hot beverages by the fire. But what happens when you have to get back to the grind? Off to work you go—whether it’s in a physical office with your co-workers or a home-office setup.
How can you keep your motivation and productivity up, especially in the long winter months as it gets darker earlier in the day?
Almost every part of your office space contributes to your productivity, whether positively or negatively. Did you know that your productivity can be affected by:
- Office temperature,
- Workplace ergonomics,
- Office lighting,
- Cluttered workspaces, and even
The temperature outside may be in the negatives, but your productivity doesn’t have to be! Follow these 7 simple tips and you’ll crush it at work.
How to Boost Productivity at Work?
#1: Get Comfy
Being comfortable while you’re at work is a key part of staying focused and productive. It’s hard to complete your tasks when your back or neck is in pain! This discomfort is a distraction at work, and it hurts your mind as well as your body.
Working in comfortable positions at work is also crucial to keeping your spirits up. With a customizable ergonomic chair, your body can relax while your brain does the hard work on your projects. Look for a chair with a mesh backing so your weight is distributed evenly, and make sure you’ve got proper back support.
But make sure you’re not too comfy… slouching or hunching in your chair will do the opposite of boosting your productivity! Keep your posture straight and relaxed while you work, and you’ll be focused yet comfortable.
(image from gentlemansgazette.com)
#2: Clean Desk Space
Now that you aren’t distracted by any aches or pains, let’s take a look at your desk. Pens, charging cables, post-it notes, a coffee cup… perhaps some crumbs or a half-eaten sandwich?
A cluttered desk is a visual distraction and can actually affect your focus! A desk with scattered papers on it can trick your brain into thinking there’s a lot more work than there really is, and this can lead to procrastination. A messy desk can also cause higher stress and anxiety levels--not ideal!
From a practical standpoint, you lose valuable time when you’re searching for a lost pen or paper on your desk somewhere. Sure, it may only be a few seconds, but all that time adds up!
Take some time every week to organize your desk. Sort papers, untangle your cables, and put your pens in a stylish holder.
Remember: clean desk=clear mind!
(image from bestlifeonline.com)
#3: Pomodoro Technique
It’s simple! All you need is a timer and a task you really need to get done.
- Set your timer for 25 minutes. Get to work on your task!
- When the timer buzzes, take a 5-minute break.
- At the end of 4 work sessions, take a 15 minute break.
A 25-minute session is a perfect amount of time to get stuff done, but not long enough that you feel exhausted or bored during it. Some people find that 30 minutes of work with a 3-minute break works better for them--experiment and see what works best for you.
This method only works if you do, too. Work as hard as you can for these 25 minutes--no phones, no distractions! Keep a pen and paper handy to record any off-topic errands to address, for example, “feed the cat” or “wish Mom a happy birthday.” These tasks can be dealt with during your breaks.
(image from dumblittleman.com)
#4: Phone Time Tracker
You probably turn your phone on silent while you’re at work, but did you know that even the “silent” vibrations can cause your brain to lose focus? With texts, calls, and all sorts of social media notifications, there’s always a temptation to check in and see what’s happening on our phones.
This kills productivity! Studies show that you’re 23% more likely to make an error in your work after you’ve received a text, and 28% more likely after a phone call.
Use productivity apps to track the amount of time you spend on each task or on your devices. An app like Forest, for example, rewards you with a tiny tree for every block of time you spend focused on your task, away from your phone. If you try to check any social media while the clock is ticking, your tree will shrivel--a simple and effective way to keep you focused on your tasks!
Check out lifehack’s list of best productivity apps (which includes Forest!).
#5: Stay Hydrated
The human body is more than 50% water--it’s no wonder that dehydration can lead to fatigue and dizziness!
Make sure you’re drinking enough water as you work. A well-hydrated brain is more active, productive, and creative! Water helps to boost your energy levels and increases your ability to focus.
So how much water do you need? The 8x8 rule is easy to remember: eight glasses of water, eight ounces each. This is about 2 liters a day.
You can even get a water bottle with the times marked on them so you know you’re getting enough water. Drink up!
#6: Green Space
Indoor plants have become increasingly popular over the last few months as people began working from home. With a huge variety of species, cute pots, and stylish planters, indoor plants are a great way to add a pop of colour to any room!
But did you know that having plants in your workspace actually helps your productivity? A study by the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology found that participants performed better in a room where a plant was present, compared to others with a magazine rack or no plant in its place.
Plants also provide a relaxing place for your eyes to rest when you’re taking breaks from your screen. The colour green is often associated with a calm, soothing feeling, which is perfect for relieving some stress during the day.
#7: Turn up the Music
And by “music,” we mean some chill tunes that relax your brain as you work!
Sure, fast-paced EDM might pump you up when you’re doing repetitive tasks like data entry, but it creates the opposite effect when you’re trying to work on a task that requires focus. Fast, driving music might actually cause you to become more tense and anxious.
Classical music, chill instrumentals, and ambient nature sounds all help your brain to stay calm and focus. Even the sound of a warm fireplace crackling can help you relax. Everyone’s work habits are different, so pick a playlist that works for you! Many music streaming services have playlists specifically for deep focus sessions.
Check out these top genres for different work tasks!
Ready to Boost Your Workplace Ergonomics?
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