As much as I love my routines, I know that some days, all the to-do lists in the world just don’t cut it when it comes to being productive. How many times have you started your day with the plan of getting everything done on your to-do list, only to find yourself distracted and with an even longer list at the end of the day?
If this is a recurrent problem for you, keep reading! Here are our 6 easy ways you can improve your productivity:
1. Try working from different spaces
Sometimes what your brain needs is a change of scenery! If I have a mile-long to-do list or a deadline breathing down my neck, you can find me in a coffee shop or a co-working space. (Otherwise, even working from a different part of the office can do).
Working from public places can be a great way to stimulate your brain for 2 reasons. Firstly, the constant activity around you helps you take more breaks (keep reading to find out more about this). But more importantly, your brain is constantly seeking novelty. It’s a classic case of “shiny object syndrome”. When you’re presented with something new and exciting, your brain releases dopamine (aka. the feel-good brain chemical) which is closely tied to motivation.
When confronted with new stimuli your brain also responds by creating new pathways and mechanisms to accomplish tasks. So what you see as being more efficient in a different location is actually your brain thinking about the tasks in a different light.
Needless to say, your physical environment has a huge impact on the amount of novel stimuli you’re feeding to your brain.
2. Switch up meeting format
I'm sure we all agree, meetings can be boring. Very boring. Especially when the topic didn't necessarily require a meeting in the first place.
Routine isn’t just about location, it’s also about the novelty wearing off and complacency kicking in. So don't hesitate to switch things up! Have walking meetings, change your meetings location or introduce new brainstorming techniques.
3. Work from home
The key is no meetings and no distractions (and yes, that means no TV playing in the background and no "I will just clean the entire flat before starting" excuse). Get in the zone and GET. IT. DONE!
4. Take short breaks, even if you think you don't need one
If I look back at all the times I ended the day feeling like I had achieve nothing, this is definitely THE reason why. Taking breaks can be hard. If you think taking breaks is a waste of time, think again!
Taking breaks is not only good for your physical health, it will boost you creativity and your productivity. Indeed, taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative. How many time have you had “Aha moments” in the shower or in bed trying to fall asleep?
5. Surround yourself with plants
Some studies suggest that plants help people focus and concentrate on their work, leading to higher overall productivity.
So if you want to boost your mood and reduce your stress level, go get yourself a colourful cactus (easy maintenance but not impossible to kill...believe me).
6. Change your playlist
Background music at a moderate volume is shown to improve concentration. When in need of a motivation, take a moment to find the right playlist.
As awesome as your daily routine may be, switching up the way you work can have a huge effect on your productivity, mood, and work. So, if you’re struggling to get everything done—test one of these out today.