Reshape Your Productivity with These Small Changes

10 November, 2021

Jennifer Birch

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global productivity management software market is expected to expand by 13.4% percent by 2027 –– reaching a value of nearly $103 billion. This projected growth has been spurred on by recent events. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, tools that bolster productivity, communication, and collaboration among remote workers have been in high demand. Likewise, time management applications are also helping the workforce manage newly altered day-to-day schedules.

Indeed, we are now living in a world in which productivity and efficiency are more important focal points than ever before. Offices are intent on maximizing output following difficult times; work-from-home employees are often challenged to do more than usual over the course of the day; and freelancers have to make the most of their time to keep up. With all this in mind, here are some helpful ways to reshape and improve your productivity, whatever sort of work you do.

Prepare a List of Don’t-Dos

In an interview on the Life Kit podcast by NPR, author Oliver Burkeman shares insights from his book "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management For Mortals." Burkeman says that people are usually successful in mastering their time, but in a way that makes us busy with less important things. For instance, you may be great at processing your emails, and as a result develop a reputation for being responsive –– but that just prompts people to send more emails your way. The trick to this problem is to say no to low-level tasks. Look at how you spend your time in a day, then prepare a list of "Don’t-Dos" for non-critical tasks. You might include something like: “Don’t look at your email until you’ve spent 90 minutes on deep-attention work,” as an example. This way, your actual "To-Do" list will naturally prioritize the things that most need to be finished within a given day.

Play Music When You Can

Music is great for making life feel less monotonous, and when used wisely, it can boost both mood and task engagement. Wellness expert Brett Blumenthal discusses this idea in some detail in her 2015 book. Scribd's preview of ‘52 Small Changes for the Mind’ reveals Blumenthal's thinking on this matter of music specifically, with the author arguing that integrating music into your lifestyle can make even cleaning, laundry, and other dull household chores fun and productive. Blumenthal notes also that listening to music actually releases certain neurochemicals in the brain, which can keep us highly responsive. This is intriguing information to bear in mind. The next time you have to do a monotonous activity like organizing paperwork, try playing some music to activate your brain. You might find that the task goes both more smoothly and more quickly.

Turn Off Distractions

While music has its place, doing work from home has also opened us to numerous distractions, from household chores, to family members, to easily accessed recreation and entertainment. Content strategist Aja Frost's helpful thinking on this matter is relayed in an account of ‘Work-from-Home Hacks’ at Publishers' Weekly. In this book, Frost points out that your home setup should feel less like home and more like work, even if you’re doing your job from a corner of your bedroom. Try to eliminate the distractions you have complete control over, such as social media, for example. Switching between work and scrolling on our phones can cause our brains to shift in concentration, and constant updates can be a source of stress. Close all apps and programs you have opened if they’re not part of the task you’re currently working on. The less clutter on your screen, the better. And as much as you're able to, try to similarly shut out other distractions that may exist in your home.

Optimize Your Workspace

Your physical environment creates an impact on your productivity as well. An ideal workspace should have all the items you need in it, so that you don’t need to keep moving around to get things. But it should also be tidy and clean. Clutter makes people feel overwhelmed and anxious, which in turn can lead to decreases in productivity. Accordingly, you should make a point of removing things you don't need from the space. Meanwhile, you can also optimize your workspace to prioritize your health and wellness. Quality furniture from FlexiSpot, such as our adjustable standing desks and ergonomic office chairs can ensure your body is comfortable throughout a long workday –– which not only boosts your wellness, but will also keep you diligent and attentive to your work.

Altogether, these tips can go a long way toward keeping you productive in your working environment.

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