We’ve all been there. It’s Monday, your weekend was much too short, and you’re getting paid to just sit at a desk, doing little to no real work.
With the birth of the Next Great Distraction seeming to crop up on the Internet every other day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be the productive employee you and your boss expect you to be.
Being more productive at work is not only good for your career, it will make you feel accomplished and fulfilled on your commute home.
Use these 7 productivity tips when you’re feeling slow at work to make you happier, healthier, and, in the end, more successful.
The two best ways to increase your energy are through physical exercise and the proper diet. Everyone knows this, but until you’ve ingrained healthy habits, it’s much easier to continue being a sedentary junk food eater – especially while at work. The most popular alternative to 8 hours of sitting is, of course, the standing desk.
The good news is you don’t have to break the bank or take up much space to implement this work-friendly tool thanks to such manufacturers as Techni Mobili. Even bike desks can come in small, inexpensive packages. By engaging with these simple technologies, you give yourself the gifts of increased mental and physical energy.
2: Healthy Snacking
To further boost your stamina, keep only brain-power foods on hand and snack on them throughout the day, thereby stabilizing your blood glucose levels. Walnuts have been shown to increase inferential reasoning, blueberries improve short term memory, and the turmeric in curry helps to create new brain cells.
In order to increase your productivity on the job, you can intentionally set yourself up for success by instituting limits on idleness and food and, of course, by rewarding yourself for making good choices.
3: Acknowledge Employees & Coworkers
There is a simple reason for taking time out of your day to acknowledge the good work of the people you work with: putting energy into being negative drains you and those around you; positive energy generates more positive energy.
By generating an optimism epidemic, you create happy, efficient employees who are motivated to create output that prolongs the reward loop. Be realistic with your expectations, communicate them to your workforce, and reap the benefits of a happy workplace.
4: Harness the Power of Collaborative Office Spaces
Whether in a traditional office or a coworking space, people who form into teams give themselves a boost by generating a larger opportunity set and accomplishing more as a group than anyone can individually.
Creating a collaborative environment through the use of open office space not only solidifies an employee’s sense of being an integral part of the team, but research has shown that a moderate level of ambient noise can keep you alert as well. Plus, chatter and information-sharing is necessary for the generation of innovative ideas that will keep your business at the forefront of your industry.
5: Organized Fun
Friendly competition can play a large role in collaboration and productivity. Here’s how: the release of endorphins is essential to stress relief; at its heart, play is a team-building activity; a stimulated mind is more creative and poised for improved memory.
What is most important is that a playful environment comes from the top-down; the best leaders recognize that they set the tone for the work environment and it just so happens that games provide relief from mundanity.
6. Form Good Work Habits
If you haven’t done so yet, Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, is a great read for anyone who wants to understand how to make good habits last and bad habits die off.
It all begins with the neurologically-driven habit loop: a cue triggers a routine and, if the brain likes the ensuing reward, the same cue will trigger the same routine time and time again. If you want to become addicted to habit building, there’s an app based on Duhigg’s principles – and if you play with the app too much, you can always hire someone to slap you out of that routine.
7. Take a Nap
We have all experienced the post-lunch lull – when a full stomach brings on the burning desire to trade in your desk for a nice, warm bed. Whether your belly is satiated or you just didn’t get enough sleep last night, it’s time for a 30-minute nap. Sleeping for 10 to 30 minutes during the day is just enough time to enter the peacefulness of Stage 2 sleep without delving into grogginess-inducing Stage 3 REM sleep.
Stage 2 sleep is where memory consolidation happens so, when you wake up from your nap, you not only have increased productivity, creativity, and cognitive function, but improved memory, as well. One caveat, though: taking a nap too late in the day will throw off your circadian rhythm, so it’s best to snooze in the late morning or early afternoon.