How much time do you spend working in a day? Productivity has been a big subject of discussion in the 21st Century. Majority of people spend more than eight hours working but they can’t seem to move ahead. They’ve sort of hit their ceiling of productivity and they just can’t do more.
The minority group works for less than 8 hours and earn almost three times as much like the person working more than 8 hours. Plus, you’ll see them having fun with their families in the evening or playing golf. What’s the difference between these two groups?
They have the same 24 hours as other people. They’re not smarter or intelligent than other people. And it definitely has nothing to do with their physical strength. The difference comes down to habit patterns.
They have formed good habit patterns that have enabled them to achieve the results they get. If you are not as productive as you’d want to, you probably have poor habit patterns that limiting you.
The one thing that is probably limiting your productivity is distractions; the knock at the door, the ten-minute phone call, your email notifications and chit chat with co-workers that have nothing to do with work. When performing these activities, most people think that they’re working. They come home from work feeling tired and stressed out but they have nothing to show for.
Again, there are people who are serious about their work. They don’t indulge in the activities discussed above. They are always busy and on the move. But they never seem to move ahead. They work for at least ten hours a day but have nothing to show for. Why? Disorganization.
Disorganization in that they don’t prioritize their tasks. They do one hundred different things in a day when only two or three activities on their list truly matter. Failing to prioritize your tasks will always limit your productivity and performance. You’ll get tired and frustrated with nothing to show for.
As we said earlier, the truly productive people have formed good habit patterns that put them a step ahead of the crowds. They remove all distractions in their working environment. They prioritize their work and focus on the two or three most important tasks every day. When they finish working on their most important tasks, they call it a day. The rest of the tasks are either delegated or eliminated.
Now, the most important tasks are the tasks you work on and get paid for. Most people have two to three most important tasks that generate money. The rest are time wasters. The problem is most people spend more time on other activities instead of the most important ones. And that’s why they never move ahead.
Now, for you to eliminate distractions and prioritize your work well, you need a good workspace. If your workspace is messy and disorganized or uncomfortable, you will find it difficult to focus on your most important tasks. Your workspace will determine your creativity and performance. Today, we are going to discuss the best tips you can use to increase your productivity by changing your workspace.
Design your workspace
The more time you spend thinking about your workspace and how to improve its design, the more energized you will feel to work every day. Take a couple of minutes every day and visualize your ideal workspace. How will it look like? What colors do you want to have around? How will you feel about it? Calm? Focused? See the furniture, plants and the beautiful art on the walls.
If a minimalist workspace keeps you focused for long periods of time, go for it. The plain desk and colors will probably work like magic for you.
If you want to be creative, go for a workspace that reflects an artistic vibe. You can think of hanging beautiful art on the walls or having inspirational books on your desk.
There are different ways you can design your workspace depending on the goals you want to achieve. The more personalized it becomes, the more productive you’ll be.
Get things organized
Take a couple of minutes or hours every day to sort out and organize things on your desk. Declutter your workspace by sorting out all items in your workspace into categories. For example, you can categorize these items like books, papers, and supplies.
Analyze each and every object and ask yourself if it contributes to your well-being and productivity. If you find yourself being hesitant or unsure, ask yourself whether the object is aligned to your dream office.
When sorting out your papers, consider which ones you can digitize on BrillAssignment to reduce the pile. Scan these papers and send them to your email or cloud.
Arrange your desk and eliminate distractions
After decluttering, it’s time to arrange your desk to make it friendly to your goals. Position everything you need in order. Put all writing materials in one area. Arrange your books and journals in line.
Eliminate distractions by thinking about them before working. For example, if you love scrolling your phone during working hours, put it away before you start working. If you love checking email and responding to them, think of disabling notifications on your computer. You can also think of using apps that will prevent you from visiting sites that reduce your productivity. If you live with family or friends, let them know you will be busy at a certain time to avoid getting distracted.
Get everything positioned well
Your workspace has a desk, chair, computer and a source of light. It’s important to position all these components to suit your body and movements perfectly. There are a number of positioning tips you can get from the US Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration that can help you improve your productivity. Some of them include:
- Ensuring your head is facing forward not down or beyond you’re your shoulders. The top of your computer screen should be below or at eye level.
- Your thighs and forearms should be parallel to the ground
- Your back should be well supported and your shoulders relaxed.
You can also think of purchasing accessories such as a footrest and a laptop lift to improve your position and comfort level. If you are not comfortable or well-positioned, your productivity levels will go down and you’ll end up hurting yourself.
Boost your creativity
The location of your workspace will impact your creativity and performance either positively or negatively. It’s important to think of the type of location that favors your productivity before setting up your workspace.
Do you tend to focus on silent locations? Do you love having music playing on the background when working? If you love quiet places, your workspace should be located away from the kitchen or any noisy place that can reduce your productivity. If you work in a corporate workspace, choose the best location available. Usually, such as location will be up for grabs but if you pitch an idea that is flexible and thoughtful targeting the company’s goals, you’ll definitely get the spot.
I asked Andrew the founder of The Logo Creative about how he boosts his creativity when designing and works more productive and here is what he said:-
“When researching and working through the ideation stage and refining logo design concepts I like working in a clean and quiet environment as I can become one with my thoughts and during this thought process my ideas are open to flow with no distractions.
Upon moving to the digital stage when I have a clear design path and know exactly what I am designing I sometimes.. not all times! like to play music while digitizing as I find it helps move this process along more fluently and listening to music can sometimes spark new ideas along the way. It does not always go perfect like this! There is no right or wrong way of doing things I can find myself walking outdoors in quietness to try and clear my head and an idea will spark or driving with the music on and.. light bulb moment an idea pops up! It really is strange at times but I always have a sketchbook with me.
Once i was on the road traveling to a client meeting and luckily I had my sketchbook with me driving along thinking about another project I was doing at the time and an idea hit me while on the motorway, I immediately pulled off at the next services and whipped out the sketchbook, and the idea was golden the client loved it! Just a little safety disclaimer please don’t sketch and drive! pull over at your earliest convenience before you whip out your sketchbook”
Most people think that they save a lot of time and get more done when they multitask. The truth is multitasking reduces productivity and performance. In fact, what people call multitasking is switching because you cannot perform two tasks simultaneously at any one time.
You cannot listen to someone and watch T.V at the same time. When you’re listening, you are fully concentrating on the T.V and when you are focused on the T.V, you are not actively listening to the person talking.
When you switch, nothing gets done effectively. And if you do this for a while, your productivity and performance will greatly suffer. Give every task the attention and concentration it deserves. When arranging your desk, don’t start scrolling your phone. When working on a project, don’t refresh your social media account. When you focus on one thing, you’ll do efficiently and you’ll have enough time to do other things.
Your level of productivity will determine your level of success. And it doesn’t matter how long you work. What matters is what you were working on and your efficiency when performing those tasks. Avoid falling into the trap of wasting time by working on irrelevant tasks.
Your workspace is a huge determinant of your productivity. Before you start working, get to know the most important tasks on your list and organize your workspace to boost your productivity and performance. Follow the tips discussed above to organize your workspace effectively and to improve your performance.
Also, do the best you can to eliminate distractions in your environment. A person who is distracted cannot focus. A person who cannot focus cannot be efficient. And an inefficient person can never be successful.
At the end of the day, your human. If you fail to be as productive as you wanted to, forgive yourself and aim higher. Making mistakes is an essential ingredient for success. Make a lot of mistakes and learn from them. Resolve never to repeat them again. And always do your best every time out. Let’s get to work!
Eugene Eaton is a British blogger who sometimes works for bestessays. He is into stand-up comedy. His favourite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good morning laugh is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated through the harsh day.
Also published on Medium.