Simple Tricks to be more Productive at Work

Steff Holloway

8 November, 2017

The thought of outperforming in the office excites us. Producing optimum results in a fixed amount of time requires constant focus. Ever expected more net output from your efforts? With simple productivity tricks, you can rock at meeting targets, answering emails, planning for a team discussion or solving problems.

Being productive is all about doing more and worrying less. You need to avoid certain actions and adopt a few things that channelize your energy in the right direction. Consistency plays a crucial role in achieving anything.

Here are Five Tricks that you Need to Apply Consistently to Maximize the Outcome

#1. The two-minute trick

As simple as it may sound, this is a powerful trick to boost up productivity. Numerous daily tasks can be cracked in two minutes. We only delay them because they ‘seem’ tedious and keep floating in our mind. Decide whether a task will take more or less than two minutes to complete. Execute it immediately if it takes less than two. Drinking plenty of water, responding to an email, setting up a reminder, paying bills online or organizing your workspace are some to name. Often, we get overwhelmed due to ‘large’ number of ‘small’ tasks. This thought is just a trick your mind plays on you. It is time to play one on the mind!

Crux: Make a habit of immediately doing the tasks that can be completed in less than two minutes.

#2. Say no no to distractions

Anything that steals our focus is a mortal enemy of productivity. Continually buzzing cellphones or chiming notifications only add up to our loss of concentration. Turning them off will help to maintain it. Keep them away when you are engaged in a complex task, say analyzing a market report. Studies show that regularly inflowing emails add to the stress levels of the employees. They feel obliged to reply ASAP. It is not necessary to do so though. Set aside a definite time for this task as well. Do not lose focus on your current job and compromise its output.

Crux: Avoid cell phones, notification tunes and responding to emails when working.

#3. The ninety-minute interval theory

A burst of an hour-and-a-half of concentrated work should be enough to motivate you for a break. It is true that long hours of continuous work can mentally tire you and hamper the quality of results. Working in ‘bursts’ or series of short time intervals will reverse the scenario. Let’s say you need to analyze a design or compile a report. Break it into smaller tasks and eat each chunk in ninety-minute intervals with focus. Experts say that ability to concentrate declines after an average of ninety minutes. The brain needs to ‘refresh,’ just like a computer does. Walk out of your desk, take a coffee or ‘actually’ hear the joke your colleague has to tell you!

Crux: Work in ninety-minute intervals followed by a rewarding break.

#4. Perfection can weigh you down

Perfection is a quirk in some personalities. A neat and organized outlook about everything would seem like a good idea, only if it were practical. We sometimes get caught up in the details when they are unimportant. Forget them and focus on what is necessary. While perfection has a bright side, it might lead to a waste of time if not required. This tendency to obsess over work details can lead to a feeling of exhaustion. You might think you worked more than usual, but actually, you were just thinking about the color of the product brochure. While it is an excellent motivator for creating masterpieces, perfectionism can lead to procrastination as well. Stay real, stay rational.

Crux: Don’t obsess over unimportant details.

#5. Embrace your ‘Zen-mode.’

We all have a personal ‘mental setting’ where we are super focused and ‘in the zone.’ Our brain seems to be in sync with infinite perspectives, and we can access each one of them. Working in ‘zen’ state is bringing your mind, body & soul in sync to reach a goal. You must identify your ‘zen-mode.’ What triggers it? Classical music, pin-drop silence or maybe a little brainstorming can do this. Creative people wish they could dive into this ‘zone’ at will to solve the puzzles of creativity. Next time, when you surface from your zen-zone, notice the settings around. The noise level, the presence of people, mood, etc. should give you an idea to hyperfocus the next time.

Crux: Stay hyperfocused in a personalized environment.

#6. Avoid mental overload

People are simple. They overthink, they feel too much, and they fail too often. The mind has a load limit over it. Anything more than that will tire it, corrode it or destabilize it. At your workplace, the focus should be on the work in hand. Prioritize the targets and block any unnecessary thoughts and feelings consciously. Thinking about last night’s dinner, obsessing over a casual comment or anticipating today’s football match falls under such ‘mental-noise.’ Stay clear in the head, and all will go well. Overloading the brain with useless trains of thoughts will weaken it.

Crux: Dump negative thoughts and emotions to work efficiently.

Amount of effort we put in is always in our control. Follow the simple workplace productivity tricks and make them a ritual. Happy working. Cheers!