We would all love to arrive at the office each day ready to hit the ground running, sail through our workload, leave on time and then not give work a second thought until the following morning.
However, this is a very rare day in most of our lives, with unexpected pressures hitting us at all angles. But what if we wanted to reset our office work life, with a new outlook and attitude that will make the office a more pleasant place to be…where would we start? Here are some tips to help you on your way to a more productive and less stressful day at the office.
- As hard as it can be to get up in the mornings, try to get to the office 15 minutes early. Grab yourself a coffee and settle down at your desk before the hustle and bustle of all the late arrivers. Write a list of all the things you need to achieve that day, putting the 3 most important items at the top. You can do this daily or at the beginning of the week. Just be sure not to keep adding to your list throughout the week before taking time to complete jobs to cross off. Otherwise you will become increasingly stressed at the amount of tasks pending.
- Give every task a time frame and accept that you may not finish in that time. Swap between repetitive, boring jobs and ones that are more engaging, in order to keep your attention fresh and focused. Spending hours on one tedious task will tire you and make you increasingly irritable.
- Try to focus on one thing at a time. This can be hard when people are constantly giving you more work and the phone is always ringing, but if you turn your attention to too many things at once, your productivity will decline. Your work will gradually become sloppy and you may start to make mistakes.
- Take a break! In our school days, breaks were planned into the day so that we could recharge and refocus. As adults we can’t justify taking 20 minutes here and there, but we can plan in a couple of minutes in the morning and afternoon, to step away, breath and reboot. If you find it hard to focus throughout the day, ask if you are able to split your lunch break into 4 blocks of 15 minutes. This would allow you to properly focus your mind, ready for the rest of the day.
- At the start of your new productivity routine, take some time to make sure your desk is ergonomically positioned and that you will remain comfortable as the day goes on. A 3m Precise Mouse Pad with Gel Wrist Rest and a Keyboard Wrist Support Pillow will ensure that your days at the computer are free from repetitive strain injuries. An adjustable chair which has been designed to protect your back and posture is also a must. Try the Orangebox Joy Chair on for size!
- Leave your desk for your lunch break. It's always tempting to sit at your desk to eat, but you will just end up working as the phone continues to ring and people approach you with questions. Even if you do not take your full hour, take it somewhere away from your desk so that you can clear your mind, ready for the afternoon.
- Organise your inbox into easy to navigate folders, so that you know exactly where everything is. File things away straight away so that you won’t waste time later on when you need to find something quickly. Allocate yourself 10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day, so that you can make sure everything urgent has been responded to and to delete anything that is irrelevant. Tidy your inbox, tidy your mind!
- Are you in a position where you can delegate? If so then do it! Try to keep your inner control freak quiet and give some of your work to other people, it will free you up to cross other things off your list. Take the time to hand it over properly though, otherwise you will find yourself correcting things later.
- Start a Tidy Friday routine! At 4pm on a Friday start to clean up your desk area. Collect any used mugs and plates that you’ve been storing throughout the week and wash them up, ready for the following week. Take any boxes or waste paper to the recycling bin, file away anything that has been finished with, put stationery back in the drawer and organise your desk into a serene, clear work-space that will start you off in the best mood on Monday morning. A 2-in-1 Height Adjustable Monitor Riser & Tablet Stand with Storage Drawer will give you more space and help you to find things quickly without the need to look through desk drawers.
- It may sound obvious, but stay hydrated! Try to drink more water than coffee, making sure your glass is always full. This will prevent tiredness from setting in, keeping you alert and helping to keep those office sicknesses away.
If you can organise your day to increase productivity, you will always go home satisfied. You will reduce the worry and stress that you take away from the office, improving the quality of your free time in the long run.
Try to end each day optimistically, in the knowledge that you have worked to the best of your capabilities and have already prepared your work-list for the following day. We can’t always reduce our workloads, but we can make it more bearable!