Lifestyle Personal Development

How to Set up Your Desk to Increase Productivity at Work

how to be productive at work tips
Written by James Irvine

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There are only twenty four hours in a day, so learning how to manage these hours are critical. Being productive in the workplace is not something unfamiliar, in fact, it is a very popular topic because people are getting more distracted than ever with the increasing of things that require your attention, such as social media and instant messaging.

While it is true that technology has played a great role in helping people to get more done, at the same time, people are getting distracted and their productivity suffers due to the convenience to access so many things at once. It is a double-edged sword and you must learn how to manage yourself and use your time effectively if you want to produce an amazing result in life and at work.

Below are the 10 great ways how you can prepare yourself and increase your productivity at work.

 

  1. Organize your workstation

One of the most fundamental keys to being productive is to have an organized workstation. Your workplace is important because everything you do will be based there. Hence, imagined if your workstation is a mess, it will only create chaos and make you feel stress when you see that there is a huge pile of papers stacking in front of you.

Plenty of studies have shown that a clean and organize workstation is able to improve productivity and allow the individual to better focus on the work at hand. So spend a couple of minutes every day to organize your workplace. Make it easy for you to focus on your work rather than creating a blockage in your head and distract you from what you are doing.

  1. Build a bunker

Next, what you can do is to build a bunker. What this means is that you have to shelter yourself from all possible distractions. The best thing to do is you have your own office room is to lock yourself in the room so that nobody can distract you while you work. You can also put a “Do not disturb” sign in front of your door so that your colleagues can tell you are busy working on something important.

Besides that, switch off the internet connection on your phone or turn it to the airplane mode. Or better yet, keep your phone out of your sight. Every time when your phone is just by your side, you will reach it and check to see if there is any update or anyone buzzes you.

 

  1. Take short breaks

Yes, you have to take breaks. Being productive is not all about working 24/7, it is about maintaining your energy level and willpower at the highest level so that you can perform at your best.

Most people misunderstand and thought that being productive is all about working more, which is really not. So take a short break after 45 minutes or an hour of focused work. You want to recharge yourself and keep your willpower high during the workday.

The Pomodoro technique suggests people work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minutes break. During the 5 minutes break, you can do some simple stretching, drink water, or simply close your eyes to rest. Of course, you can always customize the timeframe according to your own preferences.

 

  1. Stop multitasking

 

If you think that multitasking is the key to getting more done, you are wrong. Science has discovered that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. This is why accidents can happen when you are trying to talk on the phone while driving.

What actually happens in your brain when you multitask is that your brain switches from one task to another. When you talk to someone, you will stop working. And when you work, you will stop talking to someone. Your brain switches the focus from one task to another.

Therefore, stop multitasking, especially when you are working with tasks that require a lot of your creativity. Unless the work does not require much of your attention, such as washing dishes or mopping the floor, multitasking will kill your effectiveness.

 

  1. Keep yourself hydrated

 

Do you know that up to 60% of the human adult body is water and water plays a major role in all living things? In 2013, a study was conducted by the University of East London, and the study discovered that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity.

Yet, many people choose to ignore this simple fact and try to go on an entire day with as less water as possible. When you keep yourself hydrated, you are able to think clearer and maintain your energy level. If your work involves a lot of physical activity, you will need to drink even more water. Experts suggest people drink at least 2 liters or eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

 

  1. Exercise regularly

 

This is another important key to being productive that most people neglect and ignore. A lot of people do not exercise these days, especially those who are living in the city. They spend most of their time working and when they get back home, it is already late night and they are too tired to exercise.

If you are serious about improving your productivity and maintaining your health level, commit to exercising regularly. You do not have to go to the gym if you do not want to. Just commit to some simple workout such as stretching, walk 10,000 steps, yoga, or other forms of exercise will be sufficient.

 

  1. Decorate your workstation

 

You have to spend as much as eight hours a day in your office, why not decorate your workstation by putting something that you enjoy? It can serve as a great reminder to stay happy and have more fun in the office.

For instance, you can put up pictures of your loved ones, art that you enjoy, an inspirational quote, your dreams collage, a green plant, or any other small objects that may spark your creativity.

 

  1. Take a power nap when necessary

For most people, this may not seem like a good option because napping in the office seems like a bad idea. This is far from the truth. In fact, taking a power nap is one of the most effective ways to increase your productivity and to boost your freshness.

A power nap is short and aims to refresh your body and mind. When you take a 10 to 30 minutes nap, you restore your energy and refresh your willpower. Of course, if you take a long nap and go into the deep sleep mode, you may wake up feeling groggy. So keep it short, it is a power nap, not your regular sleep.

 

  1. Create a to-do list

You have probably heard about this a hundred times, but are you doing it? Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group and also a billionaire dedicated a large part of his success to having a to-do list. He always carries a notebook with him everywhere he goes so that he can jot down any idea that comes to him and he also wants to be reminded about his to-do items.

What you need to do is to create your own to-do list. The best time to do it is at night before you sleep. Just write down the things that you need to do the next day in a simple bullet format, and then prioritize them according to their importance.

Everyone knows that planning is important, but most people did not do it because they either underestimate its effectiveness or they do not take their work and goals seriously. It is true that not everything will happen according to your plan, but having a plan is much better than having no plan at all.

 

  1. Focus on the high-impact task

 

You should have heard about the Pareto Rule or the 80/20 Principle. And this is what separates the highly effective individuals from the ordinary. Highly successful people focus on getting the high-impact tasks done the first thing in the morning. They are proactive and they get the important work done first.

On the other hand, ordinary people are reactive and they do whatever that comes to them. Everyone has twenty-four hours a day, and to be productive, you need to spend those hours doing work that truly matters.

Hence, identify the 20% work that will give you 80% result, and then focus all your energy and work on them the first thing when you get to your office. If you choose to work on whatever things that come to you, you will never have enough time to complete all the tasks.

Just like what Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”