photo by: bizior photography
Increasing Productivity: The Approach
A couple weeks back we talked about how to create compelling content that just begs to get natural backlinks and sharing. But, you can’t write compelling content unless you are motivated, productive and passionate about what you are doing. No matter what industry you are in or what level you are at in your career, be it a consultant, manager or business owner; finding ways to increase productivity is essential to doing more work and better work with the same amount of time. In my opinion, business owners and those who work strictly at home and/or on the internet are especially concerned with productivity. Self accountability requires increased dedication and discipline; something that doesn’t come natural for the large majority of people. There are ways however to increase productivity just by taking a moment to reflect on your surroundings and typical day in the office or home office.
Number One: Stop Over Analysis
The first issue I want to touch on relates more so to business owners and online entrepreneurs but it does also have its implications for others. Watching a business grow and seeing sales or inquiries come in is very exciting and of course rewarding. It can also be a slippery slope however if you get more concerned with checking the various data sets versus actually doing work. How much time do you spend checking how many visits your website got, how many new sales you had in the last hour, or any other stat that does not need to be checked more than a couple times a week? It’s thrilling, I get it, but it’s also a big time waster. Even if you spent on average one hour a day checking stats like these, that accounts to five hours in just one work week, or an extra twenty hours over the course of a month. This doesn’t include the time it takes to check and respond to emails, take time to eat or use the restroom, or the occasional browsing of the internet, or even the habit of getting lost in one of your social networks. The bottom line is you need to refrain from these common habits because they are big productivity killers.
Number Two: Infuse Bright Bold Colors into Your Workspace
Did you know that colors can affect your mood? When it’s gloomy out you probably don’t feel like doing much of anything except napping. When the sun is behind the clouds for the majority of the day or it’s been rainy and damp, I can barely stop yawning or feeling tired long enough for twenty minutes to pass let alone get through the whole day with bouts of energy. There is a way to trick your body and mind into being energetic on these days but you might also have to keep yourself from looking out the window. Make sure your workspace has lots of lighting and is packed with bright and bold colors. If you are a business owner or work from home, you can paint your office space whatever color you want, but if you are an employee you may have to get creative.
Bright neon orange, yellow, blue, and green are all vibrant colors which can elevate your mood and energy levels. When your mood and energy levels are elevated, this often yields higher productivity and less foggy brain activity. I once walked into a cafeteria at a local business and was shocked at how happy and energetic I felt because of the bold color choices of neon orange and blue on the walls. The only part of the area that was white was the ceiling and the flooring, so I didn’t feel lost and foggy in a washed out space. I felt upbeat, ready for the next challenge and my creativeness and thoughts just started flowing as I enjoyed some lunch.
Number Three: Take Breaks and Get Active
The next productivity booster might seem counterproductive; however it is a proven method. Most jobs require us to sit for extended periods of time, causing us to become lethargic. If you can get to a point during your task where there is room for a break, take it. Just three to five minutes to stand up, stretch and take a quick walk to get the blood flowing again is all you often need to recharge yourself and come back with a fresh mindset. There’s a method that plays off of this approach which also includes task prioritization and has received lots of praise. The approach is known as the Pomodoro Technique. Aside from work benefits there are also a ton of health benefits to taking active breaks. There are countless studies that you can read on the dangers of sitting for too long each day at our jobs. Just make sure you don’t get sidetracked on the way back to your desk.
You’ll be Amazed at What You Can Accomplish
I understand that every method may not work for each and every person, but being productive and motivated is all about being challenged, having discipline and responsibility, and a desire to attain greatness. Sometimes these attributes need a little stimulation in order to harness their true power. I have personally exercised each of the three techniques above after doing much research and testing and can attest to their effectiveness. It is amazing what you can do with the right characteristics, mindset and time. We often spend more time complaining about having to do something whether it is voiced vocally or tossed around in our heads, versus the amount of time it would take to execute the task. Implement ways like these to increase your productivity and you will also find that your motivation and discipline levels will also increase in unison.