There are so many things we can optimize to become as productive as humanly possible – to-do lists, eating habits, sleep patterns, break times. And now, we have access to even more tools to help us get even more done. Here is a list of 8 productivity tools and gadgets that boost productivity at work and at home.
How do you take breaks, if you take them at all? Do you grab a quick coffee on the go? Chat with your coworkers? And most importantly, do you feel relaxed and recharged after?
In North America, it’s easy to feel overworked and like there isn’t enough time to relax in the day. And you’re not alone – reports agree that Americans work longer hours and don’t take enough breaks.
While the average North American workday is long, work culture, productivity, and break taking is vastly different around the world. Here are some interesting workplace habits that are common in other countries. They may be different, but they all share one common concept: breaks are a necessity for productivity.
Writing to-do lists is a helpful way to remind yourself of everything you have to do that day, from tasks at work, to picking up groceries on the way home. But their effectiveness depends on how you write them.
There’s no use in writing a to-do list if you don’t actually check off any of the items you need to get done. It’s easy to overestimate what you can accomplish and to write down every little errand and thing you should do, instead of focusing on priorities.
It’s tempting to put off the unpleasant things you don’t want to do. We’re naturally predisposed to do things that make us happy, so if a task is causing discomfort, we’ll find ways to procrastinate and put it off.
Procrastination may be a natural instinct, but it’s also a huge workplace productivity killer. You’re not being efficient if you’re pulling all-nighters or doing busy work to avoid the big stuff. This blog post covers why we’re so prone to doing it anyway, and how to stop procrastinating.
Mark Twain once said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you know that the rest of your day will be better because the worst is behind you. After all, you’ve already eaten a live frog, what’s the worst that could happen?
Author Brian Tracy applies this same theory to productivity and business. But of course instead of “eat a frog,” he means “complete your worst task.” This can be an assignment you’re dreading, a major project with a tight deadline, or a high-priority task that’s giving you anxiety. Whatever it is, do that one thing right away.
Team building activities are often met with a groan. Nobody wants to spend time playing awkward games with coworkers. But team building doesn’t have to be boring. The right team building exercises can help your employees bond, which in turn boosts engagement and productivity.
Companies with engaged employees are more productive, as discovered by Gallup’s State of the American Workplace survey. Companies in the top 25% of Gallup’s Q12 Client Database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, and less turnover and absenteeism than companies in the bottom 25%. In fact, engagement is more important to workplace satisfaction than company policies and perks.
It’s clear that engaged employees are productive employees, but how do you increase engagement at the workplace? When 70% of the American workforce reports feeling “not engaged” or “actively disengaged,” this seems like a tall order.
Productivity is generally talked about using cold, unfeeling data, but it might help to get a little mushy now and then.
Emotional intelligence, or EI, is a concept that thought leaders and hiring managers love to talk about. But does it have a place in the discourse of productivity-minded leaders? It’s not that some managers don’t care about their employees’ feelings; they would just prefer to focus on aspects of the work environment that can be easily controlled.
We’ve been able to cover some cool topics this year as they relate to productivity at work, home, and everywhere in between. Take a look at what our readers loved best – these were our top 5 most popular blog posts of 2015.
Taking regular breaks is necessary to restore your focus and energy, and as one of our earlier studies concluded, the ideal schedule is to work for 52 minutes and break for 17. But sometimes, you just need a couple of minutes to reset and take your mind off a difficult task. In fact, taking a micro break (between 30 seconds to 5 minutes) can improve mental acuity by 13%.
Telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular for new generations of workers who desire freedom to work where and how they want. The ability to work from home has given employees around the world greater satisfaction with their jobs, enabling them to become more productive in the process.
So how in the world has “working at home” come to mean wearing sweatpants all day, binge-watching Netflix, and doing laundry all while on the clock?
While a small minority take advantage of the privilege to work at home like stereotypes would have you believe, productivity problems usually stem from an inability to manage time and limit distractions. Telecommuters who can’t establish structure in their routine can often find themselves lacking in productivity.