We have been at home for almost three months now and working in this new environment is slowly starting to seem like the norm. Despite this, you may not feel that every day is as productive as you would like. With far more distractions and a need to create an even work-life balance, procrastination can be far more common than within our usual places of work and study.
Last month, we were joined by productivity expert Zena Everett as part of the BGP Response Programme webinar series. Zena provided our participants with a number of useful tips to help them to work smarter.
Although you may have some extremely positive and productive days, on other days it may feel like your brain is working against you. Try implementing the following strategies into your working life and see how many more of your days can be productive:
Work in intense periods of time
If you have a task that you really need to focus on, try working on it in a 45-minute burst without distractions. The best way to do this is by blocking out periods of time in your diary so that you remain accountable and won’t start looking at other tasks. Ensure that you work for 45 minutes by setting a prompt or an alarm to go off when the time is up.
Go for the antelopes
It is easy to get bogged down by small tasks, emails, meetings etc. (field mice), but it is important that you also add significant value in your role by completing impactful work too (antelopes).
Zena uses this metaphor to suggest that in our work/study, we should act like African lions; don’t waste time and energy on furry critters, go for the antelopes instead!
Zena suggests going for one or two antelopes a day and suggests that we should all be blocking time in order to do so.
Create deadlines and check-in points
Give your day direction by creating deadlines and check-in points. By doing this, you are giving yourself something to work towards and will be accountable for your day.
Do different jobs in different parts of your house (if possible)
The monotony of working in the same place, in the same room may be driving you to distraction. Try finding different places for different types of work, for example, find somewhere where you read and somewhere else to take calls.
Contrary to popular belief, your best ideas do not necessarily develop when you are sat in front of a screen!
Remove your phone from the room
Possibly the most daunting piece of advice for us individuals used to living in a hyper-connected world in which we are attached to our mobile devices.
Did you know that just having your phone next to you may affect your ability to concentrate? When doing deep thinking, try leaving your phone in another room.
If you’re struggling to concentrate and feeling overwhelmed by everything that is happening around you, it may be worth asking yourself if you could afford to lose one of your screens.
To find out more about how you can be the most productive version of yourself, you can watch our webinar with Zena Everett here.
If you are interested in receiving further business support throughout these unprecedented times, please visit the BGP Response Hub and register for our upcoming events.