Wherever you work, adding value and personal productivity are essential. Here are five easy ways to add even more value and be even more productive than you already are – without adding to your workload or your working hours.
- Carry a notepad around with you, electronic or otherwise, whichever is quicker and easier for you to work with. Use it to jot down good ideas as they occur, note commitments you make to others or others make to you, questions you need to find answers to for yourself or someone else, and list things to follow up and to add to your To Do list when you get back to your desk. No more evaporated good ideas or promises.
- Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to clear and tidy your desk and plan for tomorrow, especially the most important, value-adding task you want to knock off before getting down to mundane matters.
- When you have an important decision to make, gather the information you need. Delegate gathering some of it when you need to. Ruminate on the information and think it through as you fall asleep so it incubates and bubbles away in your brain making new connections, unfettered by your conscious interference; three nights is generally enough for your subconscious to give it a good going over. When it’s time to finalise your decision, focus, listen to your subconscious and reach the best decision you can that takes account of all the stakeholders.
- Stay hydrated to think more clearly (especially important in hot weather). Drink a big glass of water when you wake up and have a water glass and jug on or near your desk to sip on. Aim for 2 litres a day all up.
- Take regular, short refreshing breaks throughout the day. Try to include at least one walk outside in nature if you have a park or tree-lined street nearby to oxygenate your brain and boost your circulation. Take the stairs instead of the lift (yes, that counts as a short break). Look out the window and focus on something distant, preferably something green, like a tree or grass, to give your eyes a break from the screen and reduce the possibility of eye strain, and to relax your brain so it can work better after that mini-break. Park at the far end of the car park so you can plan as you walk to work and review the day as you leave; bonus: you add steps to your daily target of 10,000.
Easy, right? Told you!