Summertime has hit, with temperatures reaching in to the high 20s and early 30s degrees Centigrade. Workers up and down the country are sweating and sneezing their way through the day and night which is effecting their concentration and well being. Those with air con on are dreaming of heading to the beach to savour cool breezes as soon as possible. With worker numbers reduced due to those who have cleverly booked holidays around this time of year there’s also more pressure on those remaining to cope with the doubled-up workloads.
For those workers who are close to scaling the walls in desperation or mopping sweat-soaked brows here are a few fundamental productivity tips that will keep you focused, and motivated, in the ongoing heat:-
1. Break down a project
Sometimes projects seem overwhelming, they are so big that even with project management they need to be chunked to small bits to be manageable for one or two people, let alone a large group. It’s a good strategy to carefully think about separate steps within each project. It’s a method which breeds good thinking around time management, deadlines, and, it also takes the pressure off. A popular productivity technique – the Pomodoro method – is to set a time limit of 20 to 30 minutes. Work within this time barrier until one task is fully completed. At the end of it, it’s good to motivate and reward yourself with e.g. a cup of coffee, quick stretch of legs, pleasant chat, energy boosting biscuit and a hydrating glass of water.
2. Take regular breaks
It’s hard to stay fresh and focused without some time for personal reflection and simply taking a breather. Legally if you work more than six hours a day, you as an adult worker have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during the working day (this could be a tea or lunch break). For those working on computers it’s a good idea to move the eyes away from the screen regularly and build in some exercise built into the sedentary work lifestyle, or even escape the throng of the onsite crew.
3. Make the technology responsive
The day your smart devices decide to slow down, break up with you, or else just freeze is the day it’s probably going to be a slow and frustrating work day. Avoid the hassle by ensuring that your company or remote tech support is at hand so they can bring you back to warp speed in seconds rather than hours. These days work can be conducted on the fly whether at home, at a hub, or at the people’s premises, so it’s advisable to have the devices properly wired up for mobile and social media for any eventuality.
4. Eliminate distractions
That colleague who keeps talking about the sports results; the friend who comes over for a chat for just two minutes which turns into ten; the meeting which drags on for 45 minutes instead of the allotted 30; the constant checking on social media for news updates – they are all a drain on productivity. To keep going through the day think whether you’re really needed at that meetings, and stand up when colleagues approach so you can maintain the power on the conversation. If necessary discreetly put in some ear buds so you can cut your colleague’s conversation in a polite yet respectful manner. Drowning out distractions will keep work being done? This high-level approach will keep colleagues in awe, and bosses thinking of you for that promotion.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Dennis Hamilton