Four tips to boost your productivity

Need to achieve more in your work day? Read four tips to boost your productivity.

What business or freelancer doesn’t want to uncover the secret of boosting productivity? Of significantly increasing output in the same amount of time, with the same available resources?

One study recently found that people believe pay rises have the greatest effect on productivity levels. But what if upping salaries isn’t possible, or you work for yourself? How else can you encourage greater productivity?

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Four tips to boost your productivity

Lilli Hender from Office Genie suggests four ways you can make the most of your working day.

1) Take a trip to the app store

Apps designed specifically to aid productivity are a good place to start, and there are lots of them. To restore order to your life, Evernote can prove very useful with its satisfying tick boxes for to-do lists, its ability to upload a range of files and sync between the online and offline app, and its cross-device usability.

Other great time-management apps are Google Calendar and Trello. A shared, multi-device calendar is always helpful and Trello is designed to ease projects through extensive planning. Pinterest can also help will this, particularly if mood boards come in useful in your line of work. It isn’t all about pictures however – articles and videos can be pinned too!

If social media is something you struggle to stay on top of, Hootsuite can prove a good option. It allows the scheduling of posts on your accounts (up to three for no cost) thus saving you the hassle of posting on social media outside office hours.

2) Breathe!

Whether it’s in the house or the office, stagnant air isn’t good for brain function and this isn’t what you need when you’re trying to power up your productivity. Higher quality air with lower CO2 levels has been found to double cognitive scores in comparison to ‘conventional’ office air.

This isn’t to say you should aim to work from the clearing in the nearest forest, it’s simply advisable to take an interest in your oxygen levels. One way to do this is to add plants to your place of work: peace lilys and dracaena thrive in an office environment and help clear air pollutants.

Taking a walk on your lunch break or grabbing five minutes outside are a good way to get some fresh air. A break from the office can also help you approach difficult tasks with new enthusiasm and perspective when you return. At the very least, open a window!

3) Let technology do the talking

Working online is an integral part of many jobs, so if you have a slow broadband connection, it’s going to impact your productivity. The same goes for an outdated computer or laptop. Investing in technology cuts down the time and energy you’d waste trying to fix it but that doesn’t mean you have to spend money to speed up devices.

If you’re working from home (which in itself can boost productivity) technology that aids collaboration can come in handy. Conference-call devices and even Skype and Google Hangouts can prove useful for keeping up with group projects. They say two heads are better than one and if you can contact the other head quickly and efficiently, that’s a bonus.

Listening to music has been shown to improve your mood and resourcefulness so noise-cancelling headphones can be another worthwhile piece of kit. They will help drown out distracting noises and shouldn’t disturb anyone else in the process.

4) Make yourself more comfortable

It’s important to feel comfortable in your place of work, both emotionally and physically. The better your all-round wellbeing, the better you tend to perform. If you take care of yourself and look to improve various aspects of your health (such as your sleep, nutrition, and stress levels) you could see improvements in your work too.

It might not be the case for everyone, but both studies and colour psychologists have found people respond well to the colours blue, yellow, green, and red. Adding a splash of colour to the walls or simply your desk could help you feel happy in your workplace and possibly result in enhanced performance so it’s worth a shot.

Ergonomic equipment is a must for anyone who works on the computer or at a desk for nine hours a day. Over time this takes its toll and to stay on top form, you need to take the possible negative effects seriously. Items such as a wrist rest, lumbar-supporting chair, and vertical mouse can make a difference not only to your long-term health but every-day working.

See what works for you

Productivity can take some time to perfect, but trying different methods is a great place to start. The next time you’re struggling, grab some fresh air and have a think about which of these appeal to you, then give one a go – you might have your most productive day yet!

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Lilli Hender writes for the desk and office space search engine Office Genie.