30 Simple tips to optimise your workspace, improve your mood and boost productivity
At the end of your day, do you think you could’ve done a lot more? Do you want to become more productive but don’t know where to start? Or you simply want to get more done in less time? Well, you’ve landed in the right place. Here are quick tips to optimize your workspace, improve your mood at work and boost your productivity:
Optimize your workspace
- Bring in positivity with some plants: The green color of the plants sparks inventiveness and is associated with positive healing energy. Add desk plants, low-light plants, air filtering plants, flower plants or hanging plants around your desk to feel the difference yourself.
- Declutter your desk: Having a disorganized desk adds to your stress and anxiety. Keep a “maintenance day” available on your schedule every month to declutter your desk and organize important documents.
- Identify opportunities for automation: A lot of tasks on our list are repetitive and must be completed on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Try to find opportunities to automate these manual tasks. For example, if you spend a lot of time sending back-and-forth emails to the admin team to book a conference room, automate it by suggesting to them a meeting room booking tool which can automate the booking process for you and the office.
- Change the scenery: You often spend a lot of time at your desk staring at a white computer screen. However, the same mundane things can sometimes hamper your creativity. If you feel distracted and unable to focus on your work, try changing your scenery. For example, choose a different room to complete your work. A simple thing like changing your scenery can help you feel energized.
Boost your productivity
- Create checklists: While creating long checklists may sound boring and uninteresting, it’s proven to improve efficiency and productivity. Checklists help you stay more organized. By creating checklists you’re eliminating and stress of accomplishing a list of tasks in a short time.
- Prioritize the items on your checklist: Creating a checklist isn’t enough to get work done. You may have a big checklist and simply ticking off a few tasks doesn’t mean you’re having a productive day. You need to prioritize your checklist by also plotting the business impact of the tasks on your checklist.
- Use the Eisenhower Matrix: A quick and easy way to prioritize your checklist is to use the Eisenhower matrix. The Eisenhower is a productivity tool which allows you to plot tasks on urgency vs importance scale. Focus on important and urgent tasks first, and move your way through the other quadrants trying to eliminate the not urgent, not important tasks on your list and delegating urgent yet non-important tasks to other team members.
- Don’t multitask: Sending SMS emails during meetings, writing up a brief while attending a call on the phone, answering the phone while greeting visitors and many more. We have all done it and in today’s world, it seems a luxury to be able to focus on a single task. Well, opposed to the common belief multitasking is counterproductive and actually slows you down. A better way to get more done is to prioritize and pick up tasks one-by-one.
- Use a calendar to manage your schedule: Manage your meetings, appointments and schedule easily with the free appointment scheduling calendar like SuperSaaS. Save a lot of time in back and forth emails with automated reminder and follow up messages. In addition, the free tool allows you to sync your personal calendar with your schedule so you never end up with double bookings. Reduce your admin work and save a lot of time by claiming your free calendar schedule with SuperSaaS.
- Remember to keep meeting free days on your schedule: Often, a majority of time is spent on managing meetings and preparing for these meetings. Adopt a meeting schedule tool like SuperSaaS to manage your meetings schedule. Never worry about forgetting a meeting with automated reminder messages. And remember, you need at least one day every week to complete your tasks. Reserve a day on your schedule where you do not take up any meeting.
- Add buffer time between meetings: Rushing from one meeting to another can be mentally exhausting. Deliberately add at least 10 minutes of buffer time between your meetings so you can collect your thoughts. We recommend using meeting scheduling tools that automatically allow you to add buffer time between meetings.
- Start small: Often, we know everything we want to change about ourselves to become more productive but we’re unsure where to start. A good strategy that works 100% of the time is to start small. For example, if you think you’re sitting long hours at your desk, then use your phone to set an alarm and remind you to take a break after every hour or so. Taking a small step each time can help you inculcate good habits sooner.
- Zero inbox policy: One of the very popular email management strategies for professionals is the zero inbox policy. With so many emails in your inbox every day, it’s hard to stay productive. Your time is precious and a lot of unnecessary emails in your inbox can create stress and anxiety. Create folders in your mailbox and file those emails. Only manage the urgent and important emails in your inbox and come back to the remaining emails one by one, spending 10 minutes every hour.
- Create simple templates & learn keyboard shortcuts: Automate your repetitive tasks by creating email templates and learning keyboard shortcuts for most frequently used actions on your computer.
- Download a password manager: In today’s business landscape, you often have to manage multiple systems and work with different software, and cybersecurity is an important concern for every organization. A great way to eliminate security risks and reduce the burden of remembering too many passwords is to use a simple password manager like One Password.
Improve your mood
- Take a break often to do physical activity: Physical activity boosts your health and acts as a natural stress buster. Take a break often and perform a physical activity like a small walk around your office, filling up your water bottle, grabbing a cup of coffee or just stretching up to straighten your back. A simple physical activity boosts your energy level so you get more done.
- Smile, Smile, Smile!: Studies have proven that smiling often can increase confidence by as much as 10 percent. Deliberately instill the habit of smiling often at work. Smiling not only uplifts your mood, but also the mood of others around you hence, bringing positivity to work.
- Stay hydrated: Most people don’t often think about drinking water during their workday since they have a lot many important tasks on their mind. Proper hydration reduces fatigue and boosts your metabolism. Dehydration may be unknowingly slowing you down and making you feel exhausted. Keep a big water bottle on your table and download free apps like Plant Nanny, My Water Balance, etc. which make it fun to track your hydration levels.
- Meditate 10 minutes every day: We’re often so busy with work that we’re left with little time for ourselves. Inculcate a habit of meditating 10 minutes every day. Meditation not only relieves stress but also helps in maintaining a healthy immune system, builds resiliency and increases your attention span hence resulting in better productivity.
- Learn to say No: You’re buried in a lot of work and your colleague invites you to join another project he’s starting out. You’ll surely love to do it and reluctantly say YES knowing that an additional project can end up exhausting you more. Sometimes saying out a simple NO can save you a lot of stress at work. Learn to say NO and prioritize what is important for your role.
- Eliminate social media from work life: Nowadays, social media is so prevalent that it’s impossible to stay away from your phone. When you’re trying to work, social media can be a major distraction hampering your productivity. Quick ways to eliminate or reduce social media from your life include turning off notifications, monitoring time you spend on each app and installing free apps which help you stay away from social media.
- Sleep well: Poor sleeping patterns negatively hamper your productivity. When you don’t rest well enough, your mind feels tired and your effective output reduces greatly. Ensure proper sleep especially during weekdays so your mind and eyes have enough time to rest.
- Find your most productive hours: Some of you are night owls like me while some are early risers who experience high efficiency in the early hours of the day. However, office hours do not adjust to individual productivity hours. Observe your work habits and find out your most productive hours. Once you know, it’s advisable to schedule your high priority work during those productive hours unless it’s an urgent task.
- Kill your darlings: It’s easier said than done, right? We all have some tasks on our list which we would absolutely love to finish irrespective of the business impact, simply because we’re attached to the task or the initiative. This is a common problem among many professionals. Identify which tasks are taking a lot of your time but don’t have an equal output or business impact and kill the darling.
- Productive procrastination: We all experience days when we’re just not in the mood to work. Doesn’t mean we should waste these days just strolling around the office. A great way is to turn these days of procrastination to productive procrastination days. Wondering how? Well, the first step is to create a good list of things you want to learn or want to read about. Every time you feel like procrastinating, pick up one of those topics or tasks and start learning them.
- Listen actively: Listening is one of the most important professional skills, yet only a few of us have mastered it. Active listening can increase your productivity and increase your influence at work. Make a conscious effort to listen to the other person’s message and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by your work or your surroundings.
- Review your past week: Start a weekly self-assessment at work which allows you to reflect back on your week to find out what worked and what didn’t. One of the easiest yet most neglected ways of increasing productivity is through self-reflection. When you positively reflect on your work patterns, it becomes easier to identify the gaps and take corrective action in time.
- Find a mentor: It’s good to have an external view of your work skills. Find a mentor who is willing to help you perform better. A mentor can not only help you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses but also help you in identifying negative work patterns that you may have overlooked in your daily life.
- Eat breakfast: Eating the right meal in the morning comes with great benefits. One of the greatest benefits is increasing your productivity at work. When you’re sufficiently full in the morning, you have better concentration levels and more energy to start your day.
We hope you have a better and more productive day after implementing some of these tips at your workplace. If you have any tips that worked for you, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
About the author:
A passionate marketer and a social butterfly, Sneha Mittal works as the marketing and customer service manager for SuperSaaS appointment booking tool. Sneha has expertise in the field of marketing, time management, and small business development. Sneha is a food and travel blogger at Mr & Mrs Sachdeva and you can reach out to her via LinkedIn and Twitter.