As spring brings longer days and the sun warms the face, it is natural to feel refreshed and ready to tackle big projects around the house. However, you can take your newfound energy to the workplace and give your work routine an efficiency upgrade. Too often spring cleaning only happens around the house, but many cubicles, offices, and workspaces needed some TLC as well. If your desk is cluttered and full of distractions, you won’t experience the productivity your boss expects or that you are capable of. Here are a few office hacks to get you organized and primed for productivity when sharing office space.
Stick to a Water Schedule
There is a lot of emphasis on being healthy since reduced sick days equals more productivity. One of the easiest ways to take care of your health at work is with a water schedule. You will find many different recommendations on how much water you should be consuming each day, but the general consensus of fitness gurus and healthcare workers is that you drink about half a gallon. Not only does it help you lose weight and keep you from distracted snacking, increased water consumption improved your focus and cognition. Make time slot labels for your water bottle to keep you on schedule.
Memorize Keyboard Shortcuts
Many employees have forgotten the lists of shortcuts that were introduced in beginning keyboarding or computer classes, but you can find many cheat sheets to print on the internet. You can laminate the sheet and leave it on the desk or hang it on the wall for easy reference. You can have a shortcut for saving files, making a screenshot, moving data, or making a font bigger. Though these are small steps, every keystroke can increase your productivity.
Delay Checking Your Email
Though emails have revolutionized interoffice and business communications, it is also one of the biggest productivity busters in the corporate world. On average, employees spend over two hours a day just reading and answering their emails. This is a lot of lost effort, especially when it takes around 20 minutes to try and regain focus on what you were doing before the email came in. Decide on a specific time where you handle emails or break it up into two sections if more rapid communication is needed. If your department or company has the technology, use instant messaging or pick up the phone and call to get immediate answers.
Block Mobile Notifications
A lot of people have their smartphones laying on the desk during the day, with every phone call, message, or notification pulling their attention away from the task at hand. If possible, you should turn off the notifications for your social media accounts or other apps on the phone. This keeps you from being tempted to pick up the phone and get lost in Facebook or Twitter updates. You can check up your social life at lunch or on a break.
Keep Your Desk and Office Organized
The flow and feel of your desk and office have a significant impact on your productivity. Have designated files or baskets for important paperwork, and have your cabinets or shelves clearly labeled. Keep the things you use most often within the closest reach, such as reference manuals, the phone, and your laptop/printer. This can keep you from having to wander around or scurry to find things that you need when a client calls or your boss needs a copy of that last report.
By improving your productivity, you can reduce a lot of the stress that you take home at the end of the day. You can sleep better at night knowing you got everything you needed to be accomplished. Your boss will also take notice, which can hurt when it comes time for a bonus or raise.