10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity for a More Effective Work Day
By Kelly Heitz
There are only so many hours in a day, so making the most out of them is critical. If you want to get more done, or get more out of your team, the answer isn’t to increase the number of hours you work. You don’t need to work longer to be more productive, you just need to work smarter.
Increasing your productivity, as well as your team’s, takes a deliberate effort. Adding one, two, or all of these tips to the daily grind will aid in increasing your productivity and allow you to get the job done with ease.
1. RENEW YOUR PASSION TO FIND YOUR WHY.
It may sound simple, but taking a moment to figure out why it is you do what you do will help you work towards the right goals. You’ll know what you’re doing and why, which will help you focus on the tasks that will get you closer to your goals.
Jessica Desjardins, regional coach and general manager for European Wax Centers in Northern Illinois and Chicago makes it a point to write down her goals every day. “Productivity often ebbs and flows and that is necessary! The times when we can step back, look, and review our day allows us to see areas of improvement, accomplishments, and ask the why. ‘Why is it important that I do this and how can it better the experience for my guest?’”
2. CREATE A GOAL SHEET OR VISION BOARD.
A constant reminder of that “why” will help you get on track. Desjardins also recommends creating a vision board or individual goal sheets for your employees. A vision board hanging in your office or the team’s breakroom will act as a constant motivator. When you can see where you’re headed, you are more apt to do the work that will get you there.
3. GET YOUR SLEEP.
Our Ask the Expert feature this month, Arianna Huffington (page 64), has written a book and created a website centered around the science that more sleep is directly correlated with higher productivity levels. Heed her advice. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If that’s not possible, schedule naptime into your day. Kindergarteners aren’t the only ones who should be so lucky.
4. DRINK WATER.
Keeping your body hydrated helps all your systems function more effectively. If your body is more productive, your brain will be more productive. “Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to eliminate toxins, boost immunity and increase energy,” says Alessandra Newsom, spa director at The Spa at Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Carry a refillable water bottle everywhere you go, you’ll notice how easy it will be to get in your recommended dose.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY OUTSIDE OF WORK.
Daily exercise and healthy food will work wonders in aiding your productivity. Regular exercise gives you endorphins that give off a better boost than anything you’ll find at Starbucks, and a healthy diet supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Newsom adds that “Exercise increases energy, relieves fatigue and improves brain function while eating healthy and following a nutritious diet provides the energy necessary to have a productive day.”
6. PREP FOR YOUR DAY.
It’s essential to take time at the end of the day to prep for the next. You’ll start tomorrow with clear goals that you’ll be able to jump head-first into as soon as your feet hit the floor. “I always prep for the next day the night before by creating a to-do list of outstanding items and ranking them according to level of importance,” notes Desjardins. This helps her stay on track and get the big things accomplished early.
7. STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE.
“Schedule, schedule, schedule,” says Robin McGee, president of Osmosis Skincare. “I am a huge believer in time management and keeping an active pace when possible.” When you plan your days ahead of time, you’ll already have the allotted time frame to get everything done. Meetings, events, calls, etc. should all go on your calendar as soon as they’re planned. Desjardins even recommends allotting specific times in your day for being creative and engaging with guests or employees. By carving out time in your day to tend to the people away from your desk, you allow yourself to truly focus when you need to.
8. TAKE BREAKS.
Don’t be afraid to take a break every once and a while (even if it isn’t on your schedule). Taking a walk around the block, a quick guided mediation at your desk, or even a coffee run can seriously aid in your productivity efforts. Says Desjardins, “For me to stay engaged I must take a break throughout the day. It allows me to recharge my brain and then refocus on what needs to get done.”
9. STRESS-RELIEVING QUICKIES.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, your productivity level will plummet. Use your break to engage in a mindful, stress-relieving activity that will leave you completely recharged. “I encourage all our team members to engage in stress relieving quickies to keep the mind free of anxiety and the energy flowing positively,” says Desjardins. “We post tips and tricks for overcoming stressors or anxiety and share techniques amongst the team. We also engage in energy clearing moments like saging and aromatherapy to keep balance.”
10.TRUST YOUR INTUITION.
Your intuition is almost never wrong, and if you learn to rely on it more, you’ll free up your mind for the more important tasks. “Often your intuition can guide you on what needs to get done or happen,” says McGee. “The closer we follow our intuition, the fewer errors we make. Often when we’re moving fast intuition falls short so finding the balance of pace and thought is critical.”
ROBIN McGEE, President, Osmosis Skincare, EVERGREEN, COLORADO
JESSICA DESJARDINS, Regional Coach N. Illinois, General Manager-Chicago European Wax Center, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
ALESSANDRA NEWSOM, Spa Director, The Spa at Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA