I got this article from Call Center Feast newsletter. By the way, The Feast Call Center is held at The New Horizon Hotel at 7 30 am every Saturday. You are invited to come, join us and be blessed! 🙂 I want to share this article with you so that we can all be more productive at work.
Wondering why you can barely find time to eat your lunch while your co-workers are enjoying their breaks? Or, thinking you’ve got a bigger workload or that you’re a harder worker? Think again. It may be that they have already mastered certain time-saving skills and habits that you haven’t – until now. Read on to discover the nine workplace habits that will boost your productivity and lower your stress levels.
1. Take a break.
Yes, you read it right. Contrary to the usual practive of skippping meals just to finish some tasks, taking a break can actually boost your productivity. Taking breaks is like hitting the reset button. It helps you empty out your brain cache so you have room to refill it, says Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in our 24/7 World. First and foremost, she recommends taking lunch everyday and leaving your desk to do it. “When you have a working lunch, it’s just not very efficient. At some point you;re going to lose attention. It’s really important to take time off because otherwise your brain will reach a saturation point. When this happens, it becomes hard to focus on even the simplest task. At that point, you need to push away from your computer and take a break.
2. Start the day right
Study shows that if an employee is in a bad mood when they arrive at work, whether because of familial problems or a stressful commute, it can decrease their productivity by as much as 10% that day. So unless you come to the office everday in a great mood, start your day with 5 to 10 minutes of time dedicated to decompressing. Create a ritual. Maybe it’s meeting in the coffee break room or going around the office to greet everyone.
According to MSNBC, researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK found that professionals who spent 30-60 minutes on their lunch break working out experienced an overall performance boost of about 15%. Workers reported better time management skills, an increased abitlity to meet deadlines, and felt more satisfied witht their day.
4. Choose the right food.
You are what you eat, and eating a heavy mid-day meal will often make you feel sleepy for the rest of the afternoon. Try a salad or something a bit lighter so you won’t lag. The key is keeping your sugar levels steady throughout the day according to Kari Kooi, RD, corporate wellness dietician at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, who recommends three light meals and 2 snacks at regular intervals. Heavy meals can make you feel sluggish because they require more energy to digest. A quality lunch will consist of a fiber-rich carbohydrate, like water-rich veggies, and a lean, protein, like chicken or fish. When you hit midday slump, Kooi suggests going for proteins like mixed nuts and fruit instead of the usual energy-zapping pretzels, cookies, or candy, which cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then drop and may even make you hungrier.
5. Get More Sleep
We all know that sleep is important. Getting enough gives us energy, memory and mental clarity. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to weight gain, depression, and even cancer and heart problems.
6. Keep a flexible to-do list
Making a daily list of to-dos is a great way to stay on top of your work. However, there is one pitfall, it can make you inflexible. A lot of people feel their day’s been wrecked if they have to change their plan, but the most effective people understand that that’s part of the job. Start your day with a plan and continually update through the course of the day to note the items that haven’t been done or to add tasks as they crop up.
7. Say NO
It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed at work. But one of the secrets of highly productive people is that they learn when and how to say no. For starters, say no to whiners, complainers, and distracting people. One way to do that is by wearing headphones. It sends the message that you’re busy and it drowns out the noise as well. When it comes to saying no to the boss, do it with tact, but firmly. Ask him to prioritize what’s most important given what’s on your plate. It’s your responsibility to tell your manager when you’re overloaded. If you continue to accept new tasks, management may assume you have the time to complete them. Don’te be shy about asking your boss to prioritize your workload and help you offload tasks that can be completed more efficiently by someone else.
8. Balance your workload
Different tasks require different level s of concentration, which you can use to your advantage. Prioritization is key. Start by identifying the tasks at hand into 2 categories: weeds and intensive work. Weeds are small, manageable things such as handling email, phone calls, and minor organizational tasks. Intensive work is anything that requires an extended period of concentration, such as management tasks, preparing presentations, writing, or editing. Miscellaneous routine tasks are like weeds in your garden; we all have them, and no matter how often we try to get rid of them, they never go away. Yet they have to be handled, and pulling a few weeds can provide a restorative break from more intensive work.
9. Put Perfectionism in its place
While turning in perfect work has been encouraged since kindergarten, that attitude can be counterproductive if it’s not managed. It’s important to pick your battles. Women by nature, are somewhat perfectionist. So we need to distinguish what requires perfectionism. Of course, you want to put your best foot forward in all situations, but if you’re trapped for time, prioritize. If you’re writing and informal memo to a co-worker, give it a quick look and spell-check it but resist the urge to re-read it 2 times over. If, on the other hand, you’re creating a brochure for your company or preparing an important presentation, then that’s the time to put all of your perfectionist tendencies to good use.
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com