Being busy and being productive are far from the same thing, and an abundance of the former may well be affecting your ability to work to your best. When we throw ourselves into our work without foresight or care, stress levels can increase while our concentration splinters: working hard is not the same as working clever. Now could be the perfect moment to take a step back and consider whether your energies are being used as efficiently as they should.
The digital age makes it possible to work in new ways, and at a greater pace, but mixed in with these useful new tools and applications are a handful of distractions and red herrings to impair our performance. If you find yourself falling back on the use of a time-management app, for example, be sure it’s not the first one that popped up in the app store: it is worth digging deeper to check that the methods the app uses are based in serious scientific research and not new-age self-help guesswork.
Other tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter may be vital for your job, but become a slave to them and you soon find yourself working at their pace rather than your own – with the impact felt in the ‘non-social’ aspects of your work. Setting a disciplined no-notifications period, during which you ignore those pressing pings and red dots, can help you to concentrate and reach that peak ‘flow’ state – it is suggested that a fifteen-minute focus period is the minimum needed to get there.
Likewise, leave the smartphone behind on break time. Getting dragged back into the digital mire when you should be resting is actually counter-productive – your brain needs that time to depressurize, if you are to work efficiently.
With stress levels bursting through the ceiling and more than half of us reported to work beyond our contracted hours, rethinking the way we work is a must if we are to achieve our goals and look after ourselves. Check out this great new infographic, which lists some other ways you can go easy on yourself – and approach your work with more disciplined resolve.
6 things you didn’t know were making you less productive [Infographic] by the team at Make it Cheaper
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