The festive season can be busy or indeed frantic, and so maintaining productivity when you have so many distractions present can be difficult. Yet all is not lost, as small actions have the capacity to keep your mind focused and your productivity high in the final week before the festive season. Here are three top tips for maintaining productivity and efficiency.
KNOW YOUR TIMING
One of the secrets of reaching maximum productivity does not in fact involve working all waking hours, but rather requires that you get to know the times that your body and mind work best.
According to a recent article by The Guardian, 11am on a Monday is in fact the most productive time for employees. This follows from a two-year research study which ‘analysed hundreds of thousands of employees using cutting-edge workflow management and data-focused tools’ to produce ‘insight on a level we’ve never seen before.’
The study also found that ‘employee productivity takes a nosedive at midday, and peters out towards the end of the day,’ but The Guardian emphasises that this does not mean all is lost from 12 o clock onwards. Rather, it suggests that decreased productivity in the afternoons can be a good thing, as it is during this period that ‘your mind becomes more susceptible to new ideas.’
Knowing and more importantly acting upon these natural rhythms of productivity can revolutionise your day and ensure that when festive obligations reach a peak, you know how to organise your day accordingly.
BE STRATEGIC AND TRACK PROGRESS
With so many other obligations at hand, basic productivity practices such as writing to do lists, planning your week and monitoring time spent on email or in meetings can quickly fall by the wayside.
Yet being strategic in your approach to productivity and tracking the progress made is vital if you want to avoid burnout and overwork. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR) contributor Matt Plumber, a recent poll in the USA found that 40% of workers ‘were so stressed out they felt burnt out.’ With many professionals continuing to work long hours, this should come as little surprise and is a situation replicated across many countries.
And the solution? Plumber believes being strategic in your approach to productivity is the key to keeping it on track when burnout seems just around the corner. He argues that ‘lots of us spend our days developing strategic plans for our own companies, or helping clients do so, and yet fail to take a strategic approach to improving our own productivity.’ By setting goals, developing a plan for achieving these goals and choosing a metric by which to measure sustainable productivity, in the pre-holiday short term or New Year long term you can boost your productivity in a meaningful way.
CREATE WORK ZONES
For those who work from home on a regular basis or those who are doing so this week to manage childcare commitments, creating work zones can be a helpful way to separate the different spheres of your life.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to maintaining productivity while working from home is the lack of appropriate space to work. Some people lack office space, while those who are lucky enough to have such space sometimes struggle to organise it in a way that leads to maximum productivity. Factors such as comfort, adequate network connections and surrounding clutter can all impact on your productivity, and so ensuring you have the right environment to focus is important.
Forbes Under 30 contributor Abdullahi Muhammed suggests that creating work zones can be a helpful way to tackle this problem. He suggests that because there are many different types of tasks that need to be completed in a day, from intensive, head-down tasks at your computer to more creative and research-focused tasks, it makes sense to have different zones to complete each in turn. This is even more relevant in the run up to Christmas, as personal and professional lives increasingly overlap and limit the amount of productive space available at home.
Wherever you’re working from in these last few days before the holiday season, make sure you use your time productively by employing these three top tips. Happy Holidays.
As global innovation specialists we aim to help and encourage people and organizations to become more nimble, boosting their ability to generate ideas. We bring pace and focus to your innovation initiatives using our unique innovation techniques, which are constantly being developed by our professional licensees. If you’re interested in becoming a licensee for the think team, contact us here.