How to get more out of your working day

25 April 2019

There’s no one size fits all routine, but sometimes our habits set us up for unproductive days. If you find that your days just don’t go to plan, or you’re just struggling through the working day tired and counting the hours until you get to be in bed again, there are some steps you can take.

Have a read through to see how you can improve your daily grind. 

 

  • Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm isn’t for everyone

Some people just aren’t built for the 9-5 slog. You might find that you don’t actually start doing anything productive until 10am; or you might find that once 4pm roles around, you’re struggling to do anything other than walk back and forth from the kitchen for coffee.


Our productivity often centres around the hours that fit our body clocks. Rather than loading up on gallons of caffeine all morning, looking at flexible working options could benefit your productivity and your health. If there’s nothing about what you do that means you need to be there 9-5, try and find a way to work 8-4, 10-6, or whatever works for you.


This being said, adjusting your work schedule when you have a bad sleep schedule isn’t really a solution. Understand how much sleep you need and when you need it before making any major changes. 

  • Working from home has its benefits, and its drawbacks

Working from home is really handy for those of us who need to be at home, for whatever reason. It’s great to avoid the commute, minimise workplace distractions and generally get things done. However, kids, TV, housemates and distractions can pile up. Sometimes working from home with one eye on your work and the other on the looming pile of laundry you need to do can be a bit distracting. It’s best to lock yourself away from distractions when working from home and try to replicate a professional environment where necessary. 

  • Hitting snooze can actually make you groggier

Getting up isn’t easy for everyone, and some of us are particular fans of the snooze button (myself included). However, if you fall back into a deep sleep after you hit the snooze button, you're entering a sleep cycle you won't be able to finish, and chances are you'll wake up groggy instead of refreshed. Rather, set your alarm for when you actually want to get up, rather than hitting the snooze button for 40 minutes to help “wake you up”. This can help you start your day on the right foot. 

  • Getting a stretch helps you feel less restless

Sitting at your desk all day isn’t healthy, no matter how you spend your evening. Getting some good stretch in before work (even just a 5-10 minute walk around), during work (regularly getting up from your desk for a few minutes), over lunch, and after work can help you feel better long term. Stepping away briefly can help maintain your focus when you are there. 

  • For everyone’s sake – take your lunch break!

A “working lunch” for some reason has a reputation for being for the committed and busy workers among us, however that’s not necessarily the case. Stepping away from your desk to eat, get fresh air, have a conversation and de-stress is essential to keeping the momentum going during your working day. You’re much more likely to crash out by the end of the day if you “power through”. And managing your time more efficiently (because you’re less stressed) becomes a little easier if you have scheduled breaks.
Also, you’re much less likely to be ‘hangry’. 

  • De-clutter and organise your work environment

There’s a lot to be said about how much organisation and less “stuff” can decrease your anxiety and increase productivity. Having less clutter will help you think more clearly and waste less time searching for things in your sea of stuff. 

  • Eat the frog

This is a favoured expression in our team, but it just makes sense! Procrastinating and fretting doesn’t get the job, or much of anything else, done. Getting the biggest and most difficult task out of the way first thing helps pave the way for a more productive day.

 

These are just a few examples of how to get more out of your working day. We are only here for a short time, and plodding through in a coffee fuelled stupor isn’t doing you, your loved ones, or your colleagues any favours. Do yourself a favour, and do what you can to be the best version of yourself.

If you are still struggling your way through work, maybe a job change is something to look at. Get in contact with one of our specialist recruitment consultants to discuss your options. 028 9023 5456


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