Things To Stop Doing At Work

1. Stop powering on regardless

Working non-stop is not productive. And it’s scientifically proven. Like Circadian Rhythms  when we’re asleep, we also have a rhythm of energy (Ultradian Rhythm) whilst we’re awake. Generally, we go through a peak and surge of energy every 90 minutes. 

Ultradian Rhythm

Learning to recognise these patterns and allow yourself a break to recharge will make you more productive.  So, instead of thinking of the 8-hour working day, view it as 4 x 90-minute work cycles and concentrate on completing 1 or 2 tasks in each block. You should find you actually tick more off by working less

2. Stop getting distracted by social media/email

It’s really hard to properly focus when you keep flicking to check email and social media. It’s a huge distraction in today’s digital age and the need to stay connected is a hard one to ignore.

According to a study by Professor Brooks at Middle Tennessee State University: 

Personal social media usage leads to negative effects, both on efficiency and wellbeing.

Rather than going cold turkey, look at ways to manage distractions. Turn off emails when you’re working, set up rules so that you only receive notifications from a few important people. Take social media apps off your phone or put it in airplane mode until you’ve finished your task. It may take a bit of practice, but we bet you’ll reap the benefits. 

3. Stop saying "yes"

Saying yes to too many things leaves you feeling overworked and stressed. And if you’re constantly multi-tasking then you can’t allow your brain to focus properly on the task in hand. Meaning you’ll be less productive. 

It might feel hard to say an outright no to people instead try some of these phrases: 

Sure, I can get that to you, but it won’t be for a couple of weeks. 

So, which of my current priorities should I swap out for this task.

I’m overstretched at the moment, so I won’t be able to take anything else on right now.

I think you’re ready to take this one on.

Using these phrases means you don’t get overloaded with more tasks and you haven’t had to say an outright no, just not right now. Leaving you free to get on with finishing the tasks that really need your attention.

4. Stop working in the same space

After a while working in the same space, day in day out can get a little uninspiring and can affect your motivation. This in turn is likely to lead to a drop in productivity.

If your organisation allows remote working, try out some different spaces. Can you work outside, from a co-working hub, at home or in a local coffee shop. 

If you need to stay in the office. Can you switch desks, relocate to break out areas for part of your day or rearrange the layout of your desk to give it a different feel?

You may find that different locations are better for different tasks. Are you more productive writing presentations when you can sit alone? Better at getting the creative juices flowing when you have team mates to bounce ideas off. Or more inspired when you can get out of the office. 

5. Stop missing lunch

You might think it makes you look harder-working and more productive to power on through lunch. In fact, the opposite is true. As well as ignoring your ultradian rhythm, you won’t be giving your body the fuel it needs.  

Instead, find time to fill up on a lunch rich in brain-power rich foods such as salmon, wholegrain bread and blueberries. It’s not just about eating either. Lunch is a great time to get a change of scenery for inspiration, a breath of fresh air to clear your head or to do some exercise for a hit of endorphins.

Heading back to the office, re-fuelled and recharged will reflect in the work you do, helping you be more productive and able to avoid the 3pm slump.

What else have you stopped doing at work to make you more productive. We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page