We all know the feeling, sometimes the more work you have to do, the harder it is to get any of it done, with even just knowing where to start being a task in itself. With a small team, and a lot of clients to look after, the Paskett PR team know a thing or two about creating a productive, creative environment – here are some of our favourite tips.
- Declutter and organise your desk
Declutter anything from your desk that you have not used for a month. Do you need three pads of post-its and a pot of pens with no ink? Sorting your desk will make you think clearer and feel more organised. For items that you use every day, keep them neat with trays and desk tidies. Not only will this make you feel more ordered, but you will be able to find what you need much more easily!
- Make room for a plant
Whilst we love a clear workspace, we believe that there is always room for a plant. In fact, research shows that having plants in the office can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Not only that, but they can boost happiness and purify the air, making your space visually, mentally and physically more stimulating.
- Implement Friday action plans
We like to block off half an hour on a Friday, sometimes more, to sort out and organise our desks, and get planning for the following week. This is a good opportunity to go through what has been achieved in the week, and what action needs to take place after the weekend. This type of organisation means you will get back to work on Monday with a tidy desk, and a clear plan for the coming week; meaning the Sunday night panic doesn’t hit so hard.
- Take regular breaks
It’s really important to take scheduled breaks throughout the day in order to maintain a constant level of performance. This may be a tea and biscuit break, or a short walk around the block, but stepping away from your desk for a few moments can really reinvigorate your motivation and creativity.
- Set yourself deadlines
Self-imposed deadlines can be really helpful in giving you a focus and helping you to meet your goals, and can also help to schedule your work so that there isn’t a mad rush to get everything finished on the same day. Just make sure that your deadline is realistic so you don’t end up demotivating yourself.
- Stop Multi-tasking
We are often told that multi-tasking is something that we should strive towards, and that it increases productivity, but, in fact, the opposite may well be true. It has been found that attempting more than one task at a time can result in lost time and productivity, as well as poorer quality work being produced. Try, instead, to focus on one task at a time.
- Turn off notifications and be proactive, not reactive
When working on a project, switch off email and phone notifications so that you can give it your full attention. If you allow incoming emails and phone calls to dictate your working day, you will be able to deal with these issues as they come in, but everything on your to do list will be pushed down the line and may not get completed by the end of the day. Try and schedule a few points throughout the day to check any messages and emails; enquiries will still be dealt with, but in a timeframe that works more productively for you.
- Get small tasks done when you get the chance
If you find you have five or ten minutes to spare throughout the day, it’s a great time to check off those little jobs that fill up your to do list. These are often the jobs that we keep putting off, because we know that they don’t take long – but that’s exactly why it’s best just to get them done when you have the chance. In the space of 10 minutes, five of these little jobs can be ticked off your list, and we all know how good it feels to do that!
- Say no to meetings – when possible
Many meetings, especially internal ones, can be a waste of time – five people at an hour long meeting converts to five man hours used. Before calling a meeting, think about whether it is really necessary, or if a group email would be sufficient. It is necessary, set a time limit for each topic and stick to it.
- Track how much time you spend on tasks
There is research that suggests that only 17 percent of people are able to accurately estimate the passing of time. This means that it is possible that you are spending more time on projects than you think. In order to keep track of how long you are spending on each task throughout the day, make a note of when you start and finish, and any distraction that take place. This way you can identify how long tasks realistically take you, and how much of your time is spent of irrelevancies. This will also help when it comes to planning your work for the following week, by allowing you to set realistic, achievable goals.