In the first part of this article, we shared with you the inside story of how we use systems and technology to manage our work better. It helps us stay on top of our game, optimise our time - and most of all, ensure that we go home on time!
But to be able to finish all work on time requires deliberate, focused work. You will notice that if you are terribly focused on getting something done, without distractions, you arrive at solutions much faster. That has to be the way to go if you want more done in less time. Some call it mindfulness, some call it deep work. Either way, the key to really managing your life better is to do only one thing at a time.
There is no such thing as multitasking.
Here are a few suggestions which might sound ridiculous, but work really well when combined with the other aspects of productivity. There is no one shot success here. It is a matter of discipline and practise. You have to choose to make your life productive, every day.
It is critical to take off-screen breaks to give your mind a rest. Most often, people will take a smoke break and check up on their social media notifications and call that a break. It is not! Take a walk, stare at the trees, meditate for 3-5 minutes, take a power nap, doodle - do anything but digital stimulation. You will only know the value of this tip once you start doing it. It also helps dramatically when you are stuck in your process and great ideas are not coming. Taking your mind off the matter and all the screens is the best thing you can do to your creative self. And you will inevitably get an idea faster that way!
We cannot emphasize enough on this one. The body needs fuel to fuel your thoughts and ideas. However, if you keep feeding it junk, you will keep getting trashy ideas. Keeping your body in high energy is critical to your productivity. Eat more raw - it keeps your vibrations up. Eat only as much as you need to - do not become lethargic. Know that your body can only give energy to other processes inside when it gets a break from digesting your food all the time. Stay away from stuff that will make you sick - it is just not worth it. You cannot work effectively with a sick dysfunctional body. The mind body connection is for real - it is better to learn and respect that early on in your life!
Many workplaces have this hideous habit of doing everything at your desk. We encourage people to step away from the desk. Go to the park, walk up and down the stairs, play a little cricket - do something. We need physical activity not just to avoid chronic lifestyle based illnesses, but also to stimulate our minds. We need to have energy and adrenalin flow within the body. We urge everyone within the team to have some sort of work out plan - before or after office. It does wonders for the team as a whole.
It is ok to say no - to your boss, peers and subordinates. It happens so very often, especially in an open office culture like ours, that people walk up to you and start talking. Make it a habit to ask the person if they have 2 mins to talk before you barge into their space. And as an invaded person, you have every right to say no and continue to focus on what you are doing, unless it is a life or death urgent matter. Your focus cannot be brought back after that 2 mins conversation. So be very mindful and selective about who you allow to take away your attention and for what reason.
Space helps uplift your mind beautifully. We promote clean desks. You need to have a few personal things to make it your own. But do not let documents, files, junk to gather up and clutter. Things store energy. The more you have on your desk, the more they will act on your mind. Make ‘less’ a habit. Keep office spaces decluttered - only have things you really want in the office - let go off that ridiculous decor.
Stay to the point
Keep work conversations succinct. Share information that is required for the other person to do the job. You cannot be doing storytelling sessions in your meetings. This is about respecting the other person’s time and knowledge level. Everyone has things to do and your beating around the bush slows down the whole team.
Keep personal conversations for later
Don’t mix up work time conversations with personal conversations - with people within and outside office. Most people find it blasphemous when work calls are done post working hours or over the weekend. The same discipline needs to hold true the other way round. You cannot be taking personal calls and conversations during work hours. It should stay as sacrosanct as your personal time. Take time out during breaks or go out for a beer post work to catch up with people. But don’t be hypocritical about your work - life balance if you can’t really live up to it.
There are many other practises which we have that perhaps go unnoticed by our own team members. But building a culture of productivity ensures that we all work towards the same goal at the same pace. Make it a habit to respect other people’s times - and a lot of these things will automatically come naturally to you.
Coming to work should be as exciting as going back home. So work towards that balance which makes you happy!