Top tips for productivity

November 16, 2016 1:25 pm Published by

Five simple ways to maximise your effectiveness

A few weeks ago we were invited to live tweet at The Brighton Summit, a day of inspiring talks and workshops for anyone who wants a better business and a successful future.

We heard from some fascinating speakers who filled our heads with ideas and strategies to build a better business future. From the founders of Higgidy, a kitchen table start-up that now turns over £24m a year selling handmade pies, to the creator of Brighton’s first (legal) gin distillery, we heard from a host of successful business leaders.

One speaker who really stood out for us was Hayley Watts from Think Productive. Her workshop, ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja™’, offered expert tips and advice for anyone whose role involves independent decision-making and organising information – perfect for us in PR and marketing! In fact, we felt so inspired that we decided to share some of our favourite tips…

1) Use a system, and trust it!

Make sure you don’t forget that all important to-do list – keep it in a system, not in your head. There are loads of free apps and tools you can download to help you keep on top of tasks and deadlines and most of them are really simple to set up and use. However, there’s absolutely no point using a system if you’re worried it won’t work, which will just lead to additional stress.

2) Be choosy

Faced with an ever-growing list of things to get done, it’s easy to play superhero to try and get it all finished. This usually means skipping lunch and working late, which will inevitably lead to burning yourself out – not good! Being choosy about what you say ‘yes’ to is a really important skill and means you can ensure that you do not bite off more than you can chew. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve taken too much on, renegotiate your commitments to yourself and your colleagues.

3) Say no to interruptions

Our attention at work is one of our most precious resources. At the same time, there are millions of interruptions and distractions – emails, meetings, phone calls, the next big crisis, you name it. Research shows it takes about 25 minutes to get back into a task once you’ve been distracted, which is a huge chunk of your working day. If you’ve got an important deadline, or need to get a load of writing down, don’t be afraid to switch your emails off, divert your calls, and tell your colleagues not to interrupt you unless it’s urgent. If you work in an open plan environment, find somewhere quiet where you will be able to concentrate – an empty meeting room or the local café.

4) Don’t check your emails first thing

Remember the good old days when you were woken up by an alarm clock, not hundreds of unread emails? We’re so connected to our smartphones these days that emails are usually the first things we see when we wake up in the morning – propelling us head first into work mode before we’ve even switched the kettle on. Try listening to the radio, or reading a few pages of your favourite book. It really can make a huge difference to the start of your day.

5) You are what you eat, even at work

Keeping healthy will give your brain the focus it needs to produce clearer thinking, meaning that you will be able to stay on top of your work. One survey found that employees who eat healthily are 25% more likely to perform better in their jobs – impressive! If you’re faced with doughnuts and biscuits in the kitchen every day, ask your boss to bring in fruit instead.

Follow the conversations from the day on Twitter at #BrightonSummit.

Image by Simon Callaghan Photography

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This post was written by Ami Sibbick