During my daily commute to work, I often ask myself what I can do to be more efficient and optimise my workday. After doing some research and interviewing a few of our coworking clients across our London offices, we have put together 3 simple tips that will help you maximise your productivity and save time at work.
Maximise Your Mornings
Agreeing with social psychologist Ron Friedman, the best time to do your best work is during the first three hours of your day. “Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we’re really, really focused. We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well,” Friedman told Harvard Business Review.
This makes sense on different levels, starting with your sleep, as research confirms the brain is most active and creative immediately following sleep. At the same time, your willpower is at its highest too. So start your day with focus and clarity to make the most of your mornings, as they are precious for maximised productivity!
Wherever You Are, Make Sure You’re There
Quality over quantity is a simple concept taught to us throughout our formative years. In today’s fast working environment, favouring it fits like a square peg in a round hole. If you’re like most people, it is easy to get continuously distracted and your “working time” is not done at peak performance level. However, if you choose quality over quantity and you become more results-oriented, rather than “being busy,” you’re 100% on when you’re working and 100% off when you’re not. So, in the words of Dan Sullivan, “wherever you are, make sure you’re there”. Why do anything half-way? It will only take you longer and use twice the energy.
Find Your Focus
Finding focus is rapidly becoming the biggest workplace challenge. You might blame technology or your coworkers for getting you distracted, but it really depends on you.
So, how can you find your focus and sharpen your concentration in today’s chaotic world?
Research has found that shorter but more intensive activity is more effective than a longer drawn-out performance. Your best work happens in short intensive spurts followed by high-quality rest and recovery, and curiously, your sharpest thinking and most creative insights actually happen while you are away from work, “recovering”. People tend to get the best solutions and inspiration while they’re at home cooking dinner, exercising, meeting up with friends or commuting to or from work.
The reason for this is simple. When you’re working directly on a task, your mind is strongly focused on the problem at hand. When you stop working and relax, your mind loosely wanders, activating your creative spark and allowing your brain to make connections related to the problem you’re trying to solve. In other words, by taking your mind off work and actually recovering, you’ll get the breakthrough you were seeking related to your work.
We all need to work within the constraints of our unique contexts. This may require waking up a few hours earlier, listening to music to find your focus or simply focusing hardcore the moment you get to work. Whatever your situation, protect your mornings, set your priorities and do whatever it takes to find your focus!