When you've got nothing better to do!
If you’ve got a boss, you’ve probably heard them rant on, at some time or another, about ‘improving efficiency’ or ‘increasing productivity’. Often the strategies they implement to achieve these lofty aims are only serve to make your work less enjoyable. So, here we have compiled a list of tips that will improve your efficiency at work, but that your boss probably won’t like.
There are numerous reports that profess the benefits of a post-lunch nap. According to research (conducted by some scientists desperately in need of a nap), a twenty-minute ‘power nap’ can grant you:
However, if you are unhealthy, napping may not be for you. People at risk of type II diabetes due to a poor lifestyle may increase their risk by napping after lunch.
If you lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, a mid-afternoon nap can only make you better. Just remember to restrict the nap to between 15 and 30 minutes, otherwise you may enter a deeper phase of sleep and be more tired upon awakening.
Maria Popova, the creator of the highly influential content aggregate site ‘Mind Pickings’ suggests taking standing at your desk one step further: “I work barefoot, standing on a wobble board”. Popova conveys how standing on a wobble board can help balance your posture, therefore reducing the chance of you shifting your weight onto one leg or the other, which could subtly twist your spine. By constantly balancing on a wobble board, you not only help to improve your posture and balance, but also the focus this provides can actually help you improve your productivity.
Okay. So, you can’t actually destroy time itself, but you can make an effective attack against its harbingers: clocks and watches. Steve Corona CEO of Twitpic has dispensed with time-measuring devices and now measures his day through his own internal clock (his heart) and the world’s first timepiece (the sun).
Without a clock to constantly watch, you can more fully-immerse yourself in your projects and not have time hanging over you as an added stress. Better immersion in your work, as well as reduced stress, are both great ways of improving your overall work efficiency.
If you’re worried that disposing of all timepieces may make you late for meetings and important appointments, then worry not. Setting the calendar on your phone or computer to remind you of appointments will keep you on track, without stressing you out.
‘I’m working from home today’ may often be an excuse used by employees to take a sneaky day off, but according to a report in the Harvard Business Review, people who work from home are usually more engaged.
Greater engagement can help increase efficiency, because if there is greater communication and receptiveness on the part of the employee, less mistakes occur. There are four main reasons why working from home is better.
Firstly, proximity breeds complacency. People who work closely together regularly are less likely to make as much effort towards each other. Secondly, absence makes people try harder to connect. If away from the office, employees will ensure they are communicating more effectively when they do make contact.
Thirdly, people in virtual teams make better use of tools. If you’re communicating over great distances, you will have to get used to using a number of different communication methods as well as evaluating which is the most productive. Finally, people in far-flung teams maximize time spent together. Quite simply, if you don’t have as much time to communicate, you will use it more wisely.
Having an extra day off of work would sound like a delightful idea to most people, but probably not most employers. However, rearranging your working week into four instead of five days could actually increase your productivity. Employees who have less time to achieve the same amount of tasks will have to manage their time more effectively and be more productive.
The greatest bonus to increasing efficiency by working less is the extra motivation people will gain from the uplift in mood more time off grants them. As every HR manager knows, ‘a happy worker is a productive worker’.
So, we’re not suggesting you steal a car and ram-raid your local convenience store, but investigating strategies or approaches you know won’t work can grant you insights into developing new strategies that might.
Put simply, analysing why something is broken can help you see how to fix it or prevent it from breaking in the future.
In the modern age it is difficult to disconnect. We are constantly connected to each other through our computers and smartphones, leaving little time for us to switch off and rest our weary heads. Even when at home, we will likely engage in some form of activity such as watching TV or browsing the Internet – these days we very rarely do nothing.
Yet, scientists investigating ‘boredom’ have shown how ‘doing nothing’ is a great way to relax and refresh your brain, making your outlook brighter, your mind more creative, and often helping to increase your efficiency.
So, next time your boss starts talking about ways to increase efficiency, why not throw him some of the aforementioned curve balls. Who knows, maybe you’ll get yourself some much needed downtime or even an extra day off? Either way, at least it’ll give you something to say at the next ‘optimisation’ meeting.
Article source: MTM Companies