From the minute you walk into the office you’re probably bombarded with emails, phone calls, WhatsApps, and endless notifications. But you’re not alone – we see this every day at Cornerstone HQ too. The constant flow of updates can really take a toll on your concentration levels, meaning you spend more time checking your emails than doing actual work. But not to fear, there are a few simple changes you can make to boost your creativity and productivity at work, that have been tried and tested by all of us here at Cornerstone.
Check Your Emails At Fixed Times
We’d suggest 15 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning, around lunchtime and late afternoon, and no more. After that, close your emails tab and stop the notifications from distracting you every five minutes. Moreover, try to be smart about it, if you open an unread email and you can reply straight away, do it! Don’t leave them sitting in your inbox and taking up a bit of space in your mind.
Our brains can only focus on one (maybe two) tasks at a time, so doing multiple ones at the same time will mean you’re not focusing enough on either. Try to get in ‘the zone’ with every task, as this has been proven to increase your productivity and ensure you get the job at hand done quicker.
Write a To-Do List And Prioritise
Rank your tasks in order of urgency and importance so you can prioritise your daily tasks accordingly. You shouldn’t necessarily start with the easiest and shortest tasks, but rather the most important. No need to panic over an endless to-do list, just focus on the important tasks.
Think Outside The Box
We know this is an obvious one, but it’s important to remember that no idea is a bad idea when well-thought-out. Move away from the practical, logical and down-to-earth and toy with ideas that seem less plausible. Put into the right context, you may come across a winner.
Redesign Your Workspace
Changing locations can help unlock new thinking. Start by simply decluttering your desk or working from a different desk in your office. You can take it a bit further, if work allows, by working from home, a coffee shop or your local library a few times a month. The new physical space will most likely create some mental space too.
Allow For Breaks
Working long hours on a daily basis can have a counterproductive effect, especially if it’s kept up for long periods of time. It’s important to take a step back and take a rest. Not only will this allow you to recuperate mentally and physically, but it will also increase your creativity.