For majority of us, we believe that taking time off to be productive seems counter-intuitive. Additionally, we are fighting the dated work idea that “down-time is time wasted.” The New York Times reported that more than 50% of Americans work on their vacations, and 33% eat lunch at their desk! You can’t increase the number of hours in a day, but you can increase your energy.
Get Some Sleep
American companies spend approximately $63.2 billion dollars a year in lost productivity due to sleep deprivation. Sleeping too little can be the quickest way to achieve burn-out in any job/task that you are performing. On average, you should be getting a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per day in order to meet a basic day’s energy requirement.
Consume Less Sugar
Sugar has been linked to headaches, hypertension, obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue, acne, and even depression. The average American consumes about 3 pounds of sugar each week – added sugar alone accounting for 500 calories a day. Consider a low-glycemic eating program to jumpstart your energy and weight-loss goals.
Do some busywork
Did you know that doing busywork can make you feel more productive? According to a study conducted by the University of California, when we complete menial tasks that we consider busywork (filing, organizing your desk space, cleaning out email, etc.) we have a sense of accomplishment. So the next time you feel overwhelmed in the office, take some time to finally do that busywork that’s been piling up – you might discover some peace of mind in the process.
Take some vacation
Vacation doesn’t have to mean book a resort and stay on the beach, it simply means take some time for you (and your family) and get away from your usual routine. Go to the mountains for a hike, skip stones on a pond, visit a local boutique, or simply read a book. Do something that feeds your mind, body and spirit – we all need time to renew. If you work for a company that pays for vacation, use it, you worked hard for that earned time off! The average employee has 9.2 days of unused vacation time every year, states Harris Interactive.
5 Tips to be more productive, and have time for you:
1. Create a follow-up list:
Don’t try and tackle all your projects at once. Create a list and prioritize what’s important. As more tasks/projects roll-in (and they will), add them to your list and set a time to attend to it later. Don’t forget to cross off items as you complete them, as the sense of accomplishment is motivating.
2. Turn off your email:
Determine an appropriate number of times to check email, like 3-4 times per day, and stick to it. You do not have to be on call 24/7. Do not become a slave to your email box!
3. Get organized:
Stop spending time looking for things and put them where you need and use them. Are you constantly getting up and crossing the room to staple that one document? Then move the stapler closer, don’t be afraid to shake things up.
4. Take breaks:
When things get a little tough or tense at work, leave the office for a moment and take a break. When we take a moment to step away, you might find that challenging project is a little less challenging.
5. Stabilize your energy:
Get plenty of sleep each day, consume less sugar, stabilize your glycemic index, get some busywork done, and take time for you. By re-energizing ourselves, we have more capacity to complete our day-to-day tasks and have energy left for you time.