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4 Ways to Boost Productivity…While Taking Care of Yourself

Most of us are six months into a lockdown period that many didn’t expect to last half this long. Many employees are still finding their footing when it comes to working from home and many are looking for ways to boost productivity.

Here’s the thing: We’re all facing an incredible amount of stress and fear. While productivity shouldn’t be on the top of the list that you’re worried about, many people are. We’ve put together some simple ways that you can see a boost in productivity while still giving yourself the space to care about your health and wellbeing.

Take a Break…Seriously

First things first: You are doing a great job. Even if you’re not as productive as you normally are and even if you’re feeling behind and overwhelmed, remember that you are working in a very difficult situation right now and you’re doing your best.

Give yourself the slack to take a break. For a vast majority of people taking appropriate breaks actually leads to being more productive.

Whether that break is an actual vacation or whether it’s making sure you take breaks throughout the day, you’ll often feel better when you step away. Schedule your lunch breaks (or any other breaks) like you would any other meeting on your calendar so your team knows that you’re unavailable.

Team Leaders: Remember to be gentle with your employees. They’re facing a difficult time just like you are. Providing some extra compassion while we all get through this will result in happier and more productive employees. (Remember to cut yourself some slack too!)

Increase Automation Wherever Possible

When you’re trying to boost productivity, you need to focus on not spending time where it’s not needed. Bring automation into your workday to help you focus your priorities accordingly.

Letting automation take over interview scheduling is an easy way to implement this new feature into your life. You can also let automation handle out of office messages for those times you’re taking the breaks we just spoke about!

Setting up an automatic newsletter to the candidates sitting in your pipeline is also a great way to make sure they know that they’re still at the front of your mind.

If you want to bring automation into the recruiting process, we’re here to help.

Team Leaders: Make sure that you’re talking with your teams about what sort of automation tools could help them prioritize their workday!

Utilize Time Management Rules

Whether you go the time-blocking method or if you just make a general to-do list for the day, managing your time is critical to being productive. One of the best things you can do is find the time in the day when you feel most naturally productive and then prioritize your tasks within that time. If you’re a morning person, take care of your most intensive tasks at that time and move anything less important to the afternoon.

Prioritizing your tasks equates to the effective usage of not just your time, but of your energy as well.

This would also be a great place for us to point out that it’s wonderful to be able to minimize distractions, but let’s be real: distractions abound at this time. Whether it’s your kids needing help with their distance learning or your dog not understanding that it’s not playtime, be flexible. Distractions will happen. It’s all about letting yourself bounce back into work when you can.

Team Leaders: If you can, avoid being a distraction to your employees. Schedule standard check-in times so that employees are able to focus on what they need to do rather than being pulled into random meetings and calls. This will help them schedule their days and get the work done that they need to.

Find an Accountability Partner

Find someone you can rely on to hold you accountable!

While you could absolutely choose someone at your company, it’s not a bad idea to rely on a friend outside of your company to allow you to get an unbiased view of what you need to get done. An outsider opinion can help you gain some much-needed perspective when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you won’t run into issues of having to censor yourself during difficult times.

Accountability partners can help you build and track goals, share their own experiences to help you avoid mistakes, be there as a listening ear on the hard days, and more. You can also help to provide these things to them!

Team Leaders: Support your teams reaching out to friends by providing time for them to do exactly that. Provide time off when they need it for a long lunch with friends and emphasis the importance of building a support group.

The most important thing to constantly remind yourself of is that we’re facing something completely unknown. While it can be hard to be understanding when you don’t get as much done as you need, you need to care about yourself as a person first and foremost. The more you care for yourself, the more care you can bring into your work. Take care of yourself and it won’t take long for a boost in productivity to follow!

GIF of Bill Nye saying, "We can do this, people!"