The COVID-19 pandemic has truly tested our productivity levels. Whether you thrive when working from home, or can’t manage to get a single thing done outside the office, there are simple things you can do to boost productivity in any environment.

1. Have a Designated Work Space

If you’re already back at the office, you probably already have this covered. But, for all of us still living the work-from-home life, this one is important.

At the beginning of the pandemic, home office was great! Taking calls in your sweatpants, finishing tasks from your bed, what could go wrong?!

The problem here is that your body will associate what you’re doing with the environment that you’re in. For example, if you’re working from your bed, your body will think it’s time to rest. If you’re working from a table or desk every single day, then that’s what your body and mind will be used to.  

GoViral Tip: Just like how having a dedicated workspace can help boost productivity, nothing gets us in the zone like turning on some binaural beats. Binaural beats are a perception of sound created by your brain that is claimed to induce the same mental state associated with a meditation practice, but much more quickly.

There are a ton of different playlists you can find on YouTube and Spotify, try this one!

2. Get Organised

Such a cliche, we know. But like it or not, it really is a key to success. So, buy that planner, get some sticky notes, or open your Google Calendar and take notes.

Keep a Tidy Space

Just as it’s important to have a designated working space, it’s just as important to keep it organised. No one likes being surrounded by a messy or uncomfortable environment, and one thing shown to boost productivity is making a space feel like your own. 

So, take 15 minutes and tidy up your office/table/room, or whatever type of space you usually work in. Organise your files (yes, even your desktop!). Get a couple of plants. Print motivational quotes or hang your favourite photos or fairy lights. Whatever makes you feel like you’re in a comfortable space of your own. 

GoViral Tip: Did you know you can group tabs in Google Chrome? This is one of our favourite shortcuts. Just right-click a tab, select “Add Tab to a New Group,” and bam, no more overwhelming feelings of a cluttered browser.

Time Blocking

One really effective method for organising your time and staying on task is blocking out your day. Before the end of each work day, open your planner, Google Calendar, or whatever you’re using, and start planning the following day by blocking out specific times for each of your tasks. 

Getting in the habit of time blocking will help you avoid those moments where you start a simple task at lunchtime, then look up at the clock and the day is over.

3. Create Habits

Humans love habits. We just work better if we know what to do. Therefore it is nice and so helpful to create your own little rituals.

Are you a journalist needing to stay on top of the latest news? Set an hour of undisturbed news-reading while enjoying your morning coffee.

Do you have some tasks you need to do every day? Set a fixed time when you will do it (remember time blocking?!).

Do you never remember to drink enough water throughout the day? Make a point to drink a full glass before your morning coffee.

It can be hard to get used to, but you will see that over time, these things will become second nature to you.

4. Set Realistic, Achievable Goals

When starting a new project, the finish line can seem so far out of reach. Don’t focus on that. Instead, break the whole project into smaller, achievable parts. 

For example, if your annual goal is to increase your social media following by 30% by the end of the year, determine how many followers you want to gain each month in order to achieve your bottom line. 

Not only does this method of celebrating little victories keep those involved motivated and excited, but it’s a great way to measure your progress and success while keeping your eye on the big picture.  

5. Know When to Ask for Help

I know it’s easy to forget sometimes, but we can’t do it all.

We humans often tend to feel the need to have control over everything. And despite what we might have been taught growing up, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, there is power and strength in knowing when help is needed. 

Trust your team, it’s what they’re there for! Communicate your tasks. See where other skill sets can give you a hand. If you’re a team leader, delegate. Hire people you know that are better than you in each activity and guide them.

For those working solo, look into forums and FAQs online. Reach out to influencers or experts in your field. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to help.

6. Brainstorming

Nothing cures mental block and sparks inspiration like a good team brainstorming session. 

No matter the task, whether it be content ideas, upcoming plans, strategy work, or even how you’re wanting to word a social media post for Facebook, take the time to sit down and talk things through with your team. 

For all you freelancers out there, you don’t necessarily need a team to brainstorm with. Even asking a friend with no experience in your work to take 15 minutes to sit with you as you talk something out can bring insights and clarity you might not have had otherwise. Trust us, give it a try.

7. Take Breaks

Believe it, or not taking a step away from your work can actually lead to higher productivity. 

You may feel that taking breaks will just result in wasted time, but taking even just 5-10 minutes to step away can help prevent burnout. 

We recommend taking at least one short break each day. So step outside, stretch your legs, grab a coffee, feel the sun, get some fresh air. Whatever you choose, giving your brain a rest will help you stay fresh for the rest of the day. 

8. Take Care of Yourself

During the height of working from home this past year, some of us picked up new hobbies while some of us binged Netflix and gained the “COVID 19.” It’s safe to say that the work-from-home life proved to be a test for our mental and physical health. 

One thing is for certain: when you take care of yourself on the inside, it reflects on the outside. So, prioritising diet and exercise is a must for keeping your mind on track and productivity levels at a high. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to take on veganism and triathlons to be healthy. Taking control of your health can start in small ways like making sure you drink enough water, cutting out fast foods, dedicating yourself to 20 minutes of daily exercise, and making sure you get enough sleep.

9. Surround Yourself With Positive Energy 

Nothing can be more motivating than a positive team who’s got your back, and in turn, a negative and unsupportive person or team can be one of the most counterproductive parts of a job. 

A strong company culture is so important when it comes to how people think about their work. And when people feel good about where they work, the quality of work will come hand in hand. 

If you find your quality of work or mental health being hindered by a toxic work environment, we recommend fostering open communication with your team to talk about how things could improve. If you still don’t feel comfortable or you feel this conversation isn’t possible, it might be time to ask if the job is worth your mental health.

10. Know When to Unplug

Going along with taking breaks and taking care of your health, it’s essential to know when to take a step back from your work. 

If you’re a workaholic deemed with the constant anxiety that there’s always more to be done, we get it. But, constantly stressing about work after hours isn’t helping anyone. Finding your ideal work/life balance will help foster good mental health, a better attitude toward your job, and will ultimately lead to better productivity when you walk into your dedicated work hours. 

So, when you come home after a long day of productivity, don’t be afraid to unplug, be proud of what you’ve achieved, and recharge yourself to be ready for the next day.

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