As we settle in for the 2016 working year many of us will be keen to set bold new targets for ourselves and reach new professional benchmarks.
If you want to make 2016 your best year yet, here’s some science backed ways to supercharge your productivity and hit those targets.
Is that meeting really necessary?
All of us at some point have complained about the volume, length and sheer pointlessness of many meetings we attend. Not only are they a time vacuum, they are also lengthy periods where no work gets done — or, even worse — you leave the meeting with a bigger to-do list than when you arrived.
According to Atlassian, the average office worker spends more 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone or Skype.
Take regular breaks
Studies have shown that the performance of office workers starts to deteriorate after 50-60 minutes of continuous work. Yet, this trend can be reversed by taking rest breaks every 40 minutes at least. In addition to a lunch break, regular, shorter breaks have been shown to actually increase productivity when compared to people who remain chained to their desk all day.
Taking some time to include short breaks in your day to stretch, rehydrate, grab a coffee or catch some sunshine can go a long way to increasing your daily productivity. Regular breaks also allow you to approach each new task energised and ready to focus.
A popular method to interval working is the Pomodoro Technique, pioneered by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. The technique breaks the working day into short bursts of high concentration (usually between 25-40 minutes) separated by short breaks.
Be proactive, not reactive
Modern working environments are filled with distractions ready to steal our time and attention. Our emails sit open all day, ready to distract us from important tasks with (mostly) inane requests. Meanwhile our phones are forever by our side, meaning that we’re ever-connected and ready to be pulled away by texts, emails and social media notifications.
While these tools are an essential part of modern work, the trouble with them is that they constantly put us into ‘react’ mode. At any moment our attention can be diverted from important tasks to less urgent demands for our time and attention. Instead of proactively working towards important tasks or goals, we’re spending valuable time reacting to the demands of others, which often don’t deserve the importance we place on them.
When you’re next planning your day, ask yourself: would it really matter if I turn my email and phone off for an hour or two? Can I allocate some time to disconnect so I can concentrate on important tasks?
When doing this exercise think about how many emails and phone calls you honestly receive that require immediate action, and consider whether they could be saved for a more thoughtful burst of attention later in the day when your most important tasks are already complete.
Work smarter, and make the most of new technologies
By the end of 2015, there will be more than 3.7 million apps available worldwide and they are estimated to have been downloaded 135 billion times, all of them offering solutions ranging from productivity and education to health and leisure.
In today’s environment, our place of work is no longer the typical office. It’s the local cafe, airport lounge, hotel room or our very own home. Likewise, the way we shop, exercise and socialise with family and friends has changed forever with the emergence of mobile technology.
It’s no surprise that the trend toward mobile computing is changing our attitudes and habits towards printing. The sales of Fuji Xerox wireless laser printers are expected to grow to 50% by the end of 2016, up from 2.9% in 2009.
Thankfully, Fuji Xerox Printers is responding to this new demand by making wireless printing a standard feature to most of its business and home printers.
Wireless printing means you can print from an electronic device without physically having to connect a wire to the printer. They are easy to share, so several people can connect at one time; and with no wires, the printer can live just about anywhere you wish. Simply print through your home or office wi-fi connection.
As today’s office environment continues to evolve – staff with laptops, smartphones and tablets will hot-desk or bring their own device to meetings, impromptu or scheduled. Mobility within the office is not just for internal staff, wireless printing also keeps sales people on the move and out there selling.
A wifi-ready printer or business solution is necessary to support an increasingly mobile workforce. To find the right solution for your needs download the wireless printing buyers guide.