When you work for yourself, it can sometimes be a struggle to keep yourself motivated. But there are a number of tried and tested ways to keep your workflow moving, allowing you to be much more productive. Here are our Top 5:
- Take lots of breaks. Focusing on a task for too long is counterproductive because it slows you down and makes you less productive. Studies have found that having short breaks away from your screen – and away from all forms of social media – are very beneficial when it comes to productivity. If you can go for a short walk outside, so much the better. You’re much more likely to have a lightbulb moment after a break because it replenishes your ability for clarity and creativity.
- It’s well known that mindfulness is a good way of reducing stress levels and preventing or alleviating depression on a personal level, but it also has a place in the workplace. Growing evidence shows it can not only help increase job satisfaction, concentration and productivity, but also reduce sickness absences and prevent burnout. Mindfulness isn’t just about practising daily meditation, there are many ways of being mindful in the office, including banning phones and devices from meetings and scheduling in thinking time in order to promote greater creativity.
- Stop multitasking; it not only makes you a lot less productive and slows down the rate at which you work, it’s also been shown to lower your IQ and, scarily, can even damage the brain – so no more texting whilst you’re watching TV!
- Turn off email alerts. Emails are the biggest time wasters in the office. Research has shown that we spend around 650 hours a year (more than 80 working days) reading and answering emails, even though only about 38% of them are relevant to our business. Rather than click on each email as it pops up on your screen (bearing in mind it takes around 25 minutes to properly refocus on a task after you’ve been distracted), only allow yourself to check your emails a few times a day.
- Talk to people. Having friends in the office isn’t only good for productivity, it’s also good for your health. Face-to-face communication and human contact promote the release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps people develop trust and attachment, as well as helping to improve memory and ability to learn. Being around other people is also beneficial because human contact dampens the production of cortisol, the hormone released when we’re stressed.
If you are a solopreneur, you don’t have to work alone. If you would like to have lots of people to talk to when you need a break from work and help you stay productive, rent a desk in a co-working office space like the UOE Hub. Contact us for more information and to arrange a tour to see if it’s right for you.