Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like every phone conversation with my mother ends with the following friendly reminder: “Mallory, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eating enough fruits and vegetables.”
I’ve realized over the years that this is more than just a maternal nag. In fact, taking care of your health is the first tip GovLoop director of content Catherine Andrews shared for being a more productive student, writer and employee.
In yesterday’s online NextGen training “Work Smarter, Faster and With Less Stress: 20 Government Productivity Tips,” GovLoop invited Andrews to share her best advice for office productivity. She selected ten classic pieces of advice, mixed with ten newer tools and tips from the 21st century.
Andrews started her presentation with her favorite time-tested tricks to better time management. “When a lot of folks talk about productivity today, they’re talking about really slick new tools or techniques,” Andrews said. “But for me, there are a ton of classic and very basic techniques that are still incredibly relevant.”
Here are a few of Andrews’ recommended timeless productivity tips:
- Consider meditation. You don’t have to be a monk to experience the mind-clearing benefits of meditation. Take a few minutes to gain some respite from office distractions with calming thoughts and deep breaths.
- Try the Pomodoro technique. This practice involves focusing on a task for small bursts of time – roughly 25 minutes – and then taking short breaks to recharge your brain. Try setting your timer and see if you can work to the buzzer.
- Turn off your email. As the old adage goes, “Email is the root of all evil.” Okay, maybe email isn’t the source of all office frustrations, but it can certainly distract from quality productivity.
The second half of the training focused on more cutting edge apps and tools to help increase motivation and manage time. In today’s world, there are apps abound designed to help organize files, alert you of important meetings and keep your daily schedule on track. Here are a few that Andrews highlighted:
- Turn your ears to focusatwill.com. If you like listening to music at work, try out this website. The site designs “Attention Amplifying” music stations to help you crank out work.
- Schedule meetings with Doodle. Stop wasting time with endless email threads! This app sends out a poll to participants and has them indicate the best time frame to schedule a meeting.
- Take better notes with Evernote. This is a cross-platform app that tracks and backs up your daily meeting and work notes. Think of it as your digital file cabinet.
This is only a small taste of the collection of productivity advice that Andrews discussed. To hear the rest of the tips – and also learn a few tricks from IT specialist Chaeny Emanavin – watch the entire online training here.
And remember, get enough of sleep, drink a lot of water and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get a jumpstart on workplace productivity. Sometimes, momma really does know best.