How often have you fallen victim to procrastination at work?

It’s a horrible feeling when you realise you’ve done nothing but stare out of the window, fiddle with the contents of your desk drawer and engage in needless conversations at the water cooler for the last three hours. The thought of the work you could have completed is hard to bear, yet we all procrastinate at times.

Happily, there are a number of lifestyle habits you can build into your day in order to increase productivity at work, and we’d like to share the best with you today.

Learning to say “no” to people

This isn’t easy, particularly when it comes to turning down offers from your friends and family to see them. It’s a crucial productivity habit, though, and therefore worth persevering with.

The more you say “yes” to everything, the more you’re setting yourself up for a huge fall. Inevitably, you’ll let someone down at some point due to the sheer numbers of things you’ve agreed to do.

If your first instinct is to say “no” – go with it.

Identifying your productive hours

Do you feel strangely ready for action first thing in the morning? Perhaps you’re always itching to continue working last thing at night.

Identifying your productive hours is key to getting more stuff done both at home and in the office. Once you know when they are, you can begin moulding your life more strategically around the clock – it makes a huge difference.

Disbanding with digital (occasionally)

If you’re constantly welded to your smartphone or rarely gaze away from your laptop’s screen, you probably need to have something of a digital detox.

This doesn’t mean abandoning your devices and apps completely, but instead scheduling time throughout the week when you’ll put them to one side and engage in face-to-face discussion and exercise.

Making notes (regularly)

Most of us spend a fair bit of time making notes at work, but the more you do so at home, the better you’ll get at it.

This is for one very simple reason; the notes you take at home will be entirely personal and geared towards running your social life and keeping the roof above your head. As a result, they’ll be more concise and actionable. As your expertise in note taking builds, you’ll find it naturally makes its way into your day job, too.

Setting yourself deadlines

So, you know you need to buy a new blind for the bedroom window. But you’ve been telling yourself that for three weeks now. Why hasn’t it happened yet?

More importantly, why didn’t you set yourself a deadline?

Doing so at home might feel a bit needless and formal, but we need deadlines in our personal lives, too. Without them, stuff just doesn’t get done and, a bit like note taking, the more you do it away from the office, the more likely you are to get into the habit of doing it for your work tasks.

Wrapping up

Productivity is a strange thing. You can’t see it or touch it, but the minor changes we’ve suggested to your day-to-day life above should help you achieve far more than you ever thought possible.