Are you having trouble focusing on a million things all at once at work lately? Distractions come standard in the workplace, which is why you should have a strategy for being on top of your efficiency game before you start your hectic day.
Even though this might sound a bit far-stretched from your reality right now, as a copywriter, I’ve found that when you find the routine that works for you and stick to it, your productivity will skyrocket. Here are a few things that can help you clean up the busy stress and ease your “Monday blues.”
Discover Your Passion
You might have heard this one about once or twice before, but this really is the core to building your happy place; and not just at work, but also in your life. The bottom line is, if you love what you do, you won’t feel like ten minutes have turned into an hour every time you look at your watch—and you probably won’t even be checking the time as often.
Create a Strategy that Works for You
Even those of us who really enjoy our job need to take a breather now and then. After all, at the end of the day, things need to get done and we have deadlines to attend to. So, out with the worries and in with a plan.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
This is a big one, especially for writers and marketers that need the creative part of the brain functional throughout the day. If I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, the time it would usually take to complete a task can double.
Living a healthy lifestyle is never overrated. Diet and exercise do reflect into every facet of your daily routines and it all starts with getting enough sleep. We live in a world that’s massively run by technology and as if it’s not tough enough to stay off the television and phone before hitting the sack, we now have numerous social media outlets to keep our eyes glued to the touchscreen beams.
Light from your electronic devices can actually hamper your sleep time, even if it’s just a small amount of light. In more extreme cases, this can lead to insomnia. So try to shut off any devices within an hour before you go to bed and aim for getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. You’ll be more energetic and way less irritable throughout the week.
2. Regulate Your Morning Routine
I admit it—I’m guilty of snoozing one too many times in the morning. Some of us just aren’t morning people, which is okay. To overcome this minor dilemma, you should find something that’ll motivate you to wake up everyday, whether you have to do so at 4am or 8am.
If your like me and can’t start your day without an aromatic cup of coffee (and have withdrawals if you do skip), then you should make the time to brew some before leaving home or to treat yourself to one on the way to work. In fact, studies have found that caffeine can actually improve your memory throughout the day. It’s safe to say, in some instances, coffee has helped me get rid of writer’s block.
3. Beat the Long Commute
Do you have a long commute to work? Like many other Americans, you might probably wish your work commute to the office was much shorter. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on average, United States workers travel 25.5 minutes to work everyday. This commute can greatly affect your mood for the entire day, especially when you’re dealing with it on the way to and back from work.
The first thing you should do is prepare yourself for encountering possible traffic delays. Leave home earlier if you can and use a GPS to take shortcuts. I personally use the Waze app, which has helped save me a considerable amount of time on the road. Listen to an audio book and/or your favorite music, while taking advantage of the free time.
4. Get Organized
Copywriters usually have a massive archive of articles to keep track of. I usually have a plan of action for the day to help me balance out my priorities. Whether you prefer to use an online tool such as Google Docs, to document a weekly task list and update throughout the day, or you’d rather go the traditional route and use a pen and paper, having everything laid out in front of you to adjust as you go will make your life a lot easier!
Try to devise a plan with time slots. You can estimate how much time you should spend on each task and make room for any unexpected interruptions. Don’t forget about your meetings and the days off you’ll have to make up for. The last thing you want after leaving on vacation is to come back to the office with an overwhelming workload waiting for you.
Unless you’re a mechanical robot, you need to have your own way of taking control of your surroundings. To do so effectively, try to:
- Take frequent breaks. Yes, that’s right—and several breaks, at that. I’m usually in front of my computer for most of the day, so I find it really helpful to look away from the monitor for a few seconds every half hour or so. Take breaks between tasks, too. For an energy boost, go for a short walk outside, if you can, for some fresh air.
- Adapt to your environment. If your office temperature is too cold for your taste and you can’t adjust it, always be prepared with a jacket. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, too. I like to keep a water bottle on my desk to keep track of my dose of H2O. You should also make sure to have healthy snacks around to stay away from binging on junk food.
- Keep clean. To stay focused, unclutter your desk by keeping your files organized and using your drawers to have few items in sight. Cleanliness applies to disinfecting your electronic devices too—namely your keyboard and mouse. These items can harbor bacteria like E-coli and staph, which will ultimately increase your chances of getting sick. I suggest keeping anti-bacterial gel on your desk.
- Stay positive during a crisis. Never be afraid to ask questions at work. Sometimes, we can get so caught up with trying to find a solution to an issue, that we waste more time than necessary trying to find it. Or conversely, we ignore something that’ll end up causing us to spend more time on solving the issue later. So just stay positive and keep in mind that when there’s a will, there’s always a way.
It’s amazing how making such simple changes in your daily habits can make all the difference in improving your productivity. Being more efficient will translate into motivating you to reach your goals, no matter which career path you’re on. So, what are you waiting for? Get to it!