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3 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Office Productivity

Does this happen at your office? You start the day full of enthusiasm, planning to accomplish great things. But as the day unwinds, you keep falling behind. By the last hour, you feel you’ve hardly accomplished anything. 

One reason you don’t get ahead is because you aren’t as productive as you think. Sometimes, you get distracted. At other times, you’re interrupted. Occasionally, you feel sleepy, lose interest and just drag out the day. But — it doesn’t have to be this way. Try these three must-have analog tools in your office to stay on task. 

A Water Dispenser 

Did you know that your brain gets thirsty, too?  Research shows that your brain needs water. Plenty of it. Dehydration causes lapses in attention, impairs short-term memory, and compromises long-term memory. It’s hard to be highly productive in the office when your brain is not up to par.

Sure, you can take water in a bottle to work, but it’s more convenient to have a filtered water dispenser. The easy availability of purified, sparkling clean water on tap will encourage you to drink enough of this magical, life-renewing element throughout the day. 

Remember, stay hydrated to stay productive. 

A Pomodoro Clock 

Back in the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo made a simple, ingenious discovery. It changed the world of time management forever. He accidentally discovered that if he worked for 25 minutes and then took a five-minute break, he could work for hours at peak efficiency. After completing a set of four pomodoro work and break intervals, he would also reward himself with a full 15-minute break to refresh.

He called each 25-minute interval a “pomodoro,” which means tomato in Italian. He came up with this name because he used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to keep track of his time.  

This idea has stood the test of time. Today, it’s more popular than ever with time-management aficionados. While many Pomodoro apps are available, there is something nostalgic about using an actual clock. It’s almost like a subliminal reminder that you’re committed to managing your time well. 

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a tomato-shaped clock — but that would be charming. 

A Collection of Notebooks 

Collect a passel of notebooks so you always have one on hand. Since these are blank pages, you can fill them up in any way you like. Rather than keeping track of everything in your head, just flip open the right notebook to glance at your scribblings. 

Why a notebook? 

Glad you asked.

While you could always use an app or word-processing software, the old-fashioned idea of putting pen to paper is so much easier than waiting for software to load up.  

Here are a few nifty ways you could use your notebook. 

  • Write your to-do list: By physically crossing out a completed task, you’re quietly motivating yourself to complete one task after another. 
  • Capture every flashing insight: The best ideas occur at the most inconvenient times. If you don’t write them down, they disappear. Some of these gems could transform your business. So, don’t let them slip away. 
  • Brainstorm: Quickly resolve confusion by making a long list of options. The act of jotting down your ideas triggers an “aha” moment. 
  • Review your day: Everything seems a blur by the end of a long day. By quitting work early–a half-hour or an hour early — and reflecting on it, you’ll learn from all your invaluable experiential lessons. A  little introspection can go a long way. You won’t keep repeating the same mistakes. Take the time to notice what you need to tweak.

Seriously? A Water Dispenser, A Clock, and Some Notebooks?

It may sound glib to think that a water cooler, a clock, and a collection of notebooks could transform your work life — but that’s exactly what happens. These three tools boost productivity because they are simple. As Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” 

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