Most sites give you great ways to improve time usage and how to utilise the space on your desk. These tips might help with each of those, but they are more about peace of mind. I started this train of thought with only this first one:
10. If noise bothers you, turn up the volume.
Doesn’t make sense right? But its true. When I find the noise, chatter, jack-hammers around are bothering me and affecting the productivity of my work, I crank up the MP3 player to 30 and listen to U2 or Evermore. Nothing else.
Which brings up the next point…
9. Listen to recorded music, not the radio.
Trust me, it’ll improve productivity. I like to listen to a good backing beat, a decent melody and lyrics that I can understand. Just don’t sing along. People might get out the shotgun to put the wailing cat out of its misery.
What I have noticed over the last ten years in the same office is that there are very few songs or voices that invoke the typing speed I require to complete my duties within the necessary time-frame.
Here are ten songs have the necessary beat and melody to help you along each day.
8. De-Clutter your desk.
Remove anything that has no bearing on the work you are doing right now. If you are sure you need it, like a pencil or eraser – put it in the same location every time.
What will this do for your work?
In the same way that we teach our 2yo niece, when every toy or tool is put back where it belongs – it’s out of harms way, it’s findable for next time we want to get it out, and quite simply – it’s professional to keep a tidy office. Right?!
7. Avoid hunger pains by chewing gum.
Sugar free. This actually has a couple of benefits:
1. Stimulates the salivary glands in your mouth, thereby
2. Keeps the jaw moving without the miscellaneous noise.
3. Keeps the mind active when mindless duties are being performed.
6. Utilise your shredder and recycle bins.
If there is only one thing I truly hate – it’s a desk cluttered with seemingly useless bits of paper.
From the petitions to the monitor edges, no space of your desk should be covered in post-it notes. If they are so important, categorise them. Either in outlook or in a plastic folder. Get productive and put all the important phone numbers into a database. Various email-software offer simple and easy to use systems.
Any paperwork that has missed its completion date or is actually completed should be archived accordingly.
5. When you are happy, make sure people know about it.
When you are sad, keep it to yourself – (unless you need empathy or a shoulder.)
Personally, I love when people smile at me. It tells me a few things…
1. They are in a happy mood.
2. They are happy to see me.
3. They want to be happier.
Ever noticed that when you are happy, everyone else appears to be happier. Apparently smiles are contagious – everyone has one when you do. Whereas when you are morose and sullen, nobody but nobody gives a rats arse. Or a flying fig. Or care. Unless they are a counsellor.
Keep smiling, even when you’re not happy – and soon you will be.
[For those that know me, yes, I don’t smile easily. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s more to do with a missing teeth that cause the side of my face to drop. ]
4. Don’t use questions about work as a conversation starter.
People will mistakenly think you are silly and cannot remember the simplest of things.
An alternative: Ask questions to clarify and confirm your knowledge. It is a sure way to get appraisal from your boss.
Instead of asking “I’ve forgotten what we do here, but I reckon…”, go for “Previously I have followed this procedure – would it be the same for this similar yet different scenario?” Firstly, this tells your boss that you have thought about it before coming to them. Secondly, it shows you care about your bosses opinion. This is often reciprocated in what Alan Pease calls ‘mirror actions’. Your boss may not be even aware they are doing it, but they will give you feedback that should appraise your initial thoughts – even though it might follow with a complete change of procedure. Don’t let that faze you – it’s inevitable that things will change, even when they shouldn’t.
3. Don’t over decorate your petitions.
Too often staff think the petition is a pin-board. Most often it is not, yet they persist in pressing pointy-ended things against it to secure paper prints of popular people in their life. Whilst I believe it is important to be surrounded by those you love, I don’t think its appropriate to have some photographs: Supermodels, half-nekkid footballers nor you and the boss laughing at the last Staff-party really are not going to get you any extra browny points with your colleagues and team.
There is no tomorrow, only the ever-present now. How often do you hear someone say “Yesterday” when asked when they want something completed?
1. If the small-things bother you – get rid of them.
That’s right. If you have a small mark on your desk that catches your peripheral vision – find something to remove it. If it is a fixture, you might need permission to remove it. An easier way is to find a framed print to sit over it. It’s ideal that any frames prints don’t have a glass-front because reflections of light can be the most annoying form of distraction on the planet.