When we’re disorganized, our minds get cluttered and we feel unproductive. To get your brain back on track, spend five minutes tidying your desk, shutting unused tabs and closing emails you’re done with. Try tidying your desk for 5 minutes every day this week. It’s incredible how much difference a nice and tidy workstation can make in terms of productivity and overall peace of mind.
Mix up your work environments
Of course, your work desk is where you work. But that doesn’t mean it’s the most optimal place for you – or at least, not all the time. Try different areas in your workspace to see where you feel the most productive. Maybe you’re the most creative when you bring your devops projects into the kitchen (that’s where the coffee machine is, after all ☕), or when you set up your chair by a window.
Create the ideal conditions for concentration
Work in an open office space with chatty colleagues? That can be fun…and also distracting when you really need to concentrate! Even if you’re not listening to music, a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones does wonders to cut out background noise. If you’re one of the lucky ones who enjoys working to music, be sure it’s the type that helps you concentrate (and not just the wishful-thinking type you like to sing to).
To be truly efficient, your teams should be closely aligned on expectations. Using checklists helps make sure that when you’re working on any projects, you’ve covered exactly what each individual, team, and/or department needs for the next phase. There are plenty of great tools to help you with this, from Trello to Airtable.
If a meeting doesn’t have a clear objective or requirement, be strong enough to say no, ask for an agenda, or ask why you’re invited. Your time is valuable, and making sure everyone is up-to-date on the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of meetings keeps people accountable and respects everyone’s time. This helps us maximize our workday at HQ!
Believe us, we’d love to hang out in the backoffice all day – but it’s healthier to plan time to go outside and get fresh air during your workday. It may sound counter-intuitive ,but taking a few minutes away from your screen and stretching your legs can help you refocus, reduce eye strain and feel less lethargic. Start small and try taking 20 deep breaths, counting as you inhale and exhale.
Dedicate time for emails
Set a timeframe (or two) during the day that you dedicate to emails. Some people swear by the first half hour of the morning while others like to get work done before digging into their inbox during the low-energy period after lunch. The best thing is to experiment, find what works for you, and stick to it.
Be wary of notifications
Slack, Teams, Asana… we have so many apps to help us optimize our time, and yet they can really mess with our focus when it counts. During periods of deep work on your memes project, turn off your sounds, put your phone away, and/or turn all notifications off.
One thing at a time
While “being present” is one of those lines that sounds fuzzy, it’s effective. When you listen, engage and put your focus into one thing at a time – rather than buying into the myth of multitasking – you will maximize your time and that of your colleagues and customers.
Not everything has to be done NOW
It can be easy to fall into the habit of jumping on any task or issue as soon as it arises. While being reactive is sometimes necessary, it can often go the other way and hurt your productivity. Instead, create a task list and prioritize what needs to be done first – and be sure to get your team on board, too. In the long run, you just might get more done!
Celebrate every tiny victory
It’s so much more fun to achieve your goals and stay motivated when you celebrate together with your team and customers, and consistent motivation lays the groundwork for productivity. If we may be so bold, go the Danish route and bring cake – and/or go the DevOpsMeme route and bring confetti cannons! ?