14 Jan Working Smarter, Not harder in 2022 – Tips from AAC
Let’s face it – 2021 was quite a challenging year for all of us. All the stress and uncertainty of many things has taken a toll on our mental and physical health, and even our productivity. So in this year’s first blog post, we’d like to share simple, highly effective tips you can use to kick start 2022.
Turn off your notifications
You’ve probably noticed that those little *ding* sounds throw you off, making you lose your focus. You know you want to look at your phone …. is it a message from a friend? a text from a client? Diverting your attention every time you get a notification will get you nowhere. That’s why we highly recommend turning off your notifications while you are working on something important. You don’t have to put your phone on airplane mode or turn off your notifications for a whole day. Just set a predetermined amount of time you think you will need to have a productive work session. During this time don’t allow anyone and anything to distract you from the task, then take a break and check your notifications. If you’re worried that you might miss something important, most likely you will get a phone call if it’s an emergency.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Have you heard of the “Pomodoro” technique? Basically, it’s a technique for shorter tasks. Here’s how it works:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes, and focus on your tasks until it goes off
- Take a 5-minute break – stretch your muscles, do a breathing exercise, relax your mind; check your notifications
- Repeat the process
The “Pomodoro” technique has been around since the early 1990s and was invented by Francesco Cirillo, an entrepreneur and software developer, to help him focus on his studies during university. He had an idea to use a kitchen timer to track his work and study time. The timer was in the shape of a tomato, hence the name of this method. “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian. Each Pomodoro session should demand your full attention on one task, every break requires you to step away from your work to rest. Work. Break Repeat.
Upkeep a designated workspace: Whether you are working from home or in the office, creating a designated work station is crucial as it will help you stay productive, uphold motivation, and maintain a sense of normalcy. First and foremost, you need a place to set up and actually, you know, work. If you have a dedicated office with a desk, great. If you can use the kitchen table or coffee table, fantastic. But for those who don’t have the luxury of a designated workspace, or if you share your home with someone else, the next best thing is to create a makeshift office in an empty corner or along a small stretch of blank wall space. Be sure to upgrade your chair, set up by a window if you can, switch out your light bulbs and try to bring some life to your space. We always suggest investing in a good pair of headphones.
Set a routine: Being home all day or back in the office full-time can make it hard to establish boundaries and remain organized. Creating a realistic weekly routine makes it easier to stay on track and accomplish tasks. Continue waking up early, eating breakfast and lunch at regular times, and taking breaks throughout the day. The goal is to keep your schedule as normal as possible, so you feel less disorganized and more determined to do your best work.
Dress for success: If you are remote, staying in your pajamas might seem like a great idea, but getting dressed before starting your workday is important. If you are back in the office full-time, dust off your best business casual outfits and put your best foot forward. By doing so, you will be more motivated to do work, connected to the rest of the working world, and you will be prepared prepared to attend meetings.
Establish a cut-off time: Knowing when to close your laptop is probably a hard decision you face each day. It is important that you set, and stick to, a time to stop working in the evening. According to an article by Microsoft Office, 40 percent of people work outside of regular hours in a way that interferes with family time.
We all strive to finish as much work as possible, but maintaining a healthy balance is vital – especially in our current climate.
Now is the time to find a balance in your work and personal life as we gear up for 2022.