Staying Productive in the Workplace

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By Jeff Hersch, PR Intern, R&J Public Relations

As someone who has been physically active in some way at nearly every previous job since the age of 15, I was apprehensive about diving into the dreaded “office world.” Tiring eyes staring at a screen, fidgeting butts on computer chairs, and Excel spreadsheets would quickly take a toll on one’s brain, especially if you are like me and have hyper tendencies (I just cannot sit still for long). Needless to say, I was quite pleased after learning that the human brain can only take in about 50 minutes of information before it starts decreasing its capacity to absorb anything. And that’s according to scientific research.

Plenty of studies suggest that the standard 8-hour workday only benefits physical labor, as it was first introduced during the Industrial Revolution in order to boost productivity. But the same cannot be said with mentally-demanding jobs. That being said, it’s important to encourage each other to take simple breaks throughout the day to recharge and reset your focus.

I’m not claiming “laziness” or badmouthing the 8-hour day (that’s another can of worms), but here are a few things you can do periodically during your strenuous work day to maintain focus and improve productivity for yourself and those around you. I’m no expert, but I think they will be of assistance.

1.  Get out of your chair! This can be doing something as simple as getting up out of your chair and doing a few laps around the office. Say “hey” to your fellow co-workers and get a drink of water. Go outside and breathe in that fresh air. Soak in the sun. For more fulfilling results, stretch! 5 quick minutes of toe-touches or simple yoga poses will recharge your batteries. Sure, your office mates may tease you and call you “yogi,” but you will feel re-energized.

2. Have a snack. Now a snack doesn’t constitute having a piece of cake from the break room or handfuls upon handfuls of jellybeans. Research suggests that healthy snacking, such as a piece of fruit or some nuts, improves your overall health, curbs cravings, regulates mood, and most importantly, boosts brain power to supply you with the energy necessary to keep going all day. In addition to snacking, be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water. After all, something has to balance out all the coffee we consume on a daily basis.

3. Eliminate distractions. Try disabling alerts and notifications on your smart phone, computer, and other devices. Resist the urge to be on social media and close tabs unrelated to work. If that just seems like an impossible task, try setting goals for yourself with the incentive of taking a brief pause to glance at your notifications and web pages. That is, if you even have the time. If you can, try to avoiding multi-tasking which will also help direct your focus towards completing responsibilities with minimal stress. Control your environment; do not let it control you.

By adhering to these simple suggestions, not only will your productivity at work increase, but your overall well-being will significantly improve. And let’s not forget, you don’t need to be sitting in an office or even be at work to apply these tips to your routine. Why not strive to stay productive all day, every day. Remember to rest up and challenge each day with your best foot forward. Namaste.

Author’s Note: I finished writing this after eating a healthy lunch outside, soaking up the sun. Mission accomplished.

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