How to Stay Productive & Focused at Work
We’ve all had it. You’ve got 57 things on your ‘to-do’ list but for some reason, all you can do is daydream of your summer holiday, plan what you’re going to make for dinner, or organise your next gym session with the girls. Before you know it, you’re 30 minutes down on page 18 of ‘Dresses’ on ASOS and hang on, you don’t even need a dress! Here at Little’s Coffee, we’re experts in productivity and damn tasty flavoured coffee, so we’ve put together our top tips for staying motivated, productive and focused at work.
Focus can easily get broken at work, after all, you’re in an environment which is not necessarily determined by you; the radio may be on a station you hate, there may be drilling outside the window, it may be far too hot. All of these things are what we like to call ‘focus breakers’. It’s important to try and manage your working environment as much as possible and good employers are happy to listen. After all, they want to improve productivity too! Whether you need a desk fan, aircon installed, a pin board or a more supportive chair, it’s worth voicing what you need to make your working environment a place you can thrive.
- Listen to this office playlist on Spotify
Eliminate Distractions & Improve Focus
In our current world, we are forced to multi-task, chop and change, flit between job and task and meeting and planning, all whilst keeping on top of your emails and going to meetings, oh and Sharon wants that spreadsheet she’s been chasing. We’re far too busy. Pause. There is a concept called ‘Deep Work’ which argues the best way to get more meaningful work done is by working deeply – working in a state of high concentration without distractions on a single task. Have a try at doing this today. It’s super hard – but try your hardest to stick to one thing. Another way we like to improve our focus is with a cup of the good stuff: coffee. The right amount of caffeine can help you focus, but too much might make you jittery, anxious, or irritable. 2-3 cups a day is usually the limit before the caffeine gets too much, but the optimum amount can be great for keeping you focussed.
- Read Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
Motivation & Morale
How can you be expected to excel if you have zero motivation? Your motivation levels can be easily slammed at any point in the day by motivation killers, these can come in the form of negative people, poor management, lack of organisation or lack of appreciation. Our advice is to try and work out your triggers that downward spiral your motivation and try to avoid or try to fix these issues. If your colleague next to you is constantly moaning and negative but other than that you’re having a pretty good time, ask to be moved. Your employer should recognise that you’re trying to set something straight, which will in turn benefit them. That’s pretty damn adult if you ask us!
Morale in the workplace is another key way of maintaining not only your motivation but your colleagues’ too. After all, it has been proven that happy colleagues excel in their jobs. ‘Coffee time’ or doing the tea round is a great way to lift your colleagues’ spirits. Little’s have twelve different flavoured coffees to choose from including French Vanilla, Cardamom Bun, Maple Walnut and Chocolate Caramel. With a flavour for everyone, these little jars of joy are sure to get the team excited and feeling loved. With no added sugar and just 4 calories a cup when drunk black, it’s the ideal 3pm pick-me-up, but without the calories!
- Head to wearelittles.com to see the full flavoured coffee range
Set Goals & Time Watch
Most of us will have a professional goal we are working towards – be that getting a promotion, getting on the team for an upcoming project or learning a new skill. It’s hard to reach that goal when it seems so far away unless you set yourself some achievable smaller objectives. We suggest you try breaking this goal down. What do you need to do to get the promotion? Is there a particular project you need to excel in, do you need more experience managing people or maybe you need to improve your communication skills? Write these things down and give yourself a deadline and stick to it.
These are good strategies for long term goal setting, but what about today? How do you work your way through your working week and try to get the most out of it? We like to make sure our ‘to-do’ list is ready to go for the next day, so when we come in and sit down with a cuppa, we know what we must get nailed.
It helps to be aware of your time and where it’s going. Avoid spending time with colleagues who drain your time and energy, especially those who you don’t learn or get anything from. Toggl is a great time-tracking tool you can use to see how your time is being spent in a working day. Give it a try and you might just be surprised at how long certain jobs are taking, at the same time as becoming more aware of how much you’re flitting between jobs.
- Start tracking your time on Toggl
Just like a car, you can’t work at your best if you’re running on empty. How can you focus on nailing that promotion if you skipped breakfast? As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we really do recommend you eat breakfast like a king. There are so many slow-release, low-sugar, healthy breakfast options out there now which means there’s pretty much no excuse. You can even prep your overnight oats the night before and grab and go in the morning!
As for lunch time, we like to avoid heavy lunches that leave you feeling sluggish and tired into the afternoon. Try a salad packed with brain-food such as salmon, wholegrains, tomatoes, eggs and pumpkin seeds. We know it’s easier said than done but leaving the desk doesn’t mean you’re not a hard worker. Why not head outside and get some fresh air?
Snacks are important too. Try picking snacks which are high in protein, fibre and antioxidants such as nuts, berries, bananas and dark chocolate. Liquids need to be kept up throughout the day too – drink plenty of water, sip on green tea, and coffee – all of which contribute to your recommended two litres a day, whilst also keeping you alert and focussed.
Food aside, there are many other ways to keep your energy levels maintained. It’s important to regularly get a good night’s sleep, as well as take regular breaks away from your computer to walk around, grab a drink, stretch and give your eyes a rest. Alongside a healthy diet and work routine, regular exercise also helps keeps our brains sharp and focused. We recommend trying out an at-home fitness subscription like our good friends over at The Boxx Method.
- Sign up for 10 days free at The Boxx Method
So, we’ve given you our top tips for staying productive and on top form at work, now it’s time for you to go and ace it!
Let us know which, if any, of these tips you use already. If you have more tips to share, do let us know on Instagram @wearelittles! To hear more from Little’s, sign up to their mailing list here.