September 22, 2015
6 Productivity Hacks You Wish You’d Known Earlier
*PLEASE NOTE – iMindMap and DropTask are now the web-based software, Ayoa. Ayoa is an all-in-one whiteboard tool that combines mind mapping, task management and team collaboration features. Discover Ayoa and achieve your best work.*
At DropTask, we’re often talking about productivity and getting things done, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. It’s important to make the most of the time that we do have, and for some that means spending every hour of the day working flat out, cramming as many tasks in that we physically can – but this can actually be counter-productive.
We need to be efficient and productive – working in a way which gets us through the day in the best possible way without exerting any unnecessary effort. To help improve your productivity at work, we’ve scoured the office and asked the team for their top productivity hacks…
1. Bring your team together
For most of us, our working days are spent sat in front of a computer or in meetings, but we don’t believe in ‘all work and no play’, that’s why the DropTask team regularly organizes team lunches and after-work get togethers. Organizing these out of work events away from the office gives team mates the opportunity to get to know one another in a more casual environment, and can help us to feel closer to the people we work with. Team members who feel connected with one another are likely to find work more enjoyable and fulfilling, while establishing a better sense of work-life balance.
2. Sleep well
Late nights and early mornings are a bad combination, especially when you’ve got a busy day on the horizon. From becoming easily distracted and struggling to remain focused, to making mistakes and experiencing headaches; lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired and frustrated – effecting your productivity as well as your health. A study by Harvard Medical School found that adults who regularly get between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep per night can be up to 20% more productive and much healthier too.
3. Exercise regularly
As a recent article by Livestrong highlights, exercise isn’t just for those who are looking to lose weight or stay in shape – the benefits of exercise stretch far beyond improvements to your health. Exercising increases the blood flow to the brain, which sharpens your awareness and improves your alertness and focus at work. Other benefits of exercise include increased energy levels and breakthroughs in creative ideas. At DropTask, we’re all about being creative and coming up with new ideas, that’s why we attend a weekly boot camp class after work to really get our creative juices flowing!
4. Eat healthily
According to the Harvard Business Review, the foods we eat affect our mind as well as our body. Foods high in carbohydrates (such as bread and pasta), release glucose quickly, which leads to a burst of energy followed by a slump. High fat meals (such as burgers and pizzas), provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us feel groggy and lethargic. On the other hand, healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins can improve concentration, alertness, problem-solving and productivity. So, the next time you reach for that unhealthy and convenient lunchtime option, consider the impact it may have on your cognitive performance for the afternoon…
5. Manage your workload
Struggling to get started with the things you need to do can really waste time and stall productivity. That’s why we suggest using different tools to capture and manage everything that needs to be done – no matter how big or small. Being able to dump everything in one place not only frees up your mind from the energy it takes to remember these things, but it also allows you to explore ideas, plan and organize next steps, and manage action items to reach your goals. Use iMindMap for thinking and encouraging creativity when developing ideas, then transform them into tasks that need to be actioned within DropTask. Here, you can use practical features in time management, collaboration, and prioritisation to manage your overall goals with ease. You can even transform notes from Evernote into tasks or send in emails from Outlook.
6. And finally… Look at cute animal pictures
Looking at pictures of cute puppies melts our hearts and watching grumpy cat videos make us giggle – both of which improve our moods, but did you know they can increase our productivity too? A recent study found participants actually performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after they had viewed cute images. This can be a result of the positive feelings that are stirred up after viewing the images, or the fact that viewing cute things can make the viewer more attentive leading to the performance of the next task to be improved. On the other hand, taking time out to view these pictures, gives us a short break from our work which can help to keep us more focused throughout the day.
Did you know? Ayoa combines iMindMap’s visual mind mapping features with Droptask’s intuitive task management capabilities, so you can now manage every aspect of your work in one app! Start your journey to a more productive way of working by signing up to Ayoa for free today.