What Productivity Means For The Next Generation Of Workers
Updated on August 5th, 2016
Are you currently working a side hustle along with your 9 to 5 grind?
Perhaps you’re remote working and feeling conflicted between the joys of no commute and the realities of everyday distractions.
Or maybe you’re entering into your first full time gig. The way that technology and industries are evolving is giving rise to a new generation of workers. The picture of productivity is changing!
Instead of your typical office job with set hours, many of us are working from home, from a cafe, and from various other locations. This appears to be the trend worldwide, with at least 20% of the adults in the United States belonging to the teleworking population – and this number is rising.
There are also many benefits involved, including everything from reducing your carbon footprint as a result of less travel to less stressed employees.
Despite the obvious benefits of a more flexible work life that complements your personal life, there are also unique challenges that may arise. Managing distractions and maximising your efforts is essential for minimising the dreaded to do list explode.
When it comes to productivity:
“It’s not always that we need to do more, but rather that we need to focus on less.” – Nathan W. Morris
The essential mindset of productivity for the next generation, no matter where you are.
We all want to make those dreams happen, those side hustles succeed and those goals achieved. For tackling your to do list and hitting your productive peaks every day, we recommend these essential considerations.
Be willing to try out different routines, for finding just the right one
Ultimately, the freedom from a rigid 9 to 5 framework lets you work to your natural circadian rhythms. Working in tandem with the natural rise and fall of your body’s energy levels lets you:
“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Tony Schwartz.
Whatever it is that you do, settling into a new routine will always take time. Embrace and adapt the learning process of your first days, weeks and months of remote working. Just because you’ve always started your work at 9 in previous years, doesn’t mean you always have to.
Experiment with different routines and times of the day to find your productive peak. Even the most prolific entrepreneurs continue to perfect their ideal routines, no matter how great their successes are.
Perhaps becoming an early riser, like zenhabits founder Leo Babauta, is your key to a more fruitful day. Before the sun rises and the noisy bustle of the day begins, the relative peace is helpful for reducing distractions.
When working from home, the allure of later starts to the day are a welcome reality. However, putting in those early hours while making time for a midday break might do the trick.
Evan Williams, founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium, swears by the midday or mid afternoon gym workout, to combat those sleepy hours before 5.
Minimise mess in your workspace
Mess causes stress – and there’s science to back this up! As humans, we’re wired to work most productively when we’re focussed on a single task. A messy workspace, whether physical or digital, distracts our brain from focusing and takes up precious mental energy.
The usual forms of mess are obvious. In every home there are the dishes in the sink, laundry to be washed, living room to be cleaned and weeds to remove from the garden. However, the stressful messes appear in other forms.
Do you have an overwhelming email inbox? Is your phone buzzing with spammy notifications? All of these distractions take away your ability to focus well on a single task.
Before you begin each day, make sure your workspace is as minimal and mess free as possible. Tidiness could be one key for tapping into your new productive streak.
Now this isn’t always possible to achieve with all the household chores awaiting you, especially if you want to keep those sacred hours in the morning for your most difficult tasks. Setting aside a dedicated work space, that’s regularly cleaned, will go a long way to pumping up productivity levels.
The new wave of workers will have found the tricks to mastering the mess and maximising productivity.
Prioritise your most important tasks for your most alert hours
For many people, the early hours of the morning are when they’re most alert. Yet we often waste this time on tasks, like checking emails, that could be done later in the day. Whether you’re a night owl or a morning person, it’s useful to figure out when you’re at your productive peak and use that time for your most important tasks.
This might not always work for a number of reasons. You may be required to skype your boss from a different country, with a different time zone. You may also have other commitments like needing to run certain errands during your preferred working times. Regardless, awareness of your most alert hours will aid you in the long run.
Be conscious of how technology positively and negatively impacts your productivity
Everyone loves a new app or gadget to make life that much easier. However, it’s important to consider how your tech habits are either contributing to a culture of distraction or empowering you to greater success.
In one sense, the right technology can keep you organised and operating a business from anywhere. Seize the genius of a great project management tool, like Asana, try the efficiency of cloud-based accounting softwares, enjoy the time saving utility of timekeeping apps like Harvest. These tools and more empower the new generation of workers worldwide to power through any task, from any location.
On the other hand, your browser is a gateway to procrastination. RescueTime, and other similar tracking apps, monitor how you spend your time online. After a while trying this app out, you may soon discover where your greatest sources of procrastination are – and by extension how you might combat them!
Maybe it’s a sneaky Facebook scroll in your sleepy post-lunch period, or perhaps it’s a persistent Twitter update. Even excessive checking of emails can become a bad habit to break.
Staying conscious of your habits helps you use the tools available, without letting tech control you.
Well that’s a wrap for us, now it’s over to you!
With new ways to balance that work and life mix, along with a growing generation of entrepreneurs, productivity means different things these days.
What do you do to find your productive zone?
Jock Fair is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Brisbane’s largest coworking space, Little Tokyo Two. He’s all about building the right spaces in which thriving entrepreneurial communities can nurture the next generation of incredible leaders and businesses.
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