Even the people who love their jobs more than anything else get bored sometimes. It’s said that adults can only maintain their attention span for an optimum time of forty-five minutes. If this is true, then one of the major issues employers should take into account is how to keep people focused on their work, while keeping tabs on them to ensure that they don’t become stressed.
The news about adults only having an optimum attention span of forty-five minutes has come with an interesting caveat: if you allow someone to take a break once that forty-five minutes is up, then they will give some of their best work. Breaks seem to allow for a slight recharge which means we can come back at our best, even if it is just a five-minute break away from stimulation.
That being said, there are various ways by which you can encourage better productivity among your employees over and above allowing them a break every three-quarters of an hour. Sometimes, giving them so many breaks isn’t feasible, so these tips will give you ways of encouraging productivity in the meantime.
Make a list
One easy way to keep productivity high is by making lists of what needs to be done. A list will serve two purposes. One, it will keep people from forgetting what needs to be done, because everything is written down in the list; and two, being able to scratch a task off the list will give the person who does it a sense of satisfaction, because they will be able to show that they are accomplishing something.
You can either give people individual lists or have one general list. Each has its own merits – an individual list will allow people a great sense of self-satisfaction because their list will presumably be small, so they move through it more quickly. A centralised list can also convey satisfaction, though in a different manner – ticking off tasks on a centralised list will give satisfaction because it will let people see that they are doing their part to move closer to having a project completed.
Like above, this can either be done on an individual or group level. Having set goals has the advantage that employees can then be left to work on their own to achieve those goals – less oversight might be a problem, but they can rely on their initiative, and thus maintain productivity on their own merit.
Group level goals, on the other hand, have the advantage of encouraging productivity on a group level. Having everyone needing to work together to produce a piece of work will mean that people feel encouraged and influenced by the example set by their fellow employees. In a way, they will become each other’s guidelines for the appropriate level of work which needs to be done.
Have an office
With the increasing numbers of people who are working from home in this day and age, this is becoming increasingly important. Having a space for work which is dedicated to work, and is separate from the other areas where you sleep, play and relax, is important for productivity.
An office is somewhere where employees should be focused on their work. Having an office in the same space where they relax means entirely too many opportunities for them to be distracted, and therefore unproductive.
Look for what you enjoy
Work is sometimes not enjoyable, even if you are lucky enough to be in a career that you love. The best way to maintain productivity, even in the face of tasks which are not very enjoyable, is to look for things which are enjoyable and focus on them throughout the job.
Get a productivity coach.
If pressure is something which makes you thrive, get somebody to act as your personal productivity coach and use them to remain accountable. Having someone constantly keeping you on track and working is a wonderful method of productivity, because while the work is being done on your own, you are not completely reliant on yourself.