If you are already using cycle time analysis and flow analytics to ensure your team is as productive and efficient as it can be, then you may have noticed the extent to which delays, time wastage and lost hours can affect your team’s ability to complete projects on time.
Knowing how every team member is progressing and analyzing ways to improve productivity are crucial, especially when you are working on large projects that may take several years to complete. On an individual basis, there are also many ways we can use our time more wisely and keep our mind on the job. These are just a few.
It can be very tempting to check non-work-related emails and social media between tasks, but that small break you intend to take can actually intend to various minutes. Particularly when you consider that you may be chatting to people in other time zones, who may call you via Skype or Viber, thus forcing you into a call you shouldn’t be taking during work hours.
Research has shown that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to tasks after being interrupted. If you find social media to be an irresistible distraction, consider using apps like Cold Turkey, which ban you from surfing the Internet for up to eight hours at a time.
Reducing Unnecessary Meetings
Research indicates that many office workers spend over 30 hours per week on unproductive meetings. Shared workspaces like Slack and video conferencing can significantly reduce the time you spend traveling to meetings or even walking to other parts of the building to see colleagues.
Set Times for Reading Communications
To enhance your ability to focus, only check your emails at specific times. Even shared spaces can be a time waster if you are logging in various times with no need. Moreover, it is important to prioritize the accounts you check, and to get rid of accounts you don’t use often, so you aren’t checking three or four accounts on the same day, thus hampering your productivity.
Make Time for Meditation
Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience has shown that medication changes brain patterns, and enhances mental focus, which can improve cognitive performance. There are a plethora of free apps and online resources that will help you meditate and practice controlled breathing for as little as five minutes a day.
To boost the effects of meditation, take it to the Great Outdoors. Studies have shown that even contemplating nature or having plants in the office, can improve concentration and performance.
According to Harvard researchers, one of the best ways to battle ‘brain fog’ or frequent bouts of forgetfulness, is a healthy exercise routine. Regular physical activity helps lower stress and anxiety, keeps the heart healthy, and stimulates brain regions involved in memory function. It also rewires memory circuits so they work more efficiently.
Concentrating more at work involves a combination of analyzing and cutting down distractions, setting and sticking to break times, and engaging in activities that enhance our mental as much as our physical well being. Time in nature, too, can help us achieve the mindful state that is an important requisite of concentration.
This post was contributed by Jane Sandwood. Jane is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for both digital and print media across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. When she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.