Lunch Break Workout: Yes or No?

We all know that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, yet what are the pros and cons of the lunchtime workout tribe? 1. Why You Should be Exercising During Your Lunch Break Everyone has different times of the day when they feel that they are the most productive. For some people, they find that waking up and tackling a big task first thing is what gets them going and helps them to stay motivated throughout the day. For others, late afternoon or early evening might be their most productive time. Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter, Blogger and Medium, recommends working out during your lunch hour. Williams chooses to focus on important tasks instead and then exercise during the middle of the day. If you’re a highly productive person in the mornings it could be good to blast through your to-do list and end your most productive time zone with a rip roaring lunch break workout utilising the afternoon hours to catch up on lower priority emails and other tasks. However, he does add that this is made easier by the fact that he works opposite a gym, so it’s important to make sure whatever exercise you choose is easily accessible and doesn’t require travel time that could potentially disrupt your day by extending your lunch hour for too long. 2. Why You Should Save Your Exercise for Later in the Day While a lunch break workout can boost your productivity, could a midday workout also leave you tired and unable to carry out the rest of the tasks for your day? According to an article in...

5 Tips to Staying Focused in the Mornings

Mornings can either be our most productive times, or our most frustrating. Getting out of bed and to work on time forces us to make a number of decisions that can use up valuable time and energy if we don’t plan properly. While some people might be more naturally inclined to be alert first thing in the morning, some of us might need a little bit more help when it comes to being as efficient as possible after our alarm clock goes off. If you’re one of the latter type of people, have no fear, here are five tips to staying focused in the mornings: 1. Reduce Decision Fatigue As one of the most in-demand people in the world, Barack Obama has often been quizzed about his efficient routine. Apart from limiting decision making by only wearing grey or blue suits, one of his key focuses is having time to himself at night after his family has gone to bed. In this way, Obama has time to get a head start on his day by giving himself time to prepare lists of what priorities need to be addressed. In an article for the Financial Times, the concept of decision fatigue is noted as one of the main reasons why it is so easy to lose focus in the mornings. This is because we end up making a number of trivial decisions in the morning when our cognitive functioning is at its best, instead of conserving that energy for more complex and creative tasks. 2. Train Your Brain While being a morning person or not might have a lot to...

Managing Tasks: List Your Way to Greatness

We’ve been taught to make lists for everything. A list of friends you want to invite to your birthday bash, a list of goals to accomplish in your lifetime or even just a grocery list. While many of us are conditioned to write these kinds of lists (even if we don’t always check off all of the tasks), how many of us never make lists, ever? It might seem hard to believe that this happens in a world so driven by profits, pressure and productivity, but some people have just found other ways to manage their tasks without the need for any kind of list. If you’re one of these people who have managed to find a way of doing so, perhaps through having a good memory or a wonderful support network. But what if you’ve been struggling lately to manage everything, and would finally like to learn how to become a list person? Here’s four ways from us to get started: 1. Focus on a Limited Number of Tasks One approach to make sure you focus on what is important is to list three things that you need to do on a given day, and focus only on those, instead of trying to cram as many tasks into one day as possible. If you’re headstrong and eager to try out a more radical approach, you can test out Warren Buffett’s ‘two-list system’. 2. Be Realistic About Timeframes One of the problems with lists is that we often don’t take into account how long it will take to complete a task. Whilst we might be inspired by the thought...

How to Manage Return to Work Priorities After a Break Away

While taking breaks during the workday is a very important part of a productive work schedule, it can often be difficult to get back into a workflow once you’ve taken a break and returned to your desk. Sometimes it can be difficult to pick up where we left off when we get back to work, having left tasks incomplete that required a consistent train of thought to get done. While it can be difficult to get back into it after taking a break, it’s important to develop the necessary skills to manage this transition, for example by organising your day so that certain tasks are completed in the morning, and some in the afternoon. How you organise your day obviously depends on your personal work rhythms and what you do for a living and figuring out what works best for you can also require some trial and error. However, by testing out different ways of managing your day, you can create a more effective work schedule that allows you to get the most out of your working hours, and not feel like it’s always a struggle to get back to work after you’ve taken some time out. To make our workdays more enjoyable and productive, with ample time to re-energise, here are five tips to keep in mind when returning to work priorities after a break away: 1. Time Your Breaks While we all know that we should take breaks during the day to be more productive, it’s important to be strategic about these breaks in order to be as effective as possible. It’s one thing to take a...

Managing Email: Using Categories in Outlook and Gmail

We all know how much time email can take up during our day. We often try to focus our time on completing specific tasks but end up monitoring the messages that come into our inbox, constantly distracted by the “new message” icon. While email in the workplace is problematic when it comes to productivity, there are ways to manage your email account that can make it easier to deal with the number of messages coming in. This includes sending less email to receive less, and using applications and organizational systems that streamline the functioning of your inbox. While it is very time consuming to manage messages that come straight to one general inbox, filtering your messages and breaking up your emails into categories can be a very helpful way to manage your emails more effectively. Often though, we don’t have the time to sort through all of our messages manually, which is why applications that automatically sort out the emails in your inbox can be very effective at simplifying your workday and making you more productive. While email is very difficult to stop using in a world so accustomed to using it, in an effort to make email easier here are five of the most popular ways to organise your inbox in both Gmail and Outlook: 1. Make Better Use of Gmail Tabs Gmail introduced a new layout system in 2013 that automatically included three tabs, which divides your inbox into three default sections, namely Primary, Social and Promotions. Primary emails are those considered general by Gmail’s default filters, with Social being emails sent from social networking sites and...

3 Ways to Beat Procrastination

We all have those days when what needs to be done feels insurmountable, and no matter how hard we try and stay focused, we keep getting distracted and avoid the task at hand. While some of us may be procrastinators at heart, we all have times when tasks seem so complex and difficult that it can be challenging to face them head on. As procrastination may be rooted in complex psychological obstacles, it’s important to figure out why we are procrastinating, and find ways to address this avoidance. The truth is that avoiding tasks, or delaying them, can prolong the process and make it even more difficult to get things done, frustrating your colleagues even further as the vicious cycle continues. While in the case of procrastination, things truly are easier said than done, here are just 3 ways to beat procrastination, which can help to conquer time-wasting once and for all: 1. Take Time to Visualise Sometimes we struggle to get started because we actually don’t know what needs to be done. We may have been allocated a task via text or verbal instruction, but until we really sit down and think about how the process will happen in practice, it can be difficult to actually get started. We might think we understand what we need to do, but often the person who has instructed you hasn’t given had the time to think out the task, so it’s up to you to figure out the intricacies of what you need to do. While there may be many ways to get things clear in your head, one way is...