Open workspaces are great for team collaboration, but frequent conversations can make it difficult to focus on your own work.
Want to get more done and be happier in your space? Check out Arden Coaching’s productivity tips for cubicle dwellers below.
Productivity Tip #1: Opt Out of All Interruptions
The golden rule of maximizing your productivity level at work is about eliminating distractions and honing in on the task at hand. We love to think we can multitask, but the reality is that our brains can only concentrate on one thing at a time. This calls for turning off everything that beeps and buzzes.
Imagine how much more you’d be able to get done without that little emblem coming up on your screen every time you get a new email. Use these notifications sparingly (Warning: meeting down the hall in 5 minutes), and you’ll find it much easier to focus on the task at hand.
Productivity Tip #2: Be Courteous
From phones ringing to colleagues chatting, working in a cubicle setup means there are plenty of distractions present at just about any time. The key to helping yourself (and others) be more productive comes down to being courteous and respectful. Without office doors, people are much more accessible, but that doesn’t mean your manners should go out the window. You’ve probably at one time or another popped over to a coworker’s cubicle and started posing a question.
Remember that multitasking tidbit we mentioned? It’s back again. Chances are that your colleague’s working on something entirely different when you come by. Minimize these sorts of distractions by emailing your colleague first or checking in with them before you start your spiel. Imagining there’s a door on the other side of each person’s desk and always asking if now is a good time to talk will help both parties make quality time for one another.
Productivity Tip #3: Personalize Your Space, but Don’t Go Overboard
Blank cubicle walls are no doubt dreary to look at and don’t provide much relief away from your computer screen. Personalize your space by bringing in a few items to dress up your go-to glance area.
Studies have linked thinking about nature to higher levels of focus in the brain. Bring in a photo of your favorite outdoor spot or, better yet, transport nature indoors with a small potted plant or cactus. Too many decorations can actually have the opposite effect, so be mindful to keep things tasteful.
Productivity Tip #4: Take Breaks Throughout the Day
To be productive, our minds need time to recharge, even if only for a few minutes. Shoot for taking a mini break every hour or so. Take the stairs, go the long way to fill up your water bottle, or do a lap around the building. Avoid eating lunch at your desk if you can.
Interspersing these chances for your brain to rebound throughout your eight-hour workday will make the work you have to do far more manageable!
Productivity Tip #5: Learn to Keep Your Own Word
When we have meetings to attend, we tend to hold ourselves accountable. But when your calendar chimes in that it’s time to do your filing or start planning next year’s strategic retreat, we’re more inclined to blow off these types of items.
View your calendar as a manifest of what actually happens, not a wish list, and you’ll be surprised how much more productive you can be when you truly put your mind to it!
Efficiency is key to an executive’s role. If you feel as though time is slipping away from you or your teams, partnering with an executive coach may be the solution you need to kick your productivity into high gear.
Want to learn more about the benefits of partnering with an executive coach? Learn about Arden’s coaching process by downloading our free guide How Does an Executive Coaching Engagement Work? today.