With all of the productivity applications and online calendars, old-fashioned planners and notebooks are going out of style. Technology has allowed workers to store all of their documents, to-do lists, calendars, and deadlines within their computers and smartphones.
Although today’s technology provides excellent applications to increase productivity, sometimes your brain can go into information overload when staring at a screen all day. If you are looking to create some productive work habits, maybe it’s time to power down the electronics and dust off some old-fashioned tools.
From using notepads to whiteboards, here are some ways to help you ditch technology and increase your productivity:
1. Grab some post-it notes. These little guys are very trusty when it comes to creating mental notes. Each day when you create your to-do list, use a post-it note to remind you of important deadlines and tasks, and attach it to your computer screen or stick it in your planner. You can also use post-its to break larger tasks into smaller ones. The best part is, as soon as you complete a task, you can throw away the post-it note and feel accomplished!
2. Use a whiteboard. Although they aren’t as “old school” as the chalk board, whiteboards are a great tool for brainstorming ideas. With a whiteboard, you can write down ideas for projects, to-do lists, give presentations, and easily color code everything you write. This will help you visualize your ideas.
3. Use a notebook. Notebooks are a great way to keep track of your notes, deadlines, and dates. You can also write down ongoing to-do lists and make yourself reminders. What’s great about using a notebook is its size. Not only can you carry it wherever you go, but also you won’t be able to ignore your notebook if it sits on your desk.
4. Get some fresh air. Are you feeling lethargic from sitting at your desk all day? Take 10 minutes to step outside for some fresh air. On your lunch break, go for a walk around the block or sit outside to eat your lunch. Fresh air is a great way to give your body the extra boost it needs to get through the rest of the afternoon and back to productivity.
5. Hide your smartphone. Ten years ago, smartphones weren’t a hindrance because they were a luxury many people didn’t have. When you keep your phone on at your desk during the day, it can become one of your biggest distractions. Your phone will stare at you, waiting for you to check notifications and text messages every 10 minutes, but it’s important to resist the urge to open them. When you have a project to complete, put your phone away to remove this distraction. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes when you don’t check your phone while you’re working.
6. Clear the clutter. A messy desk can be one of the biggest distractions when trying to be productive. If your work space isn’t conducive to productivity, how is it possible to be focused at work? By creating a productive workspace, your mind will be able to think clearly and you will accomplish more.
The next time you feel like you’ve hit a wall with your work, think about incorporating some of these ideas. By taking a moment to step away from technology, you will be surprised at the many different ways you can increase productivity in your workspace. Sometimes, all you need is your favorite pen and notepad to help you focus more at work!
Do you incorporate any of these habits into your work to increase productivity?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.