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15 Ways to Be More Productive (#7 Includes Blueprint Racks Storage!)

blueprint racks storage

Do you feel overwhelmed juggling all of your commitments—work, friends, family, finances, health, hobbies, passions?

Do you feel like the doggy paddling to stay afloat in life seems like it’ll never end?

If so, you’re not alone. Actually, according to the Atlantic, you really only have around 30 hours of leisure per week.[1]

When you break it up over a 7-day, 168-hour week, that’s not a lot. (It’s little more than a full day!).

How do you make the most of it? What productivity tools can you use to increase that number (or at least not decrease it!).

Read on to find out! Plus, #7 includes productivity office furniture hacks such as using blueprint racks storage.

1. For 15 Minutes, All You Do Is Organize

Dedicate 15 minutes a day to only organization. This time could be used at home or the office, just as long as it’s consistently taken. [2]

For instance, take those 15 minutes to sort cluttered paper into 3 productivity piles: do, read, and file.

Then, on the next day, you can take 15 minutes to file the papers in the “file” pile, schedule in when and how to get the “to do” papers done. And skim over the “to read” papers to determine how much time you’ll need to dedicate in order to fully ingest the material.

2. One In, One Out

You can also spend those 15 minutes going through your office, tossing out junk you have no use for. Use the one in, one out rule to speed up the process.[3]

Basically, this rule calls for tossing out one item for every item you add to your office space.

You can even go as far to apply this rule to mandatory items such as receiving a new FEMA binder from your boss.

(You’d then toss out an unnecessary item—like the old, outdated one. Or that dead plant that’s an eyesore on your desk.)

3. Accomplish Goals by Prioritizing

Most people either don’t accomplish or procrastinate on their goals because they’re too big and overwhelming. To decrease the stress and turn an unmanageable project into a source of accomplishment, list and break down the goals.

This should be done each day and week. For example, let’s say you want to finish an in-depth report by the end of the week. Give it a number. How much of a priority is it for you? Does this take precedence in your work life?

If it is, it gets a number one. You’re going to then map out steps you need to take to get the job done. (And these will take precedence over the other steps for lesser goals.) In other words, finish the daily steps to getting that report done first before you start working on that bid.

4. Schedule in Time for the “Trivial Things”

According to Entrepreneur, it takes on average 26 minutes to get back on track after doing a trivial thing.[4]

Some trivial things include checking email and social media, IM’ing with a co-worker, taking an additional 15 minutes to go through the paper piles, throwing unnecessary paper and clutter away, and so forth.

The article goes on to state that taking time out to do unnecessary and unimportant tasks really hampers how productive your work day is.

While let’s face it, your email does need to get checked. Social media channels need to be updated to promote your products and/or services. And you enjoy those 10 minutes of IM’ing Alex about after-work plans.

That’s fine. Schedule them into your day. Plan on checking your email when you first come in, before and after lunch, and right before you leave. Set similar times for social media. (Or, better yet, assign the social media task to an intern.) And, as for IM’ing, set aside work breaks (which we’ll go more into detail) to talk with Alex.

5. Schedule Breaks to Avoid Burnout

Working nonstop for (at least) 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is a recipe for burnout. Those stressful hours won’t be put to productive use. Instead, you’ll be focusing your energy on not losing your concentration, falling asleep, or staring into space aimlessly.

That’s why you need to schedule breaks throughout your work day.[5] And not just one but multiple. Take a 10-minute break after you get done with 2 hours of writing that report. Schedule a 15-minute break 2 hours after lunch.

You can even schedule them more frequently; whatever works for you. (Read on to learn the Pomodoro Technique, which makes break taking easy and doable!).

6. Divvy Up Onsite and Offsite Tasks

Back to that report that’s due Friday. Let’s say you need to still do research, call a couple of clients, and write the first draft. Divide up the onsite and offsite tasks.[6]

That time would be put to good use with no interruptions from co-workers. In this case, these tasks would be best done offsite, where you can control the level of interruptions and collaboration.

On the other hand, collaboration and idea-bouncing tasks are great to have onsite. Perhaps you can have one of your co-workers read your first draft and give you feedback. Then juggle some ideas back and forth on how to write the second draft.

7. Be Picky with Your Office Furniture (Consider Blueprint Racks Storage)

You have a limited amount of work space in your office or cubicle. You don’t want bulky file cabinet to take up 25% of it.

It’s ok to move furniture around and invest in organizational and productive-friendly pieces— such as blueprint racks storage, which has poly hangers that can hold approximately 50 prints each.

8. 1-3-5 Rule

Apply the 1-3-5 Rule[7] daily. 1 being one big task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 smalls tasks. Yes, this makes up 9 individual tasks to do.

While it may seem like a lot, remember the level of time you need to accomplish each will vary (i.e. the one big task taking the most, the 5 small tasks taking the least.)

Try tackling the big task first, then the medium, and lastly the small. That way, you’re not burned out at the end of the day when all you have to do is check your emails and file your documents.

9. Pomodoro Technique

Remember scheduling in those breaks? Well, the Pomodoro Technique[8] does that for you. Basically, you focus for 25 minutes on work, no interruptions or diversions.

Then, after that 25-minute work period, you take a 5-minute break. For those 5 minutes, get up, stretch, use the restroom, fill up your coffee cup, do anything other than work.

Once the clocks up, do another 25-minute period and repeat.

10. Say It

Tell a co-worker when you plan to submit your part of the project.

Email the client when you’ll give them your bid.

The point is, tell someone. Put it out into the universe. By doing this, you make more of a commitment to getting it done because it’s harder to break a commitment with others than with yourself.[9]

11. Get a “Do Not Disturb” Sign for Your Office

Sometimes, you can’t physically leave your office and have to get “offsite tasks” done onsite. During those times, a “Do Not Disturb” Sign on your office door is your best friend.

If it’s an especially important task that needs your undivided attention, you can send out an email to co-workers an hour below telling them to not disturb you. Coupling that with the sign will ensure you tackle that task head on, without the unnecessary delays.

12. Take 15 Minutes at the End of the Day to Plan for Tomorrow

Yes, you’ll need to take an additional 15 minutes. But this time, it’s at the end of your day. Your last 15 minutes will be spent jotting down to-dos for tomorrow. Scheduling in last-minute items.

And planning on how you’ll organize your time the next day.

Summary

  • Take out 15 minutes to organize: Divide paper into 3 piles, marked do, read, and file
  • Toss out one item for every new item you bring to your office
  • Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize goals
  • Schedule breaks to monitor burnout
  • Use rules and techniques like the Pomodoro Technique and the 1-3-5 Rule to help you with this
  • Take scheduling a step further by dividing up offsite and onsite tasks
  • Should you not be able to leave the office, hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign
  • Use verbal commitments to co-workers and clients to get more done
  • Be picky with your office space— consider pieces like blueprint racks storage
  • Have your last 15 minutes of your work day be dedicated to planning out tomorrow

From using these productivity tips, you should experience greater enjoyment at work and less stress in your life.

For more information about how to integrate organizational and productive-friendly furniture to make your day more successful, contact us!

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[1] The Atlantic: America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted

[2] Huffington Post: 10 Incredibly Smart Ideas to Get Your Life Organized

[3] Forbes: How to Get Organized

[4] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[5] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[6] Entrepreneur: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

[7] The Muse: A Better To-Do List: The 1-3-5 Rule

[8] Lifehacker: Productivity 101: A Primer to the Pomodoro Technique

[9] Inc: 23 Best Productivity Hacks of The Year