We’ve all been there at one time or another — sitting at our desk with goals and deadlines, sipping our coffee but finding it impossible to type another word.
Whether it’s lack of sleep, outside distractions, or a certain someone you can’t stop thinking about, the distractions that can take our mind off work are virtually limitless.
It may be yourself who struggles to stay productive throughout the workday, or it may be your team, but either way, staying motivated is a common challenge for all types of people.
Discover four easy and effective ways to maximize productivity for you and your team throughout the workday.
1. Praise and Encourage Extraordinary Accomplishments
Too often, we can be our harshest critics, but we tend to breeze over our notable accomplishments and victories. This imbalance in how we view our work can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and motivation.
If every mistake and setback is a big deal, but the times we struggled and came out ahead are brushed by the wayside, we’re not painting an accurate picture of our progress.
This applies to yourself as well as other team members. As freelance workers or office employees, we understand what a substandard, average, or extraordinary job looks like.
It’s crucial to reward those small victories and the times we go above and beyond to make a client happy or a project come together perfectly.
Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Rewards
Do you think you respond better to a monetary reward or being praised in front of your peers?
The truth is, both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are valuable, but there’s a key difference in logistics — only intrinsic rewards are completely free. That means you can use them to boost your team’s morale at any time.
Intrinsic Rewards That Can Boost Your Team’s Morale
- Draw attention to team members’ accomplishments in front of the whole team.
- Praise team members for their specific victories and successes.
- Talk about team members like they have a reputation for success.
- Create an Employee of the Month program to highlight exemplary performance.
When you pay attention to your team and their successes, it does make a difference. People have a need to feel validated and important to the team, and by simply acknowledging their good work, you can inspire these feelings in your employees.
Example: Dr. Hatch and His Team Celebrate Dentist’s Day
Any reason is a good reason to celebrate, and little things like decorating for the holidays can really add a sense of fun and levity to the workday.
Typically, dentistry is no laughing matter, but by getting his employees involved in celebrating National Dentist Day, Dr. Shaylar Hatch created a moment of fun that took his team away from the stress of their daily work.
It’s simple moments like these that separate a serious office full of stressed-out people from an office where the team looks forward to going to work each day.
2. Provide Refreshments and Fuel for Your Team
Are you someone who chooses the lowest cost option in every situation? If so, it’s important to note that some things are worth spending a little more on.
If you have a team that works for you, providing a coffee maker is as basic as it gets. Consider investing a little more in the morale of your team by perusing the options of a company like San Diego Vending.
Whether your team works best with energy drinks, fitness drinks that keep them hydrated, or various types of cold brew coffee, any money spent on refreshments is likely to make up for itself in terms of increased productivity and morale.
Example: Dr. Borham Keeps a K-Cup Machine Available in His Office
Whether you choose to add an automatic coffee machine, a cooler full of water and Gatorade, or some other option, keeping your team, and even your clients, refreshed is well worth the investment. And it doesn’t have to break the bank either.
As a small business owner of a successful dental office in Mesa, NM, Dr. Wael Borham provides a K-cup machine for his patients and staff to use.
This adds an element of versatility to their choices at a minimal cost compared to other options.
Tips for Keeping Yourself Refreshed and Energetic
When it comes to satisfying your personal cravings at work, it’s important to remember that the goal is to stay as productive as possible.
This means that even if you’re craving that big bowl of ramen from the nearby restaurant, it’s worth having some discipline and choosing a lighter option.
Here are some more tips for fueling yourself to reach peak levels of productivity:
- Being full makes you tired — try to stop eating when you’re 80% full instead.
- If you drink caffeine drinks, choose options with low or no sugar to avoid crashing.
- High calorie, tempting snacks like a bag of chips won’t provide sustained energy.
- If possible, have healthy, nutritious snacks on hand as your main fuel source.
3. Set Small Goals for Your Team–and Yourself
Sometimes, looking at your tasks for the month, or even for the week, can be overwhelming and especially stressful. While stress is normally perceived as a negative feeling, it can actually deliver favorable results in the workplace.
Self-imposed stress, given that it’s manageable, can be beneficial in terms of making us focused and accomplishing our deadlines. For greater jobs or projects, try breaking them up into smaller tasks, giving your team a deadline, and making sure they stick to it.
This provides feasible goals for you and your team, which will, in turn, increase productivity. Plus, there’s no greater feeling than crossing items off your to-do list and seeing your list become shorter.
Example: Dr. Stanislaus Prioritizes His Schedule
It’s easy to get thrown off track when you’re interrupted with unexpected tasks, calls, or even faced with new challenges. That’s why it’s essential to set your schedule for each day either first thing in the morning or at the end of the previous day.
Dental implant specialist Dr. Eugene Stanislaus takes the time to prioritize his tasks by deciding which ones take precedence over others.
Consider penciling in time to respond to emails and answer phone calls. Even if your schedule is disrupted, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and by what time.
You’ll be surprised how much faster you’ll meet deadlines and boost productivity in the office.
Start by Setting the Bar Low
You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your team with over-the-top, unreasonable tasks first thing in the morning. Try following the two minute rule — if you see something that can be done in two minutes or less, knock it out at the start of your day. You’ll feel more productive and eager to tackle the rest of your to-do list.
Here are some easy two-minute tasks you can start off with:
- Turn on the coffee machine or make a fresh pot — your staff will love you!
- Respond to non-urgent emails or phone calls
- Print out any necessary documents, forms, etc.
- Organize your schedule for the day
4. Remember to Take a Break
Working longer hours doesn’t always mean you’re getting more work done, especially when you’re feeling tired and burnt out.
Studies show that taking regular breaks can increase concentration, boost performance, and improve your mood. It might sound counterintuitive, but working without breaks can actually compromise your work performance. It’ll start to feel like mindless, robotic work, rather than a valuable end product.
Ways to Take Advantage of Your Breaks
If you’re feeling mental, or even physically fatigued, take a short break to refresh your eyes and get your blood flowing. Sometimes it takes a change of pace to clear your head and be able to fully concentrate again.
There are a number of ways you can use your break time to improve productivity, such as:
- Either inside or outside, take a walk around
- Grab a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, like coffee or an energy drink
- If possible, squeeze in a yoga session or quick workout
- Watch part of a movie or an episode of your favorite show
Example: Dr. Bauer’s Staff Takes a Well-Deserved Coffee Break
For any business to be successful, productivity is key. Well-rounded Nebraska dentist Dr. Chuck Bauer encourages his employees to take short breaks to re-energize, regroup, and refocus.
This enables his team to get things done in a shorter amount of time while providing patients with quality, effective healthcare.
Keep in mind, we all have off days and no day will be totally productive. Rather than stressing yourself out, prioritize your energy and try implementing these tips to help boost productivity.
You’ll be amazed at how much more you and your team can get done by making some small changes around the office.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, strategize and create a plan that’ll help you conquer that to-do list.