The workplace varies for us all, perhaps it’s an open office, shared desk, boxed off room, our own home offices or it may even be a cafe for the day; no matter where you call work, you need it to be a productive place, a positive setting where you can meet deadlines and effectively complete tasks. So, what kind of workforce planning methods can be employed to ensure that you’re creating a positive workplace, not only for you but your whole team? Which positive workplace habits can you adapt as part of your workforce planning methods?
> Organisation and prioritisation
Keeping a clear and organised mind is a very positive workplace habit to develop. The workplace brings with it plethora of tasks, the regular, everyday routine tasks, the last minute deadlines you need to meet, the emails you need to respond to, so getting these tasks quickly into order in your mind can help you get through them more effectively.
> Figure out when you’re most productive
We’re all most productive at different parts of the day, even if you’re an early riser, that’s not necessarily when you’re at your most productive. So take notice and make note of when you’re powering through tasks and when you’re productivity is starting to lack, slow down and you’re allowing yourself to get distracted. Then, manage your working day around this; if you know that between the hours of 9-11 you’re not at your most productive, perhaps this is the time to carry out your daily, routine tasks or get in an early coffee break so you’re not tempted later when you’re at your peak – you get the idea.
> Get your blood pumping
Exercise and the endorphins it releases are proven to improve concentration, lower stress, enhance your creativity and sharpen the memory. So the question is, with so many positive benefits on your working day, why would you not take 10 minutes to do it? Go ahead, add it to your workforce planning methods and encourage taking a stroll outside, jog back up the stairs or improvise your own mini workout.
> Learn something
Find the time to grow your knowledge throughout our working day. Even if this is not a daily occurrence, learning a new fact, skill or how to use a new tool. There are some incredibly positive benefits of regular learning. Learning wakes up the brain, it ultimately increases the speed at which your brain works over time, it fights boredom, (which, let’s face it, we could all use mid-week!) And incredibly, it creates chemical changes in your brain, which can improve your performance! So, time to get learning, what will it be?
> Limit distractions
This one’s a biggy and, at times, it may seem impossible, but limiting distractions in the workplace is a huge step towards becoming more productive and calming busy minds, so in your workforce planning methods, plan to limit these distractions for you and your team!
Analyse where you work; you may even find things which you didn’t even realise were a distraction. If you’re in a traditional office you can pick out obvious distractions like co-workers and the noise of others working around you, the offer of a trip to the coffee stand when you’re deep in a project, which pulls you away. The internet brings its own distractions – social media, emails, so log out of or ‘offload’ your social media apps, prioritise your email responses, and find your own calm. Can you find a relaxing playlist to enter your own zone through your headphones, or put on your do not disturb; could you politely say to your neighbour, ‘I’m going for a coffee at 10:30, don’t disturb me if you go beforehand please’?
> Know when (and how) to switch off
A busy day in the office is often incredibly tricky to turn off from. Negative feedback, a demanding email late in the day, extra work putting you behind, even when everything is going swimmingly, it’s easy to be drawn in to the ‘I’ll just do 10 more minutes’ mindset.
Knowing when and how you need to switch off from your work is a vital positive habit to master.
Set yourself a time by which you need to switch off, then set yourself a reminder for half an hour beforehand so that you can begin to wrap things up. We can’t always leave the office 5pm on the dot, but you should be trying.
It’s also a good idea to plan to do something which you know will switch your mind right off for the evening, this might be a walk to the coffee shop to meet a friend, switching on one of your favourite podcasts or practicing a little mindful walking on the way to the train.
Time to set some positive habits, you’ll be stepping closer to calmer, less stressed and a more proactive not to mention a little happier workforce, if you manage to introduce just a few of these positive, productive workplace habits into your workforce planning methods.