We are now delving into the depths of winter where I live. The darker evenings and chillier days tend to send my productivity levels to below sub zero. I can honestly say some days would be much rather spent staying under the duvet or closing my office door at work to the ward. I find staying productive a challenge at times, especially when there are so many things I would rather be doing. Whenever my productivity levels are slumped I find the sofa singing out to me more, the sun shining more brightly to invite me outside and the notifications on my phone lighting up more heavily to check my social networking sites - again. Is anybody else in the same boat here?
So I've been reflecting and thinking of ways as to how I can stay productive. So I have listed 5 ways in which I try to stay more focussed.
#1 - Take a break.
I find this to be the most effective thing to do but also the hardest. I work on a busy ward and most of the time I have the attitude of ' I'll just do it' or 'If I just do [such and such] before I take a break.' But then this just cascades into lots of tasks being done and the break being ignored. So I have to make a concerted effort to take myself off the floor, sit down with a drink and just take a break from the ward.
#2 - Take a break from social sites.
This is a must do! Sometimes social networking sites are just a distraction. I now on purposely lock my phone away at work so I am not inclined to check it. I find if I am checking my phone then my focus is away from work, and that's not good.
#3 - Relax.
This is waaaay easier to type than it is to actually do. I think mainly because we all relax in different ways. I really like to listen to music and read. I also have a meditation app that I listen to when I am struggling to sleep. As much as it is to 'be on the ball' all the time - what's a good nurse that is tired from thinking and doing too much? So I make sure I have some me time when at home so I can at least try and have a good balance.
#4 - Shut the door.
I think this is a very powerful thing to do but hard as well. At work I have a little office space to do my administration/managerial work for the ward. I often keep the door open so I can listen out for patient call bells, phones and also to show my team that I am visible/available. However, there are some days that are manic and I can't be as productive as I want to be with all that there is going on. So what do I do? I walk into the office and close the door. The sound of silence can be so cathartic, and it allows myself the chance to collect my thoughts and head back out onto the ward a lot more focussed.
#5 - Give myself credit.
This sounds a bit absurd doesn't it? But sometimes I feel like I focus and question so much on what I should be doing or haven't achieved, which gets me down, that I forget about what I have done and who I have helped. So I try to tell myself frequently, when that negative lightbulb pops in my head, what I am doing well at. I think giving ourselves credit for what we are doing for others and ourselves helps increase our self esteem. This allows me to be way more productive and adds a little spring in my step.
So those are my tips to how I stay productive. I am sure you can find many other great tips over on Kabbage - a company that provide small business loans to increase productivity. At the end of the day we need to focus on being productive instead of just busy!
*All views are my own. I have not been compensated for this piece of writing.