We all love to idealise about a New Year representing a fresh and renewed outlook on life and a more positive and productive outset at work (well I do anyway). But the harsh reality is that often we come back from holidays and return to work just as downtrodden about the 9-5 daily grind as we did at the end of the previous year.

Returning from holidays often induces severe bouts of post-break blues, which only makes getting back into the swing of things all the more challenging. Productivity in the workplace is an issue that affects every Australian worker, whether employee or employer. While not every tactic will work for everyone – and some may seem a little far-fetched or scoff-worthy – there are plenty of measures you can implement to make yourself or your office that little but most focused and productive.

Some new and novel insights into productivity can be seen by Nicholas Carlson, who revealed on the Business Insider how he managed to write a book in a mere six weeks. Some of his key tactics were to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, have long and lazy mornings, work in short concentrated bursts with frequent breaks, chew gum to get the brain moving, mix it up by working outside and avoid alcohol or too much caffeine. On top of those, here are some great tips for employees to maximise productivity in the workplace in 2015:

  • Plant the seed of productivity – Studies have shown that keeping plants in the office can foster a more natural environment that can enhance focus. Plants have even been shown to help combat fatigue.
  • Get into the groove – research has also proven that listening to music or noise at about 70 decibels helps to boost productivity.  Different music will work for everyone so experiment around to see what makes you function at your peak.
  • Stand up against tiredness – standing up at the desk gets the blood flowing to your muscles, thereby making you feel more awake and alert.
  • Take a Break – taking breaks and going for walks is not only crucial for your heart and your health, but providing yourself with semi-regular breaks to segment the day and clear your head will do wonders for your headspace at work.
  • Disconnect – social media is easily one of the biggest distractions and impediments to productivity in the workplace. There is no one single way to ward off the temptation to constantly check your smartphone or your social media pages but the easiest ways are simply rid yourself of the temptation. Keep your phone out of site and stay of social media sites throughout the day, only allowing yourself to check at designated periods. If the urge is too strong, it may be worth deactivating your social media apps on your phone or using quick checks of your social media only after certain tasks are completed.
  • Set goals and rewards – this is one of the best methods I find in enhancing my productivity. Rather than working to time constraints, it can be much more effective to work by tasks. Only let yourself go to lunch after completing a particular piece of work, have a tea when another task is done, and reward yourself with a quick walk outside following the completion of another job. Rewarding yourself is important in incentivising you to complete tasks more quickly.

One of the most important things to note when trying to enhance productivity is that we all know when we are being productive. By simply acknowledging times that unproductive, think about why time is being wasted and try and overcome it. Forcing yourself to sit in front of the computer for a certain number of hours does not necessarily result in more work getting done. Be realistic about your goals, listen to your body when it needs a break and most importantly try to begin each day with a positive attitude.

Nexia Australia is a solutions focused accountancy and consultancy firms in Australia that delivers expert financial advice and assistance.

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