We all get stuck in a work rut from time to time, whether it's struggling to maintain work life boundaries now your working from home, trying to keep in touch with colleagues over Zoom or simply having trouble focusing.
But there's good news - reinvigorating our days doesn't require a huge overhaul. Trying the tip that speaks to you - or all of them for that matter - should help improve your work day to some extent and reenergise your work day.
Want to get focused?
Multitasking – when does it ever improve the quality of your work? Chances are when you work on more than one thing at once, there’s a possibility that something may fall through the cracks. Even though multitasking might give you the feeling of productivity, when you take a look at it… how efficient really is it?
Designer Paolo Cardini has a simple alternative: Monotasking.
As mentioned in our previous blog, 8 easy actions that make you more productive, doing one thing can feel revolutionary in a world with infinite ways to fill our time.
Try this now:
Take a look at your computer and your phone. Count the number of apps, programs and browser tabs you have open. Close all but the one(s) absolutely necessary to your next task so you can stay focused.
Want to communicate better?
In a group meeting, in person or especially virtually, it’s easy to feel like your talking in to the wilderness. But, sound and communication expert Julian Treasure has some wisdom to help anyone make sure their game changing ideas are heard.
The first thing to assess is the pitch of your voice. In one of his talks, he shares vocal exercises to help warm up your vocal chords before saying something important. Next is the pace of your dialect, which affects how your message is received. The solution: Slow down to give your ideas the time they deserve.
One last tool is prosody – the rhythm and intonation in your voice. If you’ve ever catch yourself turning out when listening to someone speak in a monotone voice, this is why it is so important.
Try this now:
Take a few minutes to practice speaking, while focusing on your pitch, pace, and prosody. Use your phone to record yourself talking about something that happened yesterday, just as if you were calling a friend. Then play it back — yes, it will make you cringe but persist — and listen to it, assessing your pace, pitch, and prosody. If you can’t do this now, set a reminder for later.
Want to be a better ally?
If you are in a position of privilege or power, you can use it to shift the dynamics in your workplace. As writer and advocate Melinda Epler puts in her TED talk, “There’s no magic wand for correcting diversity and inclusion. Change happens one person, one act or one word at a time.”
To do your bit, Epler suggests starting small. Simply paying close attention to what someone who doesn’t normally speak is saying and letting them know your engaged is a step in the right direction. The last one is especially important as underrepresented people are more likely to be interrupted in meetings – one way to support them is to intervene if they’re cut short or ignored. If someone shares a great idea, you can echo it. Or if you want to share their idea at a meeting, use your influence to give them the credit.
Try this now:
Prepare yourself to be an advocate. Write down 2-3 things you could say in a meeting when you notice that someone is being withdrawn, talked over, or not getting proper attribution for their work.
Want to have better work-life balance?
When we’re aiming for a better work-life balance, we often go about it the wrong way contends Nigel Marsh, a management consultant and writer. For example, if you’re already working 10 hour days, adding a 2 hour workout won’t make you feel less drained. As Marsh states in his TED Talk, “There are other parts to life – an intellectual side, an emotional side and spiritual side. To be balanced, I believe we have to attend to all of those areas.” Now if that sounds overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be dramatic changes all at once. Even balance should be approached with a sense of balance – so be nice to yourself and don’t create more stress."
Anything good takes time!
Try this now:
Think about what your ideal balanced workweek looks like, and jot down a sample schedule. What time do you start work? Log off? What do you want to make time for each day?
Now create a list of how you actually spent your time over the past workweek. Compare your ideal and actual weeks, and identify where you could make adjustments. Be realistic about what you can accomplish so you can set yourself up for success.