This time of year (when the days are getting longer and the weather is finally starting to warm up) I often feel like I'm going stir-crazy inside my office. And despite my best efforts to be productive, there are too many times when I find myself procrastinating or wasting time on unnecessary tasks.
If you can relate, here are 15 quick and simple ways you can boost productivity in 15 minutes or less!
1. Catch up on social media.
Yes, this can actually be a productivity booster, especially if implement some of these tips. However you'll need to set the timer for 30 minutes so you don't end up looking at pictures on Facebook for the rest of the day!
Got a new project to work on? Take 15 minutes and brainstorm ideas. And if you don't have a current project, then brainstorm about potencial project ideas.
3. Respond to phone calls and text messages.
Check and respond (or take action) on all your voice messages and text messages.
4. Make phone calls.
Need to schedule a meeting, a doctor's appointment, or call your son's teacher about a test score? Whether it's business or personal calls you need to make, this is a really quick way to cross a bunch of things off your to-do list and it shouldn't take you much time at all!
5. Go for a walk.
When I'm feeling really restless, I head out for a quick 15 minute walk to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air. When I get back into the office, I feel happier and more focused.
6. Clean out your email Inbox.
OK, so maybe you can't complete this project in 15 minutes or less, but you CAN get started. Here are a few more tips.
7. Clean out your physical Inbox.
I love having a physical inbox on my desk… however, stuff can pile up if I don't maintain it. If your physical inbox is getting out of control, take 15 minutes to file, purge, shred, and/or recycle.
8. Do a brain dump.
Sometimes I have so many ideas swirling around in my head that I don't know which one to start working on, and I get caught up thinking and thinking… and never "doing".
I've found that by simply getting all the ideas out of my head and onto paper helps me organize them a bit more, choose which ones to focus on first, and then get to work.
9. Clear off the flat surfaces of your office.
There are SO many quick organizing tasks you can do to make your office more inviting, more user-friendly, and more productive — and yes, you can complete some of these tasks in less than 15 minutes! In fact, here are a few tasks you can complete in under 5 minutes!
10. Tidy up.
When was the last time you cleaned your office space? Can you even remember? Take 15 minutes and do a little deep cleaning. Not only will it give your brain a rest, it will get your body moving, and probably make your work space more functional.
11. Listen to music.
They say that listening to music can actually make you more productive… so listen to your favorite tunes while you work, on your commute, on your walk (see #5 above), on your lunch break, etc. Just make sure you consider those around you if you're in a closed space!
11. Do 15 minutes of anything.
Do you have a hobby you like to work on? Or a favorite website you like to visit? Do you enjoy browsing Amazon.com or looking for deals on Craigslist and Ebay?
Set your timer for 15 minutes and do whatever you please — then get back to work!
12. Give yourself a deadline.
It's crazy how much more productive I am when I have a specific deadline to complete a project! Deadlines = productivity!
13. Make a list.
I love lists — and I know for a fact they help me to be so much more productive. If you already have a list and are feeling overwhelmed, try starting with a top-five list and see if that helps you get going.
I'm not an avid book reader — but I frequently read other blogs, websites, online articles, ebooks etc. — and often, some of my best ideas are sparked while reading. If you enjoy reading, don't feel guilty about taking 15 minutes out of your day to read a favorite book, catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, glance at the news, or read what others in your industry are doing.
15. Prepare for tomorrow.
When all else fails, just stop everything you're working on right now and think about tomorrow. What do you need to do? Where to you need to go? What do you need to finish today to make tomorrow run more smoothly.
I'm a huge advocate for preparing to be productive — and if today is turning out to be a total "wash" then you might as well call it a day, but then prepare to be super productive tomorrow!
So the next time you start to feel your energy level drop and your productivity plummet, pick something off this list, and complete just one simple task.
If you're anything like me, that task will propel you to complete one more task, then one more task, and before you know it, you're back on track being ultra productive once again!
What are your best quick and simple productivity boosters?