workplace
Photo by CC user Pranay on Flickr.

Let’s face it: we could all be a little bit more efficient at work, couldn’t we?

This rings true whether you consider yourself an office monkey or are steadily working from home. After all, given the sheer amount of time anyone spends at their job, doesn’t it make more sense to work smarter and not necessarily harder?

Tiredness, boredom and sluggishness can have a huge impact on our workplace productivity. If you feel that you’re slacking off at work, there’s a good chance that the symptoms of your laziness aren’t coming from the daily grind, but rather your health habits.

Rather than succumbing to the woes of the daily grind, why not make some simple changes to your lifestyle to ensure that you’re happier, healthier and more productive?

Such changes won’t cost you and arm and a leg, either. Instead, all you really need to do is make some tweaks to your daily routine.

Supercharge Your Sleep Schedule

Perhaps the best place to start when it comes to becoming more efficient is your bedroom. That is, a lack of proper sleep will absolutely wreck your productivity and leave you lagging behind not only at work but all other aspects of your life.

If you’re a serial napper or someone who only gets a few hours of sleep here and there, it’s time to make a change. Establishing a regular routine and getting proper rest doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply make sure that you do a combination of the following each and every night:

• Block out distractions: this includes eliminating noise with high quality earplugs, avoiding your phone an hour before bed and making sure that you sleep in a pitch dark environment
• Strive to go to bed around the same time every night, including the weekends if possible
• Keep any work out of your bedroom: your sleeping space should be a place of peace, not stress

Beyond striving to get more sleep, you may also consider waking up earlier to prevent feeling rushed in the mornings. Your morning routine should represent your ultimate “me” time, where you can do whatever you want prior to the workday beginning.

Careful with Caffeine

Caffeine may very well be the cornerstone of the modern workforce, as over 80% of Americans regularly drink coffee every morning. That being said, your favorite brew could very well be having a negative impact on your efficiency.

For starters, caffeine lingers in your system hours after consumption. If you’re still struggling with sleep even after making the aforementioned changes, your coffee may very well be the culprit. There’s nothing inherently wrong with drinking coffee; however, perhaps take a “less is more” approach to caffeine consumption and switch to decaf during the afternoon.

Double-Dip Work and Play…

Sometimes you just plain need a break, which is absolutely fine. In fact, conventional wisdom tells us that regular breaks may actually improve productivity in the workplace.

As a means of double-dipping your productive activities, consider taking some work with you to the gym or on the treadmill. Strive to take your work beyond the office and into the great outdoors: you may be surprised at how you can kill two birds with one stone rather than stay cooped up in your cubicle. In other words, taking work home shouldn’t mean that you have to sacrifice other aspects of your personal life.

… But Don’t Work During Meals

All things considered, however, you should make sure that your meals are separate from your work, barring company lunches and meetings. While this may seem like backwards advice based on the previous tip, eating while working can result in mindless snacking and weight gain.

Becoming more efficient in the workplace doesn’t have to be rocket science. By making small changes to your daily routine today, you’ll thank yourself for increased productivity down the road.