The Productivity Playbook

International Coffee Day

National Coffee Day

Did you know that the average American spends almost $1100 on coffee each year, according to Time Magazine? Or that scientists are turning towards coffee grounds as a new source for clean energy? In the office, it provides the perfect excuse to take a break, have a chat, and re-energize.

Joe, java, jitter juice—whatever you call it, coffee plays an integral role in our lives. In honor of International Coffee Day, here are 4 other ways to boost your workplace productivity (besides over-caffeination).

Drink More Water

Whether you mainline coffee from dawn ‘til dusk or splurge on the occasional mochaccino, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Even mild dehydration (i.e. a loss of 1-3% of body water weight) can cause headaches, fatigue, and a decrease in short-term memory. As a natural diuretic, coffee consumption can negatively impact your body’s hydration levels so, while coffee’s caffeine content might give you a boost, too much can leave you feeling sleepier than before.

Organize your office

There’s a reason Marie Kondo and minimalism are so trendy right now, and it’s not just Instagram. People generally work better when their space when it is neat and organized. If the time spent organizing your office seems counterproductive, remember that clutter produces anxiety, distraction, and chaos, none of which benefit the bottom line. An organized work space will not only put you in the right mindset to get work done, it will also make finding important documents and notes significantly easier. Still not convinced? Check out Productivity Consultant Sara Genrich’s post on the topic.

Finish Your Most Difficult (or Dreaded) Task First

Most of us start our mornings the same way: walk into the office, grab a coffee, chat with a few coworkers, then check our email. While checking email and other simple tasks may seem like a productive way to start your morning, it’s really a form of procrastination. It gives you the illusion of having performed more work than you have while leaving larger, more important tasks incomplete. In contrast, by starting the day with the task you’d most like to put off (because it’s difficult, boring, or myriad other reasons), you’re setting yourself up for success. Not only are you setting a precedent for more proactive work, you’ve also knocked a major hurdle out of your way before lunch.

Streamline the Little Things

Alongside the big projects, a lot of little tasks fill our workdays. While some are unavoidable—entering log-in credentials or checking to email, for instance—many can be avoided, especially with the right technology. Do you and your teammates constantly IM each other for project statuses or other pertinent information? Try using an online project management tool like Trello or Asana. Does your organization store documents across a variety of platforms and repositories? Streamline the search and records management process with a unified governance solution.

As a content and events specialist at ZL, I work to bring the glamorous allure of information governance to the world. As a native Virginian and temporary Tennessean turned Californian, I’m permanently fascinated by life on the west coast. Although I miss SEC football and four distinct seasons, I’m in love with redwood forests and bubble tea on every corner.