While flipping through an old notebook, I came across a list of accomplishments over a two-week period. It was impressive, to say the least — almost as if I was at my prolific best.

An interesting point to note: I was on vacation.

I know, I know… people go on vacation to get away from work. But for me, sometimes being in a different place is a catalyst for creativity and productivity. During this “working vacation” not only did I accomplish a lot workwise, but I also spent plenty of time focused on family, friends, and R&R.

Amp It Up!

Changing up your work environment can increase productivity in the office, too. So to boost your productivity, consider experimenting with the following. 

  • Clean and re-arrange your work area and include a new focal point such as a plant, a new picture, or new toys to play with. On my desk, I have a kaleidoscope, a dinosaur, Baoding balls, a beautiful lidded marble box holding a collection of smooth stones, a small figure of Yoda to remind me that “try” is not an option, and — given the season — a color-changing snowman that plugs into my computer. 
  • Seek out different seating areas around your office building (inside and out) where you can take calls and jot notes. You could even take a call from a local dog park.
  • If you’re meeting with one other person, whether face-to-face or virtually, suggest a walk and talk meeting! I once joined a video call with a consultant in San Fransisco who was walking home from a coffee shop down the street. She explained that she just had to have coffee and needed the walk. The change of scenery was fun for me, too!
  • Go classical — musically speaking. According to a post on Business Insider, this study shows that seven out of eight radiologists found baroque music to increase mood and concentration of employees at work. Try Vivaldi’s quick-tempo Four Seasons or Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. You can read about other music to increase office productivity here.
  • Meet with someone outside of your workgroup or area of expertise and ask for their input. Research shows that seeking input from people outside of your field significantly increases the chances for problem-solving and innovative contributions! Don’t believe me? Here are a couple of articles that underscore this point. Harvard Business Review & Ideo.
productive meetings
“Walk and talk” is a great way to energize a meeting.

Feeling Good

We all feel better when we’re productive. That list I mentioned at the beginning of my post was more than four years ago! And when I hit publish on this post, I’m going to feel good all over again.

What practices do you have for being productive? Let me know in the comments below!

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