There’s no shortage of innovative productivity applications, services and techniques that are geared to help you get the most out of your workspace. With colossal information available, it can be hard to get a clear idea of the strategies that, when implemented, will provide the most significant uplift in terms of your productivity and health.
Here we take a rundown of some of the most effective methods that can benefit any computer user. With an estimated 67 days spent each year sitting at desks in the modern workplace, even incremental adjustments can have a considerable impact on your workflow, efficiency, and comfort.
Our body functions on some activity cycles and patterns, and one of the most effective ways to increase efficiency when working is to understand these patterns and cooperate with them. Everyone knows about the dip in energy that occurs in the middle of the afternoon. What some don’t realize is this is not a result of digesting your lunch but a natural part of our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock.
To get the most out of your working day, schedule your most intensive work tasks to happen in the morning or early evening, leaving the middle of the day for more mundane processes. Better still, if you can, rest entirely in the middle of the day, as in countries that adhere to the noble tradition of the siesta. Suppose resting isn’t a realistic option for your work environment. In that case, this mid-afternoon lull is the optimal point in your work-day for a tactical cup of coffee or similar caffeinated beverage to see you through to the early evening.
Whether you’re using your space to work, attend zoom meetings, play games like online poker, or watch Netflix, staying in a passive posture for extended periods can lead to injury as our body needs to move to perform at its best regularly. One solution to safeguard against this is investing in a standing desk. These are popular in workplaces over the years. But for many, the leap to a full standing desk can be challenging.
An excellent alternative is to try an adjustable standing desk. These can move between standing and sitting positions, giving you all the benefits of a standing desk while also enabling you to pull a chair up when you want to. A well-regarded product in this class is the Uplift V2 Desk that has motorized components and a rich feature-set including anti-collision technology that enables it to recognize when obstacles are impeding its action. The benefits of standing desks are plentiful and are associated with a reduction in muscular and spinal injury due to sedentary postures and an increase in mental focus and clarity.
The Pomodoro Method
Concentration is a limited resource and only works effectively for short bursts of time. Many productivity timing methods aim to utilize our brain’s concentration patterns to work or study efficiently. Perhaps the best known is the Pomodoro method developed by Francesco Cirillo. Pomodoro, the Italian word for tomato, takes its name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo developed the technique in the 1980s.
The principle is simple; rather than structuring work around long continuous blocks of time, the Pomodoro method has you split work periods up into 25-minute sessions with a 5-minute break in between each. Once you complete four rounds of this, you then take a longer 15 to 20-minute break. Cirillo found that this manages to strike the ideal balance between giving enough time for the user to “get in” to the task at hand while providing regular enough rests to keep long-term productivity high. Many apps and services offer Pomodoro timers for free, such as GoodTime, an open-source Pomodoro app available across all platforms.