Sometimes we all need a little motivation to stay productive and inspired in the workplace. Thankfully there are some pretty wise people out there with terrific ideas on how to achieve your best career-wise, and we've assembled some of the best recommendations for you below.
Rafal Tomal is an experienced freelance designer who has channeled his years of practice into his 30 Best Tips For Designers. While many of them are designer-specific, there are certainly some more general ones that are relevant to everyone in the workforce, including these:
1. Value your work and yourself.
Design is an incredibly valuable service for businesses. Show it to your clients and expect respect. What you do really matters.
2. Do your best work every single time.
No matter what project you’re working on, make sure you always try to do your best design ever. Take only those projects that challenge you. If you can’t afford to spend that much time on the project, you shouldn’t be working on it.
3. Learn to say “no”.
Rejecting projects is nothing unusual in this business. Filter your potential clients and choose who you want to work with.
(Read the rest here!)
Does becoming the most productive person you know sound somewhat appealing (if not slightly impossible?) Don’t worry, Robin Sharma has your back. He’s put together an epic collection of 21 tips to be your most productive, and some of them are interesting indeed - we hadn’t considered the importance of developing a Madonna-like physique but now we know better! Here are a couple of highlights:
4. Get fit like Madonna.
Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
5. Work in 90 minute blocks
And allow yourself 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move Sharma personally uses to do his best work).
6. Mess creates stress
Apparently Sharma learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted. So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
(Check out the rest of Robin Sharma's tips here.)
Kristin Marquet from Entrepreneur understands that productivity is critical to workplace success, so she's compiled seven tips to help increase it - this one suggesting reducing multi-tasking makes a lot of sense.
7. Reduce your multi-tasking.
Although multi-tasking is currently in vogue, trying to accomplish more than one task at a time can actually be more harmful than helpful. Studies have shown that people who try to do two or more activities at once end up becoming distracted, and the quality of their work suffers. Focus on one task at a time, complete it properly and move on to the next project.
8. Avoid large, heavy lunches that will leave you feeling fatigued.
Instead, snack on foods high in protein, fiber and antioxidants throughout the day. Granola and berries will keep you full and focused. Sugary foods and energy drinks keep you going only for a short time, and the inevitable "crash" may turn you into a zombie and ruin your ability to work for the rest of the day.
(See the other five tips here.)
Fast Company asked some of the world’s top designers for their best tips on how to stay focused and productive, and the results are fantastic - the idea of reading a book for a short time rather than clicking aimlessly around the web when you need a mental refresh is particularly smart.
9. Read a book
"My trick is reading. The first thing I do when I get to the office is start reading. I have a stack of books on my desk, all design related, and I'll read for a little bit. Not long, maybe 15 to 20 minutes. I switch back from different books on different days. It calms me down, gets me focused, and lets me think about the bigger picture... When I am running out of steam and I'm getting distracted, I grab a book and do the same thing. Read for 15 to 20 minutes. I find myself re-focused and fresh, it's like taking a nap. I don't know enough about these things, but it seems like I'm using a different part of my brain—so my design brain gets to rest and my reading brain stimulates me. I come back ready to go and feeling content." - Joe Stewart, partner, Work & Co.
10. Put your work on social media
"I’ve found that putting up work on social media is a huge help here—it becomes more tangible and keeps you honest. Give your Tumblr/Twitter/whatever a bit of structure, set up a schedule and then go for it. Make the project doable in chunks and tie it to something external rather than just a pure design exercise. The reactions from your audience will create a useful feedback loop that drives you to the next installment.
The real advantage is that it will give you momentum in all your work, and you’ll begin to find useful connections where projects bump into each other. Again and again, old ideas that seem completely unrelated can prove useful. And by staying productive on the fun stuff, you’ll find you have more energy when it counts." - Jake Mix, lead product designer on Kong
There are a heap more helpful ideas from leading designers so go take a look.
Have you got some tips for staying more productive and inspired at work? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter or Facebook!
If you’re a creative or digital whizz looking for a new and exciting job opportunity, we’re the recruiters for you! Register your details online today and we’ll be in touch shortly.