How technology can help our productivity and wellbeing

Working from home is now the ‘new normal’ for many of us.  This can be quite an adjustment and being in the home environment, it can take some time to get the work/life balance right so that the lines don’t blur and that we are being productive and also taking care of our general wellbeing.  The Mental Health Foundation says “The pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture in the UK is perhaps the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population.”

So what can we do to make sure that we are productive during our working hours and taking care of our general wellbeing in our personal time?

It is important to create a routine, wake up at the same time every day and give yourself enough time to do everything you need to do before starting work.  Set an ‘end time’ and finish work at the same time every evening so that you can relax before going to sleep.

Block off time for specific tasks.  If you find it difficult to concentrate, try working in 25-minute chunks (the Pomodoro Technique is one such method).  We are very lucky to have so much great technology at our fingertips and there are many other apps which can help you with productivity.  There are a variety of options available, such as Microsoft To Do, Todoist, Trello, Toggl and Things to name a few, which can help you with productivity, organisation and project management. Find out more about the Top 12 Best productivity apps.

Have a lunch break and regular screen breaks.  If you work in 25-minute chunks, you can take a screen break at the end of this on a ‘scheduled’ 5-minute break.

Make time for exercise whether it is 10 minutes or 60 minutes.  Go for a walk and get some fresh air whilst making a call, do a short yoga practice or stretching or do a quick workout.

It is easy to keep snacking during the day but plan healthy and nutritious meals and stick to designated mealtimes.

Celebrate your achievements throughout the day, for example if you tick something off your to-do list, celebrate it, if you complete a difficult task that you have been putting off, congratulate yourself.  This will keep you motivated to keep powering through your to-do list!

Tidy up after the day and create to-do lists for the next day.  Find an activity to do which signals the end of the workday.  Why not try meditation, this technique can really help to keep you calm, manage stress levels and sleep better.  Popular apps such as Headspace or Calm are available.  There are many other apps available to support us with our Mental Health and the top 7 Best Mental Health Apps of 2020 are listed here.

2020 has certainly been a year that will not be forgotten any time soon and the pandemic is set to continue into next year.  It has been a trying time even for the most resilient of people and it is so important, now more than ever, that we take care of our physical and mental health.  Microsoft has announced that it will be bringing out wellbeing and productivity insights into Microsoft Teams.  We have also written previous blog posts about the integration of Microsoft Planner and SharePoint Lists with Teams which helps to improve productivity, efficiency and collaboration for you and your team.  If you would like to discuss any of the content of this blog further, we would love to hear from you and have a socially-distanced coffee.