How to find your working style and maximise it
With the corporate landscape becoming more dynamic, office culture is constantly changing due to the increases in flexible hours, open plan offices and the choice to work from home The view that there’s one way for everyone to achieve peak productivity is outdated, as individuals start to discover their own working style based on personal preferences.
With hundreds of online articles trying to preach about when, how and where’s best to work, it can be hard to find a routine that suits you. You might not be an early bird or a night owl, for example, and find you’re most productive just after a lunch break. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when trying to find your ideal working style, plus some tips on how to maximise your productivity when you’ve worked it out.
What time of the day is best?
We’ve all heard the saying that ‘the early bird catches the worm,’ but everyone has their own optimal time for productivity. If you can’t face jumping out of bed in the morning, and taking information in during a 9am meeting is near impossible, consider that the afternoon might be the best time for you to get important tasks done. Finding your most productive time of day is all about trial and error. For a week, you could try getting up earlier, or going into the office later, if your working times are flexible.
Once you’ve found it, try to categorise tasks in their order of importance, and get the most important ones done in your most productive hours. That way, when you’re not feeling at your prime, you won’t feel so pressurised.
What kind of music motivates you?
When you’re looking at maximising your working style, productivity is the most important factor in measuring success. Getting through your to-do list each day is a key priority, and there are a huge number of ways in which music can affect how much you get done.
Listening to music that you enjoy, for example, improves your mood at work, and researchers have found a significant relationship between depression, anxiety and procrastination. So, being in a good mood means that you’re more likely to be able to stay on track and get everything done.
Working out how music affects you while you’re working is vital to finding your ideal working environment, which will in turn impact your output. For a more in depth look at how music can help you thrive at work, check out our blog post on how music can aid productivity and focus.
Do you work well in a team?
Working with others can make certain projects more fun, but sometimes it’s easier to get things done if you go it alone. Some of us love to chat with colleagues, while we work through tasks and issues together, but for others, concentration is best when we pop in some headphones and zone out. If you’ve been in a job for a while, or even if you’ve spent a few years in further education, it’s likely that you know whether you’re suited to working alone or in a group. But, if you’re not sure, trial and error is again, the best way to find out.
That being said, not all of us have the choice. If your job requires working individually but you’d like to try collaborating with others, make the most of your colleagues’ expertise by discussing difficult tasks in the office.
Are you suited to precise planning?
Meticulous planning is a difficult skill to master, but having all of your tasks in priority order and going down your to-do list one-by-one can be a really productive way to spend the day. Alternatively, some people prefer to spin multiple plates at once and thrive off the pressure of multitasking.
Either approach is fine, and there’s a likelihood that you already know what’s best for you. If juggling too many tasks has you feeling overwhelmed, or planning down to the very final item leaves you bored at work, perhaps trying the alternative approach will refresh your view on the working day.
Once you know what working style works best for you, sticking to it is key. Try not to slip into old habits and forget what helps you thrive.
If you’re really stuck in a rut and can’t find your optimal working style, online tests can really help you work out what’s best. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, for example, is designed to teach you more about your personality type.
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