Detoxing is a popular subject. The term is used nowadays to refer to eliminating things that aren't good for us and affect us negatively. Usually it's in the context of your physical health.
Related: 7 Ways To Stay Productive At Work
But perhaps it shouldn't be limited to that. Have you ever thought about eliminating some of the 'toxins' affecting your work life? Are there any aspects of your work environment that could do with some attention? Do you have any particularly toxic behaviors, habits or routines that are holding you back or making you less productive? And if so, what can you do about them?
1. Sort Out Your Filing
Do you regularly have the feeling that you definitely have that important document, email or piece of information somewhere… if you could just lay your hands on it? We've all been there. But being unable to find what you need when you need it means you end up feeling stressed and not in control as you waste time tracking it down.
The prospect of spending some time going through your files – whether they're in folders on your computer, in a filing cabinet or sliding off your in-tray – is not very appealing. But think about the payback. You'll be more organized, you'll know where to find information quickly and will be far more productive as a result.
2. Tidy Your Workspace
While we're on the subject, the same logic applies to your desk or whatever workspace you use. There's no escaping the fact that clutter equals confusion. Not only will a tidy up make you more productive, it will also help you feel calmer and better able to focus on the task at hand.
3. Open A Window
Once your workplace is tidy make the most of the rest of your working environment. If you can, open a window to reduce carbon dioxide build-up as it can contribute to the 'afternoon slump.' Alternatively add plants as they'll absorb carbon dioxide — and other environmental pollutants — that can trigger fatigue. Studies show they can be good for lifting your mood too.
4. Sort Out Your Monitor
If your eyes are tired, you'll feel tired as well. Adjust brightness, select a comfortable font size and give the screen a clean as a dirtier screen is harder to focus on.
5. Rethink Your To-Do List
To-do lists are helpful but need to be used carefully. Too many unfinished tasks can make you feel overwhelmed.
Allocate an hour to take a critical look at them and think about why they're not done. You'll undoubtedly see some that are important and need to be pushed up the list as priorities. Consider why you haven't managed to do them. It may be due to lack of time. But are there other reasons why you haven't addressed them? (Procrastination? Or maybe you are concerned that it won't work out so you never get around to starting it in the first place? You may find it useful to take a look at these related articles in that case).
There could also be some projects that fit with your longer term goals but now isn't the right time to address them. That's fine – and simply acknowledging that will prime your brain to start contemplating the way forward for when the time is right.
But can you see any that are no longer relevant or don't fit with the goals you now have? Time does move on and something that seemed important when it went on the list may be less so now. In which case, eliminate it.
Focus On The Results
Are you put off the idea of doing some 'detoxing' because it sounds like hard work and will take up time? All detoxes do need some effort but focus on what you'll gain once you've done it. You will undoubtedly need to put in some time – but nowhere near as much as you'll get back as a result.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.