Your workplace is where you spend a large part of the day.
This is where value is added and important strategic decisions are made every day. So it should be a place where you feel comfortable. If you are an entrepreneur, you not only have responsibility for yourself and your company, but also for your team. The demand for a productive workplace should not only apply to you, but to the whole team.
For me, too, the role of the employer was and still is a new challenge. That’s why I want to share with you my 5 tips for a productive workplace.
1. Circle of Safety
I am firmly convinced that productive work and especially creative work require a place where you feel comfortable and safe. Simon Sinke calls this the Circle of Safety in his book “Leaders Eat Last”.
He explains very clearly the role that EDSO – endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin – plays in creating a Circle of Safety in which we work. When we understand how these neurochemicals work together, we can create safe, fulfilling environments where individuals can make meaningful contributions to an inspiring vision. What sounds very chemical at first, is a practical guide on a scientific basis.
Only those who enjoy what they do can develop freely, grow beyond themselves and create something special.
So my first tip is less about a physical location than about the leadership, the working atmosphere and the values and visions of a company. Your own desk is the place where you can create and experience all of this.
2. GTD Getting Things done
Another book, or rather a practical helper for your very personal everyday life. I received this valuable book tip some time ago from Ralf Jentzen (Coactiv Consulting).
David Allen describes very practically how I get things done (Getting Things Done)
It is a fantastic approach to sorting the tasks, ideas and challenges of everyday life, putting them in a meaningful order and doing them. I don’t stick to all the ideas and concepts 100%, but there are two very essential approaches that I have adopted and that help me tremendously.
I write down all ideas, tasks and impulses and sort them. That helps me a lot in everyday life. For me, OneNote is the ideal tool for this task. Both on the computer in the office and on the go on the smartphone. OneNote is always in sync and I always have all ideas and concepts at hand.
I also recorded the idea for this post and now worked it out.
The 5 minute rule (or 3 or 2) helps a lot too. If it takes less than this short time, do it directly. You have to test for yourself in practice how extensively you implement all the categories in the book. It is particularly nice that the book accompanies the reader in the implementation and that you can start immediately. I did that from the beginning and it was an enrichment for me – professionally and personally. Maybe it will also help you be productive in the workplace.
3. Plan ahead
I try to plan ahead every day and every week. This helps me to concentrate on the most important tasks and is also a fantastic preparation for the daily stand-up meeting. It gives me structure and guidelines that I can use as a guide in everyday life.
If possible, I plan the three most important tasks for the next day at least the evening before. Here, too, I use OneNote for personal daily and weekly planning.
I often get distracted in everyday life. Be it through my cell phone, e-mail or a phone call. This is not what I would describe as a productive workplace. My personal daily schedule helps me to keep focusing on the important points.
We plan projects of course, accessible to everyone in the project management software.
4. Project management software
From my time as an employee, I know the disadvantages of decentralized solutions and project management via notes and self-made Word and Excel lists very well. Without agency software, every project and every deadline inevitably becomes a ticking time bomb. The team is never on the same level of information and the processes from the preparation of offers to invoices can be tortured without a good software solution.
The agency software is the heart of every agency. This applies to the team as well as to the leadership. For me, a professional software solution for project management is an essential key for a productive workplace. I have already written my own article on this with the title “Professional agency software for project management”.
5. Daily Standup-Meeting
Teamwork, feedback, brainstorming and team meetings are an integral part of agency life. But they also cost a lot of productive time that is lost. Long meetings with discussions that get lost in details, escalate into unplanned brainstorming or only affect some of the participants, are more or less familiar to all of us. In the worst case, the boss leaves such a meeting with a long to-do list and no clarity for the team. That is not expedient.
The daily stand-up meeting is a new concept, brings a breath of fresh air and thus ensures a productive workplace and a successful meeting culture. There is also a detailed article on this with the title “Daily Standup Meeting”
My own workplace
The 5 tips for a productive workplace are less physical than more concepts and ideas to create a work environment in which you can work productively. Nevertheless, I would like to give you a look behind the scenes and show you the workplace where this article was created. (Yes, of course I cleaned up beforehand)
The desk is a one-off piece that Mike made for me. Many thanks again for this fantastic piece.
Surprise, I’m not an Apple disciple, I love my Microsoft Surface Book. Here is a brief overview of my hardware at work:
- Dell UltraSharp 49″
- Surface Book mit Intel® Core™ i7
- Surface Dock
- Logitech MX Master 2s
- CHERRY Stream 3.0 – USB Keyboard
- Formgut Schreibtischunterlage Filz (80 x 40)
- Amazon Echo
- braindinx Notebook
I hope this article was helpful to you and I was able to give you a few tips on your way to becoming a productive workplace. Maybe you also got some good impressions with a look behind the scenes. If you have any ideas or suggestions on the subject, feel free to write to me.