Everybody falls behind at work. We all can’t be perfect, right?
But with age comes even greater challenges. Symptoms like forgetfulness, fatigue, or cognitive decline can decrease your levels of productivity.
But don’t order your retirement cake just yet. You aren’t alone.
The Pew Research Center studied employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016, 18.8% of Americans who are 65 years or older reported working full-time or part-time. While in 2012, only 12.8% of older Americans said they worked.
Researchers expect that number to break the 30% mark by 2022.
It’s a fact. We’re living longer and healthier lives. That gives us a choice to work past the age of retirement because we can, not because we have to.
But how do you keep up with younger coworkers who zoom around the office like the Energizer bunny?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a battery you can buy to help you reach your sales quota or knock out 40 hours of work in one day.
But there are a few things you can do right now to catch up.
Ready? Pry open those peepers. And let’s boost your productivity and finish work before the clock strikes 6.
Listen to upbeat music
Music can add zen (or rage) to your morning commute. It can empower you to finish that last quarter mile. And it drowns out your coworker who always has an endless stream of gossip.
And now researchers say happy, upbeat music helps you to be more productive and cooperative at work.
Check out this article on The Muse. Choose a Spotify playlist that fits your current mood. For example, are you prepping for a meeting or hitting the mid-afternoon slump?
Hit play and get to work!
Work smarter (not harder) with your phone
It’s no secret. With smart phones, we can quickly respond to emails, access our files anywhere, and connect to new opportunities.
But now we’ve got the stats to support it. One survey shows that people who use their smartphone to get work done are 34% more productive.
For example, download Todoist. You can assign tasks, create lists with deadlines and reminders, and collaborate on projects. Plus, you get a nice feeling of accomplishment when you tick off a task.
Procrastinating? Check out The Forest App. It helps you focus on your work–no matter where you are or what fight broke out on Twitter. When it’s time to work, you plant a tree. As long as you don’t navigate away from the app within the set timeframe, the tree grows.
You can find more apps to increase your productivity here.
Mingle with co-workers in the break room
Seems counterproductive, right?
But in a study last year, Bank of America allowed employees to enjoy break time together. After, they measured a 15-20% rise in productivity and a 19% drop in stress levels.
So this one’s pretty easy–step away from the desk. Find a co-worker or two. Socialize, spark some conversation, and make a connection. Bounce some ideas off your colleague or find someone to collaborate on that project with you.
You’ll feel a renewed sense of productivity when you head back to your desk–a suggested 15 to 20 minutes later. You don’t want to upset the boss, of course.
Take a quick afternoon siesta
We admit. You may not have the option of taking a quick nap at work. We’ve saved this last tip for the lucky ones who do.
If you can reserve part of your lunch break for a nap, you can think like you did five years ago.
Yes, you read that right. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say a short sleep in the afternoon improves thinking and memory skills. And it makes the brain perform as if it were five years younger.
The study suggested an hour was best. If you rest for a shorter or longer period, it could actually make your performance worse.
Don’t sit at your desk in silence for 8 hours!
Turn up some tunes, chat with a coworker, and give your body some rest when it needs it.
Oh, and make that smartphone work for its hefty price tag. Find some apps that can help you focus and stay on task. Plus, you’ll impress those younger colleagues with how tech savvy you’ve are!
Still feeling drained? Check out our article for more energy-boosting tips.