Stay Productive in the Face of Change

14 Sep 2015
by Sara Kramer
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stay productive in the face of

In life, there are only a few things you can be absolutely certain of: death, taxes, and, of course, change.

Change does not shy away from the workplace, in fact, it seems to be an ever-constant presence in our office lives. But, unfortunately, change makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Most of us have at least some attachment to the way things are done, how they’re set up, and where they are. Regardless of how much we’d like to consider ourselves free spirits that thrive on change, it’s only natural to get comfortable with what’s familiar.

That being said, sometimes change in the workplace can result in a loss of productivity. For whatever reason, when employees are coming and going, management is shifting, the company is moving spaces, whatever the case may be, we tend to slack off and lose focus. It’s only natural, but the sooner you recognize that this happens, the sooner you can fix it. Here are some tips to keep your mojo going even when everything around you is getting crazy.

Do a self-assessment

Especially in the face of change, knowing how you work best is going to be really important. What distracts you? What makes you bored? Do you thrive off interactions with your coworkers or do you like to put your head down when you’re trying to get work done? Do you like to listen to music? Figure these things out about yourself.

It’s really important that you understand what motivates you to get your work done. In the face of change in the workplace, you’re going to need to look inside yourself and be able to communicate with your boss and coworkers about what is going to make you the most efficient worker you can be. Especially if there’s a change in management, structure, or anything else significant, you need to know who you are and how to get your work done.

Be adaptable

Maybe this one goes without saying, but when things are changing in your work environment, be sure to be flexible. Sometimes change means your coworkers are quitting and new ones are starting, or sometimes this means your company was acquired, is merging, or your leadership is being replaced; whatever the case, learn to roll with the punches. Change is almost always uncomfortable, even when it’s for the best. Give the new things a try, welcome the new people with open arms and the comfort of your experience, and keep in mind the things that help you stay productive. Adapt the newfound knowledge you have about yourself to your current situation.

Learn to communicate with those around you about any concerns or questions you have about the changes that are taking place. This will help you feel more like you have a good grip on what’s happening and less in the dark about what is going on around you. Most of the time change is something you can’t control, but you can control how you react to it. Be helpful, be flexible, and relax. You’ll settle in to a new way of working in no time.

Have a good work/life balance

Since work takes up a lot of your mental energy and time, it can be hard when big changes are implemented. I mean, let’s face it, you’re at your job for 40 or more hours a week, leaving only two short days and even shorter evenings for you to be focusing on the rest of your life. So, although it can be hard sometimes, try to have things outside of work you do for yourself, your family, or your friends. Pick up a hobby, take classes, exercise, read, anything! Find something else to focus your energy on when you’re not at work. Not only will this help you feel happier and healthier in life, but it will also be super helpful if the change at work is overwhelming you. Your interests and activities outside of work will ground you in the face of change. Healthy relationships and things to do will distract your mind when you are not at work, so that when the change is bothering you, you can at least leave it at the office.

Focus on what you can control

This is another tip that will help ground you when everything around you feels like it’s swirling around in the air. There will always be aspects of your job, or at the very least, yourself, that you can control. Again, knowing yourself and how you work best is going to be key in executing this theory as well. Look for things in your everyday routine that you have complete control over and hold on to them. Sometimes, it might just be your attitude. That’s okay. If that’s the case, keep in mind that change can be good even if it’s bad. We could all use a little shaking up sometimes, and again, it’s okay for change to be uncomfortable. Recognize this and power through. Ground yourself in any way you can.

Stick to your routine, or make a new one

Routines are awesome. They make you feel comfortable, they ensure you get stuff done, and they make working feel like a habit. So, if everything around you is changing, stick to stuff you can control in your routine. Sometimes your entire work routine will have to change, that might be part of what’s different around work, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other parts of your routine that can make you feel more in control. Do you always get your coffee the same way from the same place? Hold on to these little things to again ground yourself. Sometimes a routine can feel boring, but if you’re feeling especially out of control because of a lot of changes, focus on the tiny things that you can still do everyday no matter what.

If all else fails, create a new routine for yourself. Doing the same thing everyday will help you feel in control, even if it’s all new. You’ll fall into your new routine faster than you think.

All in all, don’t lose focus in the face of workplace change. This can cause a world of problems both personally and for your employer. Follow our tips and you’ll be focused and back on track in no time.

Good luck!

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