17 Ways To Increase Productivity at Work Using Standing Desks

Standing desks, stand up desks, and ergonomic desks are all the rave and have been for a while now.

One of the reasons for the rise in popularity of these desks is the idea or thought that standing up during the day will increase your productivity levels and employee productivity levels. 

While the jury is still out on long-term studies and benefits, in this post I will go over 17 ways you can increase your productivity using a standing desk at work whether you work at home or in a company away from home. 

1.  Hold Standing Meetings. This is probably my favorite productivity hack! I do not like meetings. Most meetings seem to be a waste of my time. However, there are always going to be meetings which are necessary in your work or your boss requires you to be in them. 

This hack works for both live meetings where you meet in person and skype or zoom or google hangouts meetings where you are meeting personally. 

I find that meetings in person actually can end faster because people in the meeting all have somewhere “to be”. I find that  during virtual meetings many people are in their homes sitting down and not being rushed. 

If you have a standing desk or a stand up desk or a makeshift standing desk at your kitchen counter or bar, all of these will work. 

2. Take breaks. Taking breaks does not waste time. In fact, it increases your concentration and ability to focus on your tasks. When I am involved with a big project or writing content, things that require more than an hour of work, I will take a 5 minute break after each 25 minutes of working. Then I take a 10 minute break after every 3 of these 25 minute sessions. This is the Pomodoro Technique™ developed by an entrepreneur in Italy. 

I have been doing the Pomodoro Technique™ for over 6 years now. I do a lot of content writing, creating content, videos, graphics, lessons, digital courses, launches, proposals, training guides, and much more. All of these are in my creative genius space. 

However, there are many interruptions taking place during the day. The only way I hold the interruptions at bay is by telling my kids I will get to them in 25 minutes before I start my round on the timer. 

3. Use a timer when working on projects. Using a timer helps you stay on task which increases your productivity. I use the Pomodoro Technique™ style timer that I bought on Amazon. If you click here you can see what the current price is for the timer, which is so cute. It is in the shape of a tomato. 

This is what mine looks like. I like the physical timer. 

You can get timer apps for your laptop, desktop and of course there is already one on your smart phone. 

But I like to hear the sound of the timer ticking. This is one of the best ways to stay on task. Your brain hears the ticking and signals you to pay attention. It really works. 

4. Use a timer to signal when to sit and when to stand during your work hours. We are advised to not sit all day and also not to stand up all day to work. 

I like to stand when I work, when I am speaking on the phone, when I am listening to podcasts, when I am watching YouTube videos, and even sometimes when I am eating. 

When I sit too long my back and shoulders start to really hurt. From experience, I will suggest to not wait that long before you get up from sitting. Take it from me, it hurts! 

When I go to my chiropractor he can always tell when I was sitting too long. 

My massage therapist can tell when I have been sitting too much slumping while working on my computer. 

Read more about this in my post: How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk

5. Exercise while working. Multi-tasking is not efficient for many projects and activities but for exercising there are a few ways in which you can do both at the same time. 

I exercise while I listen to podcasts. Whenever I take a walk I have my watch set to the podcasts I am going to listen to. I put my iPods in and go for a walk. 

I do this during my working hours because breaking your day between highly focused projects and those which are more passive helps you get more done. I also find this to be an efficient way to work through my to do list. 

You can use a sit stand exercise bike for simple tasks like checking your email, making phone calls, watching webinars, listening to podcasts, taking  notes, reading articles, saying your affirmations, and other tasks which don’t take all of your concentration or brain power.  

Some people like to do their dictation tasks while exercising on their exercise bicycle. I am not auditorily strong enough for this. I am more of a visual person and need to type my content. 

I am not a doctor but we all know that exercise is good to do and so now there is no excuse! You will be more productive if you exercise daily. 

6. Reward yourself! Whenever I reach one of my goals, I treat myself to a reward I have decided on prior to starting the steps to my goal. 

I am very motivated with “carrots”. Tell me there is something I will get at the end of the journey I will do all I can to get there to have that reward. 

They don’t have to be big or expensive or even super time consuming. I set up small to larger rewards depending on the size of the project and the length of time or difficulty. 

Reward yourself for standing at your desk while working. For every 30 minutes of standing, treat yourself to listening to your favorite song or dancing to your favorite tune for a few minutes.

Or maybe you want to take 10 minutes to call a friend or get on your favorite social media app. Just make sure you are setting a timer so you don’t look up to see hours have just slipped by! That has happened to me before. 

Maybe you will want to just reward yourself to lay down on your coach and meditate after standing up working for 30 minutes! After all, we are so used to slouching and sitting at our desks to get our work done, most of us are not used to standing and working, especially at our desks! 

7. Find out when you are most productive and use that time to do your best   work. Everyone is different. Using that same method, find out what time you feel best to stand at your desk to work. 

Studies have finally concluded there is a gene that determines whether you are a lark ( a morning person) or an owl ( a nocturnal or night person). So now I don’t feel like such an anomaly because I love to work late at night.  

We are each unique individuals. Discover and develop your uniqueness. If you have the freedom to work during your most alert hours, you will be more productive. 

8. Use your iWatch or Fitbit watch to track your standing. One of the things the things I love most about my iWatch is the tracking, the three rings. One is for movement, one for exercise, and one ring for standing. I have to stand 12 times during the day with at least standing one time per hour. 

Remember I said I am a “carrot” person? This is a perfect example. I work each day to have my three rings filled in and the celebration that follows as each ring is completed. 

Standing at my desk to work helps to achieve some of the standing times. Try it out. 

Check the current FitBit pricing on Amazon here. 

9. Reduce distractions on your desk. First, get rid of clutter on your desk. Clutter keeps your mind from focusing. Think back to a time when you did a major spring cleaning or moved out of your house and into a new one. Recall the feeling you had. I remember it so well. When I clean one of my rooms in my house all the way, like until I can almost hear my echo in the room, I feel so accomplished, so full of energy, and focused. 

I sit to enjoy the space for a while, basking in the good energy. Of course with kids, you know it is not going to last long! 

Take everything off of your desk that does not need to be there. 

Keep a bin under your desk and yes, just put it all in there for now so you can concentrate on your work. 

I will suggest to do that instead of taking the time during your peak working hours to declutter. 

After you have done your work for the day go back through during your downtime to go through your bin and throw out, recycle, or donate items that clutter your desk. 

10. Place your desk in an environment where you can focus. Do this whether your desk is at home or in an office outside of your home. 

Get the free download about workplace focus from Gensler, click here. 

Make sure you can turn down distractions or better yet, avoid them altogether. If you work from home, this may not be totally possible. 

Choose the best place. I like to face my window with a view to my pool. Water gives you a sense of calm. 

Studies conclude that focus work is the most important work and takes up most of the hours in our work day. 

11. Concentration is hard. Make it a priority. Studies show that one of the hardest things we humans do is concentrate. This is the case even when you don’t have a ton of distractions. 

Concentrating increases productivity. Concentrating on your task at hand creates dividends, focusing on one thing makes that one thing so much better.     

12. Let natural light flow on you and your workspace. During the day you can open your blinds or curtains and let the light in. 

For days when you don’t get enough natural light or if you are like me, and work into the night, choose light bulbs and strips that simulate natural light. I use full spectrum lighting which looks like natural daylight. 

Full spectrum lighting may help elevate your mood. This is the same kind of lighting plants grow better with when indoors.  

13. Choose the correct height for your standing desk. Read my article about getting the right height desk. 

It is so important to have the correct height when you are standing up to work. If your desk is too low and you are bending over to type on your keyboard you will hurt your posture. 

Lifting your neck up to see your monitor is also not good for your body. 

This infographic shows you the proper way to stand to work at your desk. 

When you are standing comfortably you will be more productive. 

14. Painting your home office or other area in your home where you have your workspace. Choose white whenever you can. 

I hired a Feng Shui consultant to help me organize and arrange my home offices. She highly recommended painting work spaces in white tones for the correct workflow environment. 

15. Mozart helps me concentrate. I know the baby Mozart trend was proved to not make babies smarter, however, classical music does help me to concentrate better. I don’t need a study to prove it. 

16. Breathe in fresh air. There is nothing like fresh air to give you a boost of energy which you can use to focus. 

17. Change things up. Don’t stay in one place all the time. I like going  outside on my patio to work when it is cool. The versatility of laptops today allows you so many different ways to get your work done. Location is no longer a barrier. 

Go to a park to write offline or to plan your week or month. Go to a coffee shop to work once in a while. Go to the beach and read your proposals, briefs, and white sheets. 

If you want to be more productive at work and are thinking about buying a stand up desk or a standing desk or one of the alternatives- check out my resources page where I go over the best options I have found. 

I have been researching which desk to buy and started with my A list of all the things I wanted in a new desk but found out pretty quickly it’s not possible for me to get everything on my dream list. 

I am down to only two choices now! I am excited about buying my new desk. You may read some of my posts when I was starting on this journey or after I purchased my desk depending on when I wrote the posts. 

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