Have a More Productive Day
Many of us wish for more hours in the day. We want to get all the things done on our list or want to do things we enjoy. How can we be more productive with the 24 hours we have? What’s the secret?
Unfortunately, there is no secret. The key is to create healthy habits that become routine, even when you don’t feel like it or life gets overwhelming. Start small and notice what small changes you can make to your daily routine to help you get more done in the day.
1. Wake up earlier.
Does hearing your alarm go off in the morning cause you to panic so you hit snooze multiple times before getting out of bed? You’re not alone. Hitting snooze can actually be doing more harm than good.
Our bodies go through several stages of sleep throughout the night including REM sleep, which is the restorative sleep your body needs. If you wake up when your alarm goes off, your body will snap out of its REM cycle and be ready for the day. Hitting the snooze button and falling back asleep confuses the body, meaning when you wake up for a second time you’ll feel groggy and even more unmotivated to get out of bed.
Quick tip: Set your alarm on the other side of the room. This will force you to get out of bed to turn it off in the morning.
2. Take a mental break.
Continuously working on one task for hours on end will run your brain to a dead end. You may find yourself in a mind fog or find it hard to focus and concentrate on the task you’re trying to finish. When you find yourself in this brain fog, take a mental break. Take a walk around your office building. Physically get out of the area where you are trying to work. Avoid mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram this only makes it harder to get back on task. It is recommended that for every hour of work you are doing, you should be taking a 10 minute break allowing your brain to refocus.
Quick tip: Set a timer for yourself as a reminder to take a break. Take a break before the brain fog hits to keep steady attention and focus all day long.
3. Stay hydrated.
Why is water so important? Water delivers oxygen, regulated body temperature, and flushes body waste. Plus, water can actually help you feel more energized. It is recommended you get at least eight glasses of water a day.
Quick tip: Don’t like drinking plain water? Add fresh fruit like strawberries, mint or lime to add some flavor to your water.
4. Quit multitasking.
While many of us think that doing multiple things at once increases efficiency, the opposite is actually true. Psychologists have found that trying to do multiple tasks at once actually can result in loss productivity and time. Make it a point to commit to one single task at a time and complete it before moving on to the next.
Quick tip: Make a list of things you want to get done for the day. Prioritize them based on importance and then take one task at a time, check them off as you go.
5. Follow the “two-minute rule.”
Make time of the small windows you have at work. The idea is, if you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. Complete the task right away. It actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.
Quick tip: Think about the little “two minute” tasks that you can get done in between bigger projects.
6. Turn off notifications.
A buzzing phone can be tempting to check all day long. During work hours, turn off notifications so you can keep focused on the task at hand. A buzzing phone can pull your distraction away from what you are doing and it can be hard to get back in the groove of what you were doing.
Quick tip: Build in time to check email and messages.
7. Give yourself something nice to look at.
It may sound silly but outfitting your office space with aesthetically pleasing elements such as plants, flowers, candles, or pictures can increase your productivity by up to 15 percent. When you are comfortable in your work environment you are better able to focus on the work that needs to get done.
Quick tip: Jazz up your space with anything that puts a smile on your face!