When working 40+ hours a week, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive throughout the day. Here are 6 tips to help you stay on track throughout your work week.
1. Get Sleep
Studies show that not getting enough sleep at night can greatly affect your memory and focus. When we are in a deep level of sleep, our brains are working to move short-term memories into long-term memories, clearing our heads for the next day. When we aren’t able to reach a sufficient amount of deep sleep, our productivity often suffers. It’s very easy to let the night get away from us by watching TV or sitting on our phones, but making a conscious effort to unplug and go to sleep on a set schedule can make all the difference in your work day.
2. Make a Morning Routine
Getting yourself on track in the morning will help keep you on schedule throughout the day. Little things like not snoozing your alarm, eating a healthy breakfast, and laying out your plan of action for the day will help keep you focused and alert throughout the day.
If you need an extra push to get up in the morning, apps like “I Can’t Wake Up” and “Morning Routine” can help by making you solve math problems or scan a barcode from items in your house to shut the alarm off.
3. Take Breaks
Your brain is in a constant state of working overtime, yet we rarely ever give it the break it deserves. Many of us don’t take breaks because we feel guilty or that we are wasting time, when actually, taking breaks is proven to increase productivity and creative thought. Things you think might be hindering your work could actually be helping you in the long run.
4. Stop Multitasking
Only 2% of people actually multitask effectively. That means for the other 98% of us who think we are helping ourselves by multitasking, are actually hurting our productivity. When we cram a bunch of different tasks into our brain at once, it essentially gets clogged and is difficult to funnel the information in.
In the age we live in, we often don’t even realize that we are multitasking. We write an email, check Facebook, and have a conversation with someone at the same time without thinking twice. By organizing your day into specific tasks, it allows your brain to fully process each task, making it easier to finish.
Another way you can help yourself with multitasking is using the two-minute rule to get rid of menial tasks you would normally do while multitasking. If you can get a task done right when you receive it within two minutes, do it. If you have to go back to it later, it usually ends up taking more time and effort than if you would have done it in the first place.
5. Get Moving
When it comes to productivity, exercise is key. Getting out and exercising regularly, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, can increase your productivity by up to 15%. Outside of exercise, just getting your body moving can help too. Getting a sit/stand desk will allow you to stand up and move at your desk, whether you have time to exercise during your day or not. Not only will it give you a boost of energy and focus, but it ‘s also is good for your health.
6. De-Clutter Your Workspace
Clutter, especially at your desk, is a notorious productivity killer. If your desk is overloaded with papers, bags and sticky notes, set aside 30 minutes each week to reorganize and throw away papers you no longer need.
If you’re finding your de-cluttering efforts difficult, opt for a filing system for your desk or drawers so you can file papers and other clutter-causing items. What’s on your desk should be the task at hand, not last week’s task.
If you’re looking for more space on your computer desktop, consider switching to a dual-monitor system. VARIDESK offers a dual monitor arm accessory so you can organize your workstation with ease. Double the monitors, double the productivity!
7. Standing Meetings
More often than not, meetings can end up sucking time out of the day. To help ensure your meetings stay on task and within the scheduled time, try holding standing meetings. Standing creates a sense of urgency that can cut meeting times by 25% and get everyone back to work faster.
8. Relax A Little
It’s common knowledge that spending time out of the office to relax and unplug is important for optimal performance when you return to the office. Whether you’re getting out of town or simply planning a trip to the local beach, take time this summer to slow down.
To ensure you’re feeling good at the office and beating burnout, plan a mini-vacation over the weekend. Your trip doesn’t have to be grandiose – spend an afternoon with a good book at the beach or turn off your cell phone (gasp!) for a few hours to disconnect.
You’ll be shocked how much better you feel at work when you let yourself relax a little. In fact, Entrepreneur Magazine claims, “You get more done quicker when you step back and recharge the brain and body.” (Entrepreneur)
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