Are you struggling to stay focused? Can’t get it all done when you need to, or find yourself buried even after sitting at your desk for hours?
Don’t worry! You’re not a lost cause. Here are our top ten best productivity hacks to keep your focus on your work, not the world around you, and get the most out of each day.
10: Turn off Your Alerts
Unless you’re waiting for some incredibly vital information to come through, turn off your email and text alerts, and switch your phone to do not disturb. Leave it face down so you can’t see what is coming through.
If you’re in the zone, a vibrate or email that can wait ten minutes is going to pull you out of it. Getting back in? Sometimes impossible. The constant interruption will do more harm than good.
9: Pause, Stretch, Stand
If you sit at your desk for a long period of time, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it is easy to try and ‘push through’ the discomfort. But you’re hurting your body, and your productivity, along the way.
Make a point several times a day to stand, stretch, and move around. Look out the window for a few minutes to readjust your eyes and learn some office-yoga to keep your back feeling good. If you are feeling better physically, you will get more work done. It’s as simple as that!
8: Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is so important! If you’re hyper-focused on a project, the little things can fall to the wayside, like keeping yourself healthy. Get a plastic or metal bottle and keep it full of water next to you. When you need a pause in your work or are thinking over a problem, take a sip.
7: Eat Healthy, Filling Foods – Not Junk
It’s easy to go through a drive through and get fast food every lunch, but it’s not healthy. The fuel you put into your body is so important, so feed yourself filling, healthy foods and avoid sugar or processed items.
You can meal prep each weekend or find a healthier take out alternative near your office. You will feel better, have more energy, and get more done.
6: Schedule Email and Text Time
This is an oldie, but a goodie – make sure you are scheduling your interactions with people, not letting them dictate the conversation. Set a time in the morning to check your email, maybe once near lunch, and again before you leave. That’s it. Unless you’re waiting for something vital, avoid the inbox entirely.
The interruption isn’t worth it, and you’ll find yourself checking your email a dozen times a day if you don’t rein it in.
5: Force Yourself to Have Self-Control
Struggle with sites like Facebook, Reddit, or Imgur while you should be working? That’s okay, a lot of people do! Self-control on these sites is hard, so don’t beat yourself up.
Instead, consider using an app or program that will block or limit the time you spend. Newer Android phones have the option already built into the operating system, and there are dozens of free or paid programs out there to monitor and stop your internet usage.
4: Choose Your Work Theme Song Carefully
A lot of people like working in music, which is great – but is careful about what you choose. Songs with lyrics are often distracting because half of your brain is listening to the words, instead of focusing on your task.
Consider white noise or instrumental music instead. If you have to have someone singing, try listening to music in a different language. Korean pop is very popular right now and thousands of songs can be streamed online for free.
3: Two Monitors are Better Than One
If you spend a lot of time on your computer comparing data, swapping between tabs, or correlating facts, consider getting a second monitor. Having two sizeable monitors can help reduce the time you spend clicking around and increase the time you spend actually working, which will dramatically increase your productivity.
2: Be Careful Multitasking
Some people think multitasking is a myth, and no matter how good you claim to be, you really are just doing two projects poorly. Others swear that multitasking is a lifesaver that can help you get more done.
Know yourself. If you can manage two things at once, do it – but don’t force it. If it takes you twice as long to do two tasks as one normally would, put your whole attention on just one at a time. The finished product will be better, anyway.
1: ‘No’ is a Complete Sentence
There is nothing wrong with saying no if you are offered a project when you are already at capacity. There’s a good chance you aren’t a machine or a superhero – and no one expects you to be. Learn to turn down a project tactfully and properly manage your plate. No amount of productivity tips will help you if you literally cannot complete the amount of work you have in the given time.