Yeah, we know. Adulting gets in the way of living your best life.
Productivity is important because it relates to income and time. The more productive you are, the more money you can earn in many situations. You can also save time. That time can be spent on anything you like, including making more money.
There are many obstacles to productivity, such as a lack of focus (oooh, shiny object), a lack of intention, a lack of stamina, and too many distractions (sunshine, laundry, daytime TV), to name a few.
Hack your brain and increase your productivity with these strategies:
- Set an intention. Most people can’t focus because they’re not truly clear on what they want to focus on or for how long. Give yourself a fighting chance by choosing a specific task for a specific amount of time.
- For example, you might decide you’re going to work on your tax return for 30 minutes. Set a timer and do your best for those 30 minutes.
- Your brain will do its best to give you what you want if you give it clear instructions.
- Meditate. Meditation helps to build focus and calm your mind. Meditation is incredibly popular right now, so there is plenty of free information on how to meditate effectively. Educate yourself and get started. It’s simple and effective.
- Take regular breaks. Experiment with break frequency and duration. The best option for most people is either 25 minutes of work and a five-minute break, or 50 minutes of work and a 10-minute break. Discover what works best for you and then stick with it. Timers can be powerful tools.
- Avoid giving in to temptation. Most of us give in to the temptation of distraction far too easily. It’s a very difficult habit to break. We quickly go from feeling bored or stressed to amused. It feels good to check email or read a text.
- The most productive people are able to overcome the urge to break their attention from their work task.
- It’s important to avoid these distractions during your breaks, too. It’s too hard to get back on task, and your break time magically extends from five minutes to 25. Learn how to say “no” to your urges.
- Alternate high and low-focus tasks. Many people report greater productivity when they alternate between cognitively intense activities and those that require less intellectual effort. It’s similar to interval training in the gym.
- Lower-level activities might include returning calls and emails, or other routine work. The lower-level activities give your brain a rest and the chance to recover. Soon, it’s ready for another round of more intense activity.
- Drink plenty of water. Most people are partially dehydrated. The solution is to drink plenty of water. That doesn’t mean you have to be chugging 20 ounces of water every hour. But, a 20-ounce bottle of water every few hours would be beneficial to most.
- So many metabolic processes require water that you’re not at your best if you’re dehydrated.
- Develop a positive mindset. A positive outlook on life makes you more productive. Studies show that mindset affects productivity. Work on having a positive outlook and you’ll accomplish more each day. You’ll also be a lot happier.
- Surround yourself with other achievers. Coworking at The Guild provides a support system of over achievers, self-starters and doers. Working alongside people who are motivated and determined to succeed is contagious. If you find yourself stuck, visit The Guild to re-ignite your productivity spark.
Try coworking at The Guild for free and see for yourself how collaborative coworking can maximize your productivity. Then you won’t feel so guilty taking a sunshine break.