4 tips to make your work day more productive
It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy your job, we’ve all had the procrastinator in us get in the way of our productivity at some point in our lives. Whether that’s leaving your last task until tomorrow or telling yourself, ‘I’ll just do this one thing first’, we’re all guilty of avoiding a task for one reason or another. Most people would probably say they wish they were more productive, but getting into that head space can be much easier said than done. You may have even tried all the expert tips on being productive, but sometimes, it’s just about going back to basics.
To help you get back on track, we’ve listed our top four tips for feeling more productive and getting the most out of your day:1. Do your most dreaded task first and ‘Eat That Frog’!
You may not be familiar with the ‘Eat That Frog’ productivity method; but we think it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to start your day right.
Now, the whole concept of ‘eating a frog in the morning’ might seem like the last thing you would associate with productivity and task management, but once you understand the concept, you’ll wonder why you’d never heard of it before!
“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” - Mark Twain
Inspired by this quote from American writer, Mark Twain, the public speaker and self-development author, Brian Tracy, developed this into a practice that encourages people to begin their day by completing their most dreaded task first. The method isn’t necessarily about getting all your tasks done, it’s about encouraging you to tackle the worst head on and not to constantly bury it to the bottom of the pile.
It can certainly take a little bit of time to fully adopt this habit, but we definitely agree that if you start the day by eating a frog, everything else will seem like a breeze! Find out more about how Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog method could help you.
2. Remove any distractions
Whenever we find ourselves faced with a task we don’t particularly want to do, distraction seems to be everywhere! Removing anything that could take your attention away from the task at hand is a great way to remain focused. Scrolling through social media? Put your phone on silent mode and leave it somewhere out of sight. Keep switching to another, more enjoyable task? Close or move any work that doesn’t relate to the task you need to focus on.
This may sound like an obvious tip but it’s certainly one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to procrastination. One of the hardest parts is forcing yourself to admit that you’re allowing distractions to do their thing, but once you start to tell yourself, ‘this is taking me away from my task’, you’ll soon find yourself ignoring it more. So, it may take a while to break some unwanted habits but practicing this kind of self discipline will soon show welcomed results. Plus, the best part is that this is a practice you can adopt into multiple areas of your life, not just at work.
3. Take regular breaks and recharge
Being productive doesn’t mean working tirelessly throughout the day and night. In fact, it’s more likely to do the opposite! It’s a sure way to completely burn out.
Taking regular, substantial breaks away from your work can really help you destress and gain a better perspective of what you’re trying to achieve. Ever say a word so much it doesn’t seem to sound like a real word or mean anything anymore? It’s the same with tasks you’re working on. Maintain tunnel vision for too long and soon you’ll start making silly and avoidable mistakes, find yourself becoming frustrated and you could lose the sense of accomplishment and joy you once obtained.
If you ever feel as though your momentum is dropping or you’re starting to feel drained, put your feet up, make yourself a coffee and do something else for 15 minutes. Once you come back to your work, you’ll find yourself back in the swing of things and get so much more done than you would have if you had simply ‘powered through’.
4. Get your work set up right
If you’ve followed My Smart Desk for a while now, you’ll know that we believe one of the most important aspects to remain focused and productive is getting your working environment just right.
If you work from the comfort of your bed, it may be cosy but you’ll soon see your productivity levels decrease. This is because your brain will already associate your bed with a place to relax, not to work. Whereas if you get into the habit of working at a desk or other dedicated area, you’ll soon begin to associate this space with productivity and focus.
It can often come down to these simple associations. We can sometimes forget the incredible intricacy of the human brain and it can be very helpful to understand how this basic physiological association can help us separate different areas of our work and everyday life.
So there you have it, our top 4 tips to help you adopt a more productive working life. But who says we only need to be productive at work? Try implementing some of these practices into your daily activities and see how you can be more productive in every aspect of your life.
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