Sometimes it can get extremely hard to stay focused on your work. How many times has a single Facebook notification led to a few hours long session of infinite scrolling? How many times have office chats made you forget what you were working on and disrupt your flow? Or how many times did having too many tasks at hand result in losing track and ending up panicking?
Sometimes it can get difficult to get back into your productive mode after the holidays or a long break. Sometimes there are no apparent reasons for your decrease in productivity. Regardless of the reason, here are 5 hacks that can help you get back into the game and be as productive as you can be.
Make a To-Do List at the End of the Day
There’s nothing more frustrating than not having a clear plan ahead of you. That’s what lists are for! If you take a few minutes to make a to-do list for tomorrow, you’ll ensure you start the next day as productive as possible. You’ll know what’s waiting for you tomorrow and what you’ve already worked on, so you can prioritize and always meet deadlines and expectations. You can use apps like Blink the Bee to get a reminder of your list early in the morning. Ideally, going over the list should be the first thing you do at the beginning of your workday.
Check Emails No More than Twice a Day!
This might sound strange, even counterproductive since most businesses today rely on email for communication. But that’s where the problem lies. Communicating with your colleagues and clients all day will take you away from the rest of your duties. In order to balance work and communication, you should check your emails up to twice a day, for example at 11 and 3. You can choose the times that fit you or your clients too (if you’re working with clients from different time zones, for example).
Handle Difficult Tasks First
People tend to have more energy in the morning compared to the rest of the day, which is why when planning your day you should move the most demanding tasks to the start of the day. Our energy levels usually drop around noon and we pick up pace after lunch. With that in mind, plan your tasks around your energy level peaks and drops.
Have Some Fun
When planning out your day, don’t forget to make some room for fun. In order to keep your productivity throughout the day, you should not neglect to have fun from time to time. Your employer won’t mind if you make a few 10-minute breaks to scroll through your Facebook feed or watch a couple of YouTube videos after you’re done with your tasks. You should plan that time later in the day when our concentration drops.
Take a Short Break Every Hour
After sitting for hours at your desk every day it’s completely normal to become tired and lose concentration. This has to do both with biology, as our glucose levels go down, and psychology. We end up blindly staring at the screen as our tasks keep piling up. To break this dangerous routine up, make sure you take short breaks every hour. Get up from your desk, stretch your legs, have a drink of water and don’t think about the tasks waiting for you when you get back. Just try to relax your mind and body. You’d be surprised how much this will boost your productivity.