10 Simple and Easy to Follow Productivity Tips
10 Simple and Easy to Follow Productivity Tips
So much to do, but just can’t seem to FOCUS and get things done?
Staying productive can be a challenge whether it be at work or at home. But there are simple and easy ways to stay prolific, stay focused and get things done!
Check out this SlideShare Presentation for a Bonus Productivity Tip for the Modern Entrepreneur.
Tip 1: Eat a Hearty Breakfast!
You’ve likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it’s true!
A productive day begins before you leave home with a nutritious breakfast which sets the tone for the day.
When we sleep, our body is still at work rejuvenating after a long day of mental and physical activity. So we need to start our day with our body fueled, but it’s also important to use the right kind of fuel. Choosing the right foods to refuel your body when you wake up improves concentration and memory throughout the day.
A healthy breakfast meal should contain a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or nonfat dairy, and lean protein.
The benefits of a healthy breakfast goes beyond just a boost in the brain. According to Mayo Clinic, adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
- Eat more vitamins and minerals.
- Control their weight. Research suggests that consuming most of your daily calories in the morning can aid weight loss.
- Control their blood sugar levels — which is important in preventing or controlling diabetes.
- Eat less fat and cholesterol.
- Perform better at work.
Tip 2: Get Enough Sleep
When you haven’t got enough sleep the night before, you dread the reality of the next day. You hear the alarm go off and hit the snooze button numerous times. You feel tired and already have the difficulty concentrating even before you officially start your day.
Our body needs sleep to rest and recharge. Lack of sleep affects our brain’s ability to learn and retain information, it impairs our cognitive functions. When you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll have more trouble refocusing on the task at hand. A recent study also showed that lack of sleep is a stronger predictor of burnout than stressful work demands.Getting an optimal amount of sleep boosts your mood and infuses your body with extra energy. Click To Tweet
In the TED Talk video below, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can unlock billions of big ideas – her small idea, “getting enough sleep”.
Tip 3: Take Short Breaks
Do you ever feel drained at the end of your work day but feel you haven’t accomplished much? You’re sitting all day in front of your computer but can’t seem to get anything done.
Well, it’s time to take a break!
When you are working continuously on a task, this sets off stress – mental and physical fatigue.
A recent study show that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.
Taking breaks help regain our focus, sharpness and motivation. You get more done quicker when you step back and recharge the brain and body.Taking breaks help regain our focus, sharpness and motivation. Click To Tweet
Tip 4: Move Around
Most jobs essentially require us to sit for long periods of time which poses risks on our health – whether it’s lower back pain, tight neck, eye strain, name it!
You may have heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking,” which is credited to Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University (ASU). There’s a growing number of research that supports his claim. This is because of the health risks associated to a sedentary lifestyle.
Zero Gravity Tables conducted a survey of standing desks users and their results were phenomenal.
Image via Zero Gravity Tables.
Studies suggest that stretching and moving around or simply getting up from your desk at regular intervals throughout the day can help enhance your work and could also boost productivity.
Stand! Stretch! Walk Around!
Movement and exercise stimulate flow throughout the body – it reduces discomfort, reduce back and neck pain and increases both energy and attentiveness.
Tip 5: Decorate your Workspace
Personalise your workspace. Add some colour. Let in the light. Add a plant.
Studies suggest that individuals may consciously or subconsciously take comfort from the items with which they surround themselves while working, and these items may help maintain emotional energy in the face of the stresses, distractions and difficulties that come from their work.
The most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment according to a study on workplace and productivity.
A Huffington Post article states that “How you use your workspace, from the way you sit to the way you decorate, can influence overall productivity and creativity.” Below is a Huffington Post infographic on how to set up your desk for success.
Infographic by Noelle Campbell for The Huffington Post
Tip 6: Reward Yourself!
You did great today, worked hard all day and ticked everything off your task list. What’s next on your to do list?
Why not reward yourself with a favourite drink or go to your favourite diner with friends after work to celebrate. A chocolate treat perhaps? Who doesn’t love chocolates?!
Rewarding oneself can be effective with some people; this has a relatively high probability of “motivating you to boost your productivity”. It is a good way to motivate yourself to reach greater heights in your work. Remember, highly motivated people are more productive.
The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People surmised that researchers find that perceived self-interest, the rewards one believes are at stake, is the most significant factor in predicting dedication and satisfaction toward work. It accounts for about 75 percent of personal motivation toward accomplishment.
Tip 7: Listen to Music
Sometimes, too quiet of an atmosphere does not help to get in the zone. Many people use music to gain focus at work. Listening to melodic sounds helps to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain, creating a feeling of well-being.
Research suggests that music aids in the efficiency of performing repetitive tasks. There have been studies in which people who listened to music had better ideas and completed their tasks faster, due to their better mood.
A MusicWorks research states that music can motivate your staff, boost morale and create a better working environment– 65% of businesses say that music in the workplace makes us more productive. Below are some of their other research findings.
And of course, music beats boredom! We plug in those earphones to escape from a too noisy or too quiet an environment or just to add more zest to our monotonous jobs.
Tip 8: Read Inspirational Books
Reading can help reduce stress, according to a University of Sussex research. Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68% which is more than listening to music which reduced the stress levels by 61%, having a cup of tea or coffee lowered them by 54% and taking a walk by 42%.
One of the most important reasons to read inspirational books is you can take the lessons you’ve learned and then apply them to yourself. Besides books are the foundation of the success and the only habit all successful men having in common.
There are plenty of takeaways from the ideas and insights and the results from others’ experiences which makes them very powerful in inspiring and motivating us to make things happen too. Reading can be incredibly productive, but only if you apply the knowledge you gain.Reading can be incredibly productive, but only if you apply the knowledge you gain. Click To Tweet
Tip 9: Think Positive Thoughts
It’s difficult to be productive when you’re stressed out. It’s hard to stay focused because you’re thinking about deadlines, problems, or an overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done in what seems to never be enough time.
In a Huffington Post article, The Science of Positive Thinking, research reveals that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.
A positive mentality helps you develop new ideas, solve issues, and manage other people. When you’re happy, work doesn’t seem so much like work. Time goes by faster, and things become easier as you’re more open to taking on new challenges.
Become more productive and efficient by making the conscious decision to think positively.
In this very funny TED Talk video, psychologist Shawn Achor sends a meaningful message on happiness and productivity.
Tip 10: Say No!
Say NO to distractions!
Are you the people-pleaser kind who always gets out of their way to help others? It feels good to help, yes! But this can also take up a lot of your time.
We face a lot of distractions everyday. Of course it’s always good to help but you have to know where your priorities lie. When you have commitments and a looming deadline to meet, it is best to eliminate as many distractions as possible to get things done.
Saying no may be hard but keep in mind that over-committing may increase your stress, fatigue and risk burnout. Over time, you will feel less engaged and your productivity will fall.
We’re not saying that you stop helping people when you can, but the better you get at saying “No”, the more productive you’ll be.
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