We all have those sluggish and slow grey days. Hell, I’m living one out right now. Why do you think I’m writing about productivity? Wish fulfilment 101, fam. But there are ways to fight it, sans writing about productivity to meet a quota (I understand you might not have the same freedom).
You need to get out on top early in the week or you’ll be slackin’ on those KPI’s and targets for the end of the week – none of which will be getting you that payrise or promotion. Here are six easy productivity hacks backed by psychology (mostly) and experts more qualified than I at, well, most things:
Don’t check your e-mails first, front end sprint through work in the first two hours.
Science says you are at your sharpest and most productive in the first two hours of your workday. So why squander that god mode/ultra instinct with something so mellow and minimal effort as checking your e-mails? And yes, I get that some of you may be required to for time reasons. But if it can be avoided, avoid it. Eat your vegetables and take the higher brainpower consumption tasks first.
Play some music and don’t touch it.
You can read all about the reasoning about this here, as well as fielding some decent suggestions for your productivity soundtrack. It essentially comes down to something known as “optimal arousal”. In short, when undertaking something that requires low effort and menial, more stimulus is required, i.e. background music. But when undertaking something that requires more effort, less stimulus is required, i.e. turning down the radio when you’re looking for parking.
Take the day incrementally, break down the big tasks.
We as people like to see progress. Seeing progress motivates us further. So why not break down the bigger tasks into easily achievable elements and tick some boxes as you go along? You’ll feel better about what you’re doing while steadily tracking the ongoing affairs.
This is just common sense. You only have to so much focus. Direct it accordingly.
Schedule regular and short rest times to stay fresh.
As much as we’d like to think we’re capable of mental marathons, the human mind can only take so much before it loses its performance edge. Instead of having a lump sum lunch break, take that time and give yourself small but regular doses of you-time to stay fresh. It also gives you a little something to look forward to short term. The carrot dangling from a stick, if you will.
Take standing meetings.
Make your meetings standing ones. I believe it was a Mark Cuban or Richard Branson that backs this tip. Standing meetings make you more aware of the time being spent discussing something vs. doing that something, as your feet will obviously get tired quicker than butts on a chair will.