With today’s technology and modern life, there are more distractions than ever getting in the way of having a productive work day. From the moment you sit down at your desk, there can be 101 things that steer your attention away from your to-do list. If you’re finding that you tasks just aren’t getting done, here’s some tips to make your day more productive.
1. Start the morning right for you
A healthy breakfast, an early workout, time spent getting yourself looking professional… Sometimes there’s just not enough time before sitting down at your desk at 9am to get absolutely everything done - especially if you want your eight hours of sleep too!
Starting your day on a high note can set the tone for the rest of the day, so think about what your priority is.
If you know you can’t handle a day without a long sleep, forgo the early alarm and skip that 6am spin class, instead give yourself more time in bed ready to tackle the day. However if you love cooking, why not set sometime to make a tasty breakfast? Think about one thing you want to start your day with, and go from there. This will set you in a good mood and you’ll be more likely to focus.
2. Get moving
Did you know if you get up and active during your day you’ll have more energy and a more positive outlook - two things essential to productivity? Even if you move around for just ten minutes, your brain releases a neurotransmitter called GABA which helps to soothe your brain and keep you in control of any impulses.
This will help with any impulse to procrastinate throughout your day and make you stay on track.
Don’t have much time? Take a look at these quick yoga fix classes, to get you moving and are less than half an hour. If life feels busy, these classes will be perfect for you to get moving.
3. Set your goals for the day
Having set goals will give you a feeling of control and help you get everything done. Specific goals for each day will help you put things in motion, and you’ll gain a sense of achievement when you’re able to check them off. Try to be specific and functional when it comes to setting your goals, and include ‘how’ you’re going to complete the task. This not only gives you something to achieve in your day, but also a way to achieve it.
4. Have regular breaks
Taking a break from your work may be seen as being counter productive, but actually a little break can do wonders for your focus. Boost your motivation by taking small breaks throughout your day, ideally getting out and moving in the fresh air. This can boost your brain function and also set the tone for an energetic and productive day.
5. Have a clear work environment
A clear space is a clear mind, so it’s important to keep your environment organized. Make sure you’re regularly keeping your desk or workspace tidy, to avoid any visual distractions that can make you unproductive.
You could even try switching up your workplace or space for a boost of productivity. A change in scenery can be a great way to get past any creative blocks, improving your performance.
6. Avoid screens first thing
If you check your phone and look at your emails, texts, social media as soon as you wake, you can lose focus and start thinking about external people and problems that aren’t on your to-do list. This can set you up for an unproductive days.
Try to make sure the first thing you do is something calm and positive, and ignore those messages and emails until you’re ready to tackle them.
7. Keep any meetings on schedule
Meetings can be a huge time waster, especially if everyone involved isn't focused on the issue at hand. Sometimes they can drag on for what seems like forever. Try to stick to the intended schedules, and steer colleagues back on track if they start to veer off-topic. This will motivate everyone to be more focused, and your day will stay on track.
8. Don’t multitask
Focusing on more than one thing at time can actually hinder your productivity. While it may be tempting, multitasking can actually set your day back. Doing more than one thing at a time allows you to be bombarded with lots of different information which you will be unable to pay full attention to.
It’s also harder to remember information, and switch fully from one job to the next. It can be hard to organize your thoughts and filter out irrelevant information when you're thinking about more than one task at hand.
9. Don’t be afraid to say no
If you’re on a strict deadline or big project, don’t be afraid to say no to additional work or distractions that will steer you off-track. Saying no will reaffirm your tasks and commitments and gives you the chance to complete them, keeping your productive.
Not everything that you need to do needs to be done alone. If you have the option to ask for help and delegate, take advantage of the opportunity to have a helping hand in crossing things off your to-do list.
What things can be done by someone else, freeing yourself up to do the things only you can do? A key to being productive is being able to delegate and not take everything on yourself.
By Amy Cavill
Need a productivity boost? Practice yoga in these quick classes, perfect when you're pressed for time!
Quick Yin Fix with Elise Fabricant
20-Minute Yoga Fix with Keith Allen
Signup for info on the latest classes and discounts.
iPod is a trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.