Recently, I have come to the conclusion that there are very few things worse than fighting a losing battle against your own eyelids. This can be especially frustrating while trying to get things done at the office. Getting a good night’ s rest is a solid start, but here are five additional healthy habits that will help propel you forward into a more productive day at work:
- Look forward to waking up.
If you’re not a morning person, you might be wondering if that is even a possibility.
But have you ever woken up to the smell of bacon?
Trust me, I didn’t believe it was even possible to look forward to waking up in the morning before I learned how to trick my body into a solid routine. In a very Pavlovian fashion, I started rewarding myself for waking up by eating a delicious breakfast, and soon enough my body became conditioned to feeling happy in the mornings.
Breakfast might not be your thing, but maybe instead you really enjoy a nice cup of coffee. Try giving yourself an extra 30 minutes in the morning to sit and enjoy yourself before heading to the office. The best part of waking up… (you know how the rest goes).
Get some exercise before work. Endorphins are proven to give your body a natural energy boost and increase your mental acuity for up to ten hours after exercise, and there’s no sense in wasting that extra brain power while you sleep! Even something as little as doing 50 jumping-jacks before getting in the shower can get your brain flowing.
Despite your method of choice, I cannot stress enough the importance of starting off your morning with a positive attitude. The right mentality can really help to kick-start a productive day.
- Eat the frog.
The tendency to procrastinate is a very common disease. Many people, including myself, know what it feels like to show up to work, construct a very organized checklist, and then proceed to knock off every task in reverse order of importance. This method ultimately gets the job done, but not without sky-rocketing stress levels and plummeting overall efficiency.
A simple way to curb this tendency is to get the worst or most daunting tasks out of the way first. If you put your mind to it, it shouldn’t be too challenging because, honestly, we’ve been doing this all of our life. It’s just like eating your vegetables before you eat your meal, or dessert for that matter. It takes some self-control, but makes the rest of the day taste so much better.
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ― Mark Twain
- Don’t multi-task.
You may consider yourself to be a skilled multitasker, but believe it or not, working on multiple things at once will seriously stunt your day-to-day productivity. It has been scientifically proven that the human brain is not actually capable of efficiently focusing on more than one thing at a time. So while you check email, chat with co-workers, and try to chip away at four different projects all at once, you might feel like you’re getting a lot done when in reality your mind is only deluding you.
Setting aside chunks of your day to focus on one task at a time, will not only increase the efficiency in which you complete projects, it will actually increase your attention span for the rest of the day.
- Take breaks.
Eight hours at a desk is guaranteed to make anyone feel sluggish, both physically and mentally. The best way to combat that urge your eye balls have to roll to the back of your head is to get up, and get your blood flowing again. Like I talked about earlier— blood carries oxygen, your brain needs oxygen to function— the more blood flow, the better. Not to mention complex tasks like writing or strategizing take a lot of mental effort, and your brain can only focus for a limited amount of time. That means it’s critical to take breaks and let your brain rest. Take a loop and socialize for a bit. Then when you get back to work, you feel re-energized.
- When you’re done, be done.
Celebrate me-time, and don’t let your work bleed into your personal life. Innocently checking an email every once in a while is okay, but checking one often leads to responding to two or three, and then before you know it, two precious hours have flown by that you could’ve better spent watching Game of Thrones. Finding time for yourself is essential, and as much as you may love your job, it’s extremely important to separate yourself at the end of the day. It will help you lower your stress, and have more energy for the next day. “Me-time” sounds selfish, but consider this: other people will benefit from a happier you, too.
Try implementing at least a few of these habits into your day-to-day routine, and observe as you quickly transform into a new and productive powerhouse human.
Looking for more productivity tips to get the most out of your workday? Visit the Productivity section of The Future of Business Collaboration today!