Do you have to work through 8-hour work days? We don’t think so because you spend half or more of this time scrolling through your phone watching funny videos and catching up with friends. At the end of the day, you may not notice it but, you stay connected more than you work. This makes work less interesting.
If you track your work progress, you may note that there are days when your productivity levels are zero. You could blame your lack of passion for what you do, but, maybe you are just tired, and somehow you can’t stop daydreaming or finishing up tasks fast enough. If you find yourself trying to sing twinkle twinkle little star subsequently surfing the internet for the right words to twinkle twinkle little star song lyrics or even Old Macdonalds, then you need to shake things up.
- Plan Your Day
You have heard everyone talk about a to-do-list and they might as well be talking to a wall because that does not work for you. Well, how about this: sit down and make a daily plan. It could be something like: Wake up at 5 am, Work out till 6 am, sit down for breakfast till 6:20 am, the start working. Slot time for each activity and set the alarm to warn you to move to the next task.
It may take a while to stick to a new routine, and you may not hit your goal every day, buy, hey, we all start somewhere. Note the distractions that prevent you from reaching your goal and work on eliminating it.
- Avoid Distractions
Here is a typical observation from experience, stealing a glance on your phone or social media feed even for a second throws you off your game. That interesting tweet or conversation ongoing on WhatsApp may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Getting back to a task after straying sets you back because you have to revisit what you did early. You should teach your mind and resist the temptation to do anything that will pull your train of thought in different divergent directions.
If you really can’t help yourself, then turn the phone off altogether. Let the calls go to voicemail and you can return them when you are done. Think about it like this; since your mind will be conscious of the fact that the phone is off, you will finish the task at hand fast so that you can turn it back on.
- Stay Warm
You have had it wrong all this time. If you think that the colder the room, the higher the productivity levels, well, you are wrong. According to science, when in a cold room, your body takes to keep you warm – that is what metabolic feedback processes do. Since most of your energy goes into warming you, your brain gets little attention and your attention diverted. To get more done in a few minutes or hours, keep the room warm.
- It Is Okay To Make The Decision Not To Do Anything
When you don’t give yourself – your mind – the option of choosing between two options, your body goes into flight mode instantly. It feels like you are caged in a dark room with no room to breathe. Just feeling claustrophobic (mentally) is enough to make you overwhelmed. Anxiety creeps in, and your energy levels plus the creativity levels plummet.
When you give your mind the option of breathing and not doing anything for a few minutes, your mind frees up, and you will be more productive.
- Practice Kaizen
This is a Japanese word that means continuous growth or personal (and professional) improvement. In Simpler terms, Kaizen comprises of five tenets – Improved morale, personal discipline, teamwork, quality and a note for improvement.
How do you practice Kaizen? Block out a few minutes per hour, or even one minute every day, at the same time and do one thing at that time every day. It may seem weird, but the results are immense. The benefits of Kaizen include the elimination of wastes, standardization; you’ll feel more relaxed, derive a higher level of satisfaction, and make your work more fulfilling.
- Play That Jam
No kidding. Music increases productivity! You may be wondering how your colleague gets so much more done in a few hours with music pumping through their ears – it is the music. Some genres of music put your mind in the zone, and you just can’t slow down. I know it because of my productivity tanks whenever I forget my headphones at home!
Hey, a little chant a day never hurt anyone! If you go back to you reading on Zen and Buddhism, you will see why you need to take a few moments to ground yourself. Taking as few as 15 minutes off your day to clear your mind and create your intentions for the day Meditation not only helps you embrace the present, but it also helps you take responsibility and control over your thoughts.
You may be surprised to learn that Buddhism practices of meditation help you to think positively and to concentrate better. Positive affirmations also help you manage your emotions.
Do not beat yourself too much for failing to do much at the end of the day. Do not take it too easy either. Stay on your toes.