The Science of Productivity: 5 Tips to Keep You Focused

 

The Science of Productivity: 5 Tips to Keep You Focused
A workstation loaded with work and a wandering mind can be the worst combination possible. You can quickly find yourself burning out from over stimulation and spending a lot of time doing STUFF, but not work. Don’t blame yourself if you are afflicted with this habit! Being frank, we all suffer from this at some point – but every ailment has a remedy. Here are some useful tips to enable you to stay focused and help you complete the job on hand.

Organize Your Work
Before you begin working on any project, organize your workspace. A clutter-free work table helps your mind to work faster and better. Create a schedule of tasks for each project. Work through this list in order of priority; this gives you a framework and makes working easier. As long as you stick to the list, and make sure you stay strict when it comes to managing your time (don’t take on those extra tasks) you’ll do what you set out to do. If you take on loads of additional ad hoc tasks, you’ll feel busy, you’ll get tired and stressed, and all your work will still be sat there undone.

Break Your Work into Portions
Do not try to tackle all your work at once; you will lose your focus in the process. Shatter the big picture into manageable fragments, or else you’ll end up staring at your work, not doing it. Breaking your project into smaller tasks makes big tasks more manageable, and at the same time will make you feel like you are managing – you’ll get some feelgood vibes as you complete each small task.

Find the Most Comfortable Posture to Work
Before you begin working, do some deep breathing exercises in a comfortable posture. This increases oxygen circulation in the brain and gives you a feeling of calm. Adjust your posture before you start. Remember, a comfortable and upright seating position improves your concentration.

Give Yourself Short Breaks
Once you have broken up your work into smaller tasks, reward yourself with a short break after the completion of each small task. A good approach to this is to take 5 minutes every hour or so. You can go out and breathe in some fresh air or have a chat with colleagues. Definitely get up from your desk! Sitting still for prolonged periods is decidedly not good for you, so a bit of a walk or some light stretching every hour is going to do you a world of good. You’ll also find that taking your mind off things for 5 minutes per hour helps you see the wood from the trees.

Unplug From Your Emails
Continuous distraction massacres productivity. When you have some real work that you need to knuckle down and get done, turn the emails off. Whatever it is, it can wait! When you immediately look at every email that comes in throughout the day, you regress to “doing stuff not doing work” mode of thinking that wastes so much of your time. If something is truly urgent, you’ll find out about it. When someone bursts into your office or starts haranguing you with phone calls, it’s probably urgent. If they send you an email, it’s not!

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