Your state of mind or mental health always feels better when you look at your to-do list at the end of the day and see everything checked off. You ceremoniously close your laptop and get started on the “me time” you’ve been craving all day. But that is not always the case. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed when there’s a ton of work to do and have unproductive days. In our always-on, always-connected world, getting distracted and losing focus on tasks is easy.
Here’s the thing: you do not just accidentally become productive. Staying focused and productive throughout the day takes planning and consistent practice. Below are tips that could help.
A daily to-do list is your best friend in productivity. However, if you’re not careful, you might end up over-scheduling and overwhelming yourself. Set reasonable targets, and remember that not everything on your list is urgent. So, you first want to identify which task is the most urgent and work on that first. Get the most critical tasks off your plate first, and you’ll feel and be more productive.
Training your brain to do deep work is the answer to being consistently productive. Deep work means producing at the optimum level for an extended period. You can do this by allotting an hour or two daily to focus on a task without interruption and distractions. This will allow your brain to use its power and be familiar with progress and breakthroughs in your tasks. Over time, this will become an effortless habit of yours.
We all know by now that multitasking doesn’t garner great results. It may seem like you are doing more when you multitask, but you are cutting down on productivity when you juggle multiple tasks. Give your full attention to one task at a time. This way, you train your brain to maximize resources and improve your mental focus.
Have structure during your workday. However, remember that not everyone’s productivity peaks at the exact timetable. Some people are productive early in the morning, while others are night owls, finding themselves accomplishing more things when it’s dark and quiet. Stay tuned with your natural rhythm and match your most critical tasks with the parts when you are most productive.
Exercise keeps you on track with your fitness goals, boosts your memory, expands your learning potential, and improves your attention. Plus, it keeps your mood in check and reduces anxiety and stress. Many studies have also suggested that the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex, the parts of the brain responsible for thinking and memory, of those who exercise have a volume more significant than those who do not.
Practicing mindfulness can involve meditation, yoga, or simply doing deep breathing exercises. These activities can improve your focus, learning, memory, and attention. A study found that mindfulness meditation is associated with improving attention and concentration.
Finding places where you can reduce the hassle and annoying busy work can reduce stress. From Zapier to using some of the Upskill Talent tools, it’s well worth researching and seeing where you can spend more time on creativity rather than arduous tasks.
Make it part of your routine to declutter your workspace before starting your day. This can put you in a productive and clear headspace, ready to take on task after task. Research has shown that too many stimuli in a person’s view can decrease attention, leading to unproductivity and loss of focus.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant, so a cup of coffee can help jolt our brains up at the start of the day. Caffeinated drinks are cognitive enhancers, aiding our focus and mental concentration. However, taking too much caffeine can cause you to become tolerant over time, decreasing its impact. So, limit your caffeine intake to a cup a day. Save that second cup for days when you need it.
When you’re focusing on a task for too long, the tendency is for your focus to break down. This is because you have probably depleted your mental resources. Give yourself brief breaks between tasks. Step away from the desk, look at greenery if you have it nearby, do some stretching, pet your dog, or go for a walk — anything that can help you reset. Aside from these brief breaks, also take leaves. Remember that your mental focus and productivity can be optimal only if your mental health is good. FMLA may cover leave for stress, anxiety, or depression, so take time off as needed.
Utilizing one or even all of these strategies will drastically improve your mental health. That’s why it’s so important that we take care of ourselves…and each other.
This blog was written by Arleen Atienza, a renowned blogger whose innovative and captive approach ensures that everyone who reads her work can reach their fullest potential.
Upskill Talent focuses on making employees smarter by providing Business Intelligence solutions unique to customers’ needs that help them optimize their talents and services.