For some tricks, you may need a timer, gum, and your baby picture.
1) Think about the most important task for the day
When you wake up in the morning, don’t pick up your phone to check messages or social media. Instead, ask yourself this question, “What one thing is important for me to do today? Should I write my papers or clean my apartment?” This is an easy and effective way to focus on the most important task and structure your day to get it done exactly.
If limiting yourself to one task is not possible, make a list using the 1-3-5 system. It should include one big task, three medium tasks, and five small ones.
2) Eat something for breakfast that makes you happy.
It’s good if it’s something healthy, but if today you need a piece of cake, don’t deny yourself. In any case, try to enjoy your meal without being distracted by your phone and thoughts about work. Enjoy the moment and everything else in your life.
It’s a three-in-one exercise: you’re enjoying delicious food, practicing mindfulness, and experiencing gratitude all at the same time. All of this will have a positive impact on productivity.
3) turn off notifications.
According to researchers at Microsoft, the average user is distracted every 40 seconds while working at a computer. Not surprising when you consider how many different notifications and messages we get throughout the day.
Turn them off for those times when you need to focus on something. In addition you can also block out sites you would normally like to be distracted by.
4) Say positive affirmations.
Repeating self-critical thoughts over and over again, we begin to believe them. Gradually our motivation decreases and our belief in ourselves diminishes. Instead of self-criticism, say positive affirmations. Especially when you feel that productivity is dropping. They have been proven to reduce stress and improve your ability to solve problems.
Here are a couple of examples: “I will make today a success,” “I am capable of many things,” “I will never give up.”
5) Turn on the Pomodoro timer.
According to this technique, you divide your work into intervals: work for 25 minutes, then rest for five minutes. And after four cycles, you take a longer break of 15 minutes.
This way you don’t let yourself get burned out and help to cope with distractions, having agreed with yourself in advance that you will pay attention to them during the break.
6) Have a short meditation.
When practiced regularly, it reduces stress, improves emotional well-being, and develops the ability to concentrate.
And you can meditate anywhere. Carve out just a few minutes for it, and you’ll feel calmer and ready to get back to work.
7) Clean up your workspace
When your desk and computer are in order, it’s easier to work. And a cluttered space, on the contrary, creates anxiety, and it’s harder to find the right thing.
Make it a habit to clean up your desk (both physical and digital) every day. Toss out the trash, put everything in its place, and close unnecessary tabs. It takes a minute, but you’ll feel the effect right away.
8) Snack or chew gum.
It’s better not to eat sweets or fast food, but something good for the brain, like blueberries, fatty fish, nuts or avocados. And to feel more active and alert, inhale the scent of citrus fruits.
If you don’t have anything like that on hand, just chew gum. This will bring more oxygen to the parts of the brain associated with attention, and it will make it easier for you to focus.
9) Look at an old photo of yourself.
For example, a picture of you when you were five or fifteen years old. Think back to what you’ve accomplished since then, and think about what else you can do to make your past proud of yourself. This will cause a new rush of motivation.
10) Change your work environment.
If you feel that your productivity has dropped, try changing something about your environment. For example, work standing at a desk instead of sitting, move from a noisy room to a quieter one, or, conversely, set up an office in a cafe. Even a small change can make you much more productive.