Having trouble staying focused on your work? It happens to the best of us! Try one (or several!) of these 10 ways to boost productivity. These tips are for everyone from home-based freelancers to small business owners to worker bees at any size of business—just adjust them to fit your work style:
1) Step away from the computer.
This will help you avoid eye strain, and it can stimulate your creative juices as well. Even just five minutes away from the computer (enough time to make another cup of coffee, do a load of dishes, or deal with some filing) can be enough to get you back on track once you return to your work.
2) Take a quick exercise break.
And I mean quick. Do 25 jumping jacks, 10 push ups, or go for a power walk around the block. Get your heart rate up so that you’re well-energized for getting back to work.
3) Switch projects.
If you have several projects to work on and your productivity is on a nosedive, why not set aside this project for the time being? Switch to something different and you might be surprised at how much productivity and quality you have left in you for today!
4) Listen to music.
Ideally, you’ll know what music spurs you on and increases your productivity already, but really anything with a fast tempo and which you enjoy should do the trick. I like Muse, Two Hours Traffic, Hey Rosetta!, and The Hoosiers for this purpose.
5) Set a timer and a goal.
Challenge yourself! Set a timer for 10 – 30 minutes and make yourself a goal (for example, write X amount of words before the timer goes off)
6) Get caffeinated.
Have a cup of coffee, or indulge in a little sugar boost. This might just provide you with the energy you need.
(I don’t condone this one on a regular basis, but sometimes when you really need to push through and get work done… it can really do the trick!)
7) Do something completely different.
Spend 15 minutes gardening if your work is typically based indoors. Doodle or create some artwork if you generally deal with words. Indulge in the opposite of what your work entails for a short period of time, and then return to it. This simple change of activity will make you much more excited to get back to work!
8) Alter your environment.
If you usually work in a cubicle, check and see if you can work in a coffee shop instead. Or try changing the portraits on the walls of your office, or even changing the colour of your computer desktop or screensaver.
9) Have a quick chat or brainstorming session.
If you’re stuck, sometimes bouncing ideas off of other people can really do the trick. Barring that, chatting for a few minutes with a co-worker or a friend (about anything!) can be enough to refresh your brain.
10) Analyze your work.
If you’re feeling your productivity plummet, make a list of the different tasks involved with your project. What steps need to be taken to complete the project? How much time will each task take?
By writing everything out as simple steps with time estimates, the project will seem more doable—and you’ll be much more excited about it!
What tips do you have for boosting productivity? What works best for you? Share in the comments section below!