1. Beware The Grey Zone
What is the grey zone exactly? It’s when you focus for so long that you end up too exhausted to really focus although you aren't resting either. Unfortunately this is where many people end up spending their entire work day.
To avoid it, be sure to take breaks regularly. Skipping them actually makes you more likely to end up in the grey zone which causes you to be less productive overall.
2. Avoid Decision Fatigue
Each day, we only have a specific amount of decision making willpower to use and the more we spend it on trivial things, the less energy we have left for important ones.
Try to keep this in mind and create rituals for things you do regularly. This way you can get what you need to do out of the way by habit rather than wasting your decision making juice on the little things.
3. Don't Take Your Work Home With You
As tempting as it can be to mistake stressing out over your job at home for being productive, it's actually the opposite. Not only does it increase stress, it depletes your energy, contributes to burnout, and makes you less happy.
Ironically, one of the most productive things you can do after work is enjoy yourself. That way your mind will get a break and you'll wake up happy, energized, and ready to focus when it's time to work again.
4. Schedule The Heck Out of Your Day
Got one of those weeks where you have no idea how you're going to get everything done? The key is to figure it out before you even start.
Decide in advance exactly when you'll do everything- yes everything. Schedule out everything from working to eating to sleeping. That way you won't waste time stressing about when you'll do what or waste energy planning as you go.
5. Commit To Phone Free Time
Unthinkable as it may be, there's no way to boost your productivity within a given time span like turning off your phone. There a few among us who don't know deep down how quickly even one text or notification can spiral into an hour long conversation.
6. Destroy Desktop Distractions
Though you may have to rent a bulldozer to do it, try giving your desk a good clean. The next time you sit down to work, make sure the only things on your desk are the books, papers, or other work that you're supposed to be focused on.
The same goes for your computer screen. Tempting as it may be to have a facebook and email tab up in the corner, resist the urge and watch how much more you're able to get done.
7. Insist on Solutions Rather Than Problems
If you're working within a team environment, this is a great way to cut down on the amount of issues people come to you with. Rather than expecting you to solve everyone's problems, insist that they come up with a few solutions and propose them to you instead.
Though this one may sound counterproductive, it's all about the long term outcome. Meditating regularly trains your mind to block out distractions and focus intently on one thing at a time, therefore making you more productive overall.
9. Never Study Where You Sleep
As nice as the thought of propping up on your memory foam mattress is, don't do it! Not only will you likely be more sluggish than if you were to take your work to a coffee shop or library, it's a great way to ruin the cozy vibe of your favorite places to relax.
If nothing else, create different places in your home to work and to relax and keep them as separate as possible.
10. Break It Down
Got a task so huge the mere thought of it overwhelms you? Break it down into several mini tasks and put a check box by each.
For example, rather than "write term paper," you might create mini-tasks such as "gather research, outline, write introduction," etc. Every time you complete a task, check off the box next to it- though it's sounds simple this little act has been proven to release endorphins and will keep you from getting overwhelmed.
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