Strategies for a More Productive Workday
You start each day with a plan to get so much done, but soon find yourself becoming distracted, focusing on low-priority tasks and, simply, procrastinating. So how can you regain control of your time? We all have times when we’re just not in the mood to work. It is hard to be productive when you are feeling tired or weeks of stress have finally caught up to you. It can be challenging, but there are still task that need to be completed. Here are some simple ways to improve your mood and get into gear when you are just not feeling up to it.
Prepare your desk
Clear all unnecessary clutter off your desk. A neat, organized atmosphere will limit distractions and help you focus on your work. Make sure you have everything you need for the project at hand before you begin. Making your workspace comfortable and having everything you need at hand will make you feel happier and as a result, increase your productivity. You’ll also find yourself with more space to get things done rather than pushing the mess to the side and adding more to the pile.
Break down assignments
Divide larger projects into smaller task. Begin by listing out each step you need to take to complete the project. As they are finished cross them off the list. Keeping a record of what you have already completed can help for you to visually see how far you have already come, and therefore how much closer you are to being finished.
Listen to music
Listening to music increases happiness and efficiency. Studies show that music improves your mood and creates a boost in productivity. It has also shown that a moderate noise level can get creative juices flowing. If your task requires high concentration try sound-masking with ambient noise, “natural” sounds, such as waves at a beach.
Reward yourself for every goal you achieve or task you complete. Giving yourself small gifts can boost your mood and make you look forward to completing your next task. But make it fit the accomplishment. Giving yourself something major for achieving something small will soon become meaningless; conversely giving yourself a small reward for a big accomplishment will squash the reward’s power to motivate you. Make the reward something immediate. It’s not very motivating right now to promise yourself something later. Rewarding yourself will keep you moving along and get your project finished in no time.
No matter how busy or under pressure you are, you need to take a break. Ten minutes per hour of work is often given as a rule of thumb. When you work for hours without a break your concentration suffers, and your motivation gets lower and lower while your stress and exhaustion increases. Set a reasonable time limit on how long you work and try to stick to it. Generally, the longer you’ve been working, the longer break you need. Use this time to get up and get away from wherever you’ve been sitting, even if it’s just walking from a desk to a window.
We’ve all been there before, and chances are we’ll all be there again, but by making a few changes you can improve your mood. Being productive and accomplishing things is very fulfilling. Get moving as soon as possible and you will realize that improving your mood is actually much easier than you think.