How to Boost Your Productivity

This article originally appeared on AndresManuelOlivaresMiranda.com on Aug. 25, 2017.

Everyday people strive to be focused and get the most out of their time; yet somehow, those same people often end up staying at work late or taking work home at night to finish their workload. On top of what it does to your social life, overworking can drastically impact your efficiency and productivity. Instead of working 10+ hour days, simple changes to your routine could considerably increase your output. Before jumping into a whole new lifestyle, try these four tips to boost your at-work production and increase your at-home relaxation.

90-Minute Intervals

As most of us know, our sleep rhythms happen in 90-minute intervals. A much less known fact, our waking cycles also occur in 90-minute intervals. This means that our bodies can work efficiently for 90 minutes, but it then requires rest. Set up your work routine to include work and rest intervals to increase cognitive function, productivity, and career enjoyment.

Single-Task

Yes, you read that right. It says single-task. A term that most of us are far less aware of and comfortable with. In this always growing and changing society, it can seem like multitasking is the only way to get things done. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but multitasking can negatively affect your efficiency and productivity. The transition to single-tasking could be difficult; try working on one screen, removing temptations, and working in intervals to help with the adjustment.

Brain Dump

There is not one person who hasn’t had a thought or idea pop in their head and distract them from the task at hand. Maybe it is a chore that needs to be done or a solution to a complex issue; either way, it takes the focus from what needs to be done and interrupts the employee workflow. A brain dump works to keep the diversions to a minimum. An idea for your project suddenly reveals itself when you are in the middle of an important task. You don’t want to quit what you’re doing, but you also don’t want to forget the idea. So, delegate a distinct place to write notes that you can easily find later. Then you have the idea written down so you won’t forget the idea, and the distraction is properly handled in that it won’t continue to take up any mental energy.

Leave for Lunch

It sounds so simple, but it works so well. By time lunch rolls around, many people are feeling stressed, tired, unfocused, or bored. Leaving the work area to have lunch can dramatically change those feelings. The change of scenery helps you refocus, ease stress, and refreshes your creativity.

When it comes to productivity, the answer is not adding more to your plate. Rather, you must look at all that is on your plate, prioritize, and implement a system to keep you doing more while doing less. Execute these tips, and as long as you continue to strive to be better, the more productive and satisfied you will be.

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