Let’s face it, staying productive can sometimes be a job in itself. There are days when you absolutely kill it when it comes to your blog, your passion project or your job–running through your email inbox like it ain’t no thang and checking off that to-do list with lightning speed. And then there are days when even opening up your computer feels like a task. Today we’re sharing five seemingly small things you can do that are sure to have a big impact on productivity.
Eat The Frogs First
Allow us to explain. Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” There’s even a book about the saying. This has nothing to do with eating actual frogs, and everything to do with getting the least fun task out of the way first. So, that call you’ve been putting off? Just get it over with already. Everything will seem easier after it’s done.
Take A Breather
Unlike the first point, this one’s a bit more literal. Get up, stretch, move around, take a walk. A change of scenery, even if it’s just stepping out the front door, can do wonders. Do your best to let your mind wander away from work for at least 5 minutes, and bring a notebook just in case. Inspiration often strikes when you’re least expecting it!
No Second Chances
To-do lists are one of the few times we don’t believe in second chances. Here’s an example: you see an email in your inbox, open it, then decide you aren’t quite ready to reply, so you mark it as unread and leave it for later. Unless there’s a major emergency, you’ll end up using your time more efficiently if you attack tasks as soon as they present themselves.
Whistle While You Work
Staring at an Excel spreadsheet in complete silence sounds like torture, but starting at an Excel spreadsheet with Nicki Minaj motivating you in the background seems almost enjoyable. If your office or workspace isn’t the type of place that plays music (or if they do, and you’re just not feeling the playlist) get an iPhone amplifier for your desk. Headphones tend to drown out all background noise, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but a phone amplifier will allow you to listen to your music and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Sometimes the best thing you can do to stay productive is to eliminate any chance of you getting off task. Don’t get too carried away though–give yourself a solid 90-minute block where Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and texting friends is off-limits, and then reward yourself with a 10-minute break immediately after. Moment is an app that tracks your phone usage and will force you off when enough is enough (you set the parameters). Get Moment here and get to work!