5 Tips for a Productive Work Week7:00:00 AM
We're at the start of the week once again. Whether you have school or work, chances are you've got things to get done. Being able to focus has always been a challenge for me and it greatly affects my ability to be productive. Here are a few things that help me sit still and get through my work.
1. Take care of yourself
It's commonly known that our brains function best with good sleep, nutrition, and physical activity. It's also commonly known that it's way easier said than done.
As great as coffee might be, it doesn't make up for a full night of solid rest. So lay off the late afternoon caffeine, get to bed early, and put away those cell phones.
Eating healthy foods and maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help with those afternoon slumps. Keep lots of leafy greens in your daily diet and stay away from sugars and fats. If you're not a gym person, take a nice long walk outdoors. Increased oxygen flow to the brain keeps you alert and ready to tackle new challenges throughout the day.
2. Plan ahead
Make lists; Prioritize; Set goals
Write down all the foreseeable things you'll need to accomplish within the upcoming week. Having a visual of your workload will help you with managing your time. Prioritize tasks and schedule them into a weekly calendar. Set daily achievable goals and keep them short and specific. Don't overwhelm yourself with long lists and focus on what you need to have done for that day. For an extra sense of accomplishment, check them off as you go!
3. Create a comfortable work environment
Working in a cluttered room can cause unnecessary stress. Imagine being on a deadline and constantly having to search for documents! Start your work week by organizing your desk. Throw away things you don't need and put away things you aren't using immediately. Everything should have a cabinet or container. Drawer organizers are a great way hid pens and pencils when they're not in use and keeps your desk organized from the inside out. If I'm working at home, I find that my mind works better if my home is clean. But, that might just be me going overboard.
This is the part I struggle with the most. I find working at home to be very difficult because I'm constantly giving into my urges to nap. To prevent the lure of my very comfortable bed, I frequently go to my local tea shop. Once I'm sitting among hard working and focused individuals, I feel encouraged to fit in. If a quite space isn't attainable, bust out those earbuds! Listening to mellow music drowns out the noise and provides you with a steady beat to work to. When working on monotonous tasks that require minimal brain effort, try out some podcasts. I highly recommend This American Life or Planet Money. I'm always learning something new and the podcasts are so engrossing that I almost never want to leave my seat till the podcast is finished.
5. Take breaks
Don't burn out. Get up and go for a short walk. Rest your eyes and stretch. Do things you enjoy! Sitting for long periods of time is not only bad for your healthy, it also decreases the quality of your work. Get a fresh perspective by going out into the world and interacting with human beings.
Just hold on and Friday will be here in no time!