It’s Monday morning and you are sitting at your desk, but instead of being ready for action you start procrastinating. Stop! Here are my top 5 productivity tips to get you focussed and motivated any day of the week:
1. Three minutes or less
Look at your to do list. What can be done in three minutes or less? Blitz those tiny tasks. Send that email. Make that phone call. Pay that bill. Invoice that client. Bask in the satisfaction of getting stuff done right at the start of the day or the week. You can then use the momentum you build to keep going.
2. Get rid of clutter
It was during a coaching session that I realised I allowed clutter to encourage me to procrastinate. Not because I would spend time getting rid of it, but because the fact it was there on my desk or in my workspace was cluttering up my mind. Getting rid of clutter is satisfying and will clear your headspace so you can get on with what you need to be doing. So do it, regularly. You can read more on de-cluttering here.
3. Ban distractions
By distractions I mean news sites and app notifications. Your inbox will cope with not being checked for 30 minutes, and Facebook will still be there when you get back. You know it and I know it. Close down all the windows on your desktop other than the one you are using right now. And I would even go as far as to suggest you don’t check emails or social media until you have spent a good hour or so getting stuff done. And you know what? Turning off notifications will do wonders for your stress levels – being buzzed at every few minutes all day every day just isn’t conducive to being able to concentrate. Or relax. And as for the news? If it’s important you’ll find out, but just because we now have 24/7 news doesn’t mean we have to keep an eye on the news 24/7.
4. Get more quality sleep
Am I beginning to sound like your mum? Well, she was right. I am not going to tell you to get your eight or nine hours but the sleep you do have needs to be good quality. What can you do to cultivate better sleep habits?
5. Take regular breaks
By regular breaks I mean a minimum of 10 minutes an hour and a good 45-60 minutes for meals. Set a timer so you can make sure you get the breaks. The popular Pomodoro Technique recommends working for 25 minutes then having a 5 minute break. During your breaks move away from your workspace, and go outside if you can, or at least get a gulp of fresh air from an open window. Whatever you do, make sure it isn’t the task you are working on.
So those are my top 5 productivity tips. What are yours? Leave a comment or get in touch.