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3 Tricks To Become Much More Productive And Motivated

3 Tricks To Become Much More Productive And Motivated

In the middle of the day, have you ever felt like you were just ready for a nap? Or, at work, have you ever felt that one whole hour felt like a full eight hours? For times like these, our go-to solutions include drinking coffee or grabbing an energy drink to get a dose of caffeine to boost our energy. But, the good news is, it is not only caffeine that can boost our energy and make us feel more productive and motivated. Follow the tricks below for a much more productive day:

Stay near natural light sources.

As much as you can, do not lose sight of natural light. Try to sit beside a window, or go outside for walks during your breaks. Doing this will make you feel more energetic because it will make you feel more awake. The explanation for this is that the hypothalamus in our brain, which regulates energy and sleep levels, signals for our body to ramp up or down the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, when it senses a change in light. That also explains why, when we use our cellphone in bed in the middle of the night, we find it hard to get back to sleep.If for any reason you are not able to see natural light during the day, you can use alternatives such as a mood lamp or a sunlight LED light.

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Do not forget to exercise.

Exercising is not only good for the heart. Exercising also helps you sleep well. A research study[1] concluded that people who exercise for 60 minutes on 5 days a week get more sleep than those who do not. Have you ever gone to work after a sleepless night?Obviously, a sleepless night will not give you a very productive day because you will feel very tired and sleepy. So, do not forget to exercise if you want to sleep soundly. Make an extra effort to get good sleep using strategies other than exercise, such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, using comfortable bedding, turning off the light, and keeping the sounds down. If you sleep well, you will definitely feel much more energized the next morning when you wake up.

Learn to manage stress.

Someone who is stressed will not feel motivated or productive. In a research study, 40%[2] of Americans said that stress makes them feel tired and fatigued. Fatigue definitely will make you less productive and motivated during your day.To counter that, you should learn to combat stress. There are a variety of ways to counter stress such as:

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Yoga – Yoga clears your mind and slows down[3] the breathing and heart rate.

Exercise – Exercise reduces[4] stress and fatigue. It improves your overall cognitive function, alertness and concentration.

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Meditation – A study[5] has found that mindfulness meditation can help ease stresses like depression, pain and anxiety.

Eating a healthy diet – Eating high-fat food can make you feel lethargic and leave you without much energy to deal with stress. A healthy diet that combats stress is composed of high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich and low-fat meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods do not sap energy and boost the immune system.

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Keeping a positive outlook – When stress and negative thoughts come in, it is important to shove those negative thoughts away and to replace them with positive ones. That way, you will not dwell on negativity, which causes stress and depression.Whether we feel motivated and productive can be up to us. If we take extra steps, such as those suggested above, to make sure that we are motivated and productive, the results will definitely show in our work day and will be a reflection of how we take care of ourselves.

Reference

[1]Journal Sleep: Journal of Sleep and Disorders Research
[2]American Psychological Association: Stress and Sleep
[3]Harvard Health Publication: Yoga can blunt harmful effects of stress
[4]Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Exercise for Stress and Anxiety
[5]The JAMA Network: Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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