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10 Weekly Ten Minute Practices to Boost Work Productivity

10 Weekly Ten Minute Practices to Boost Work Productivity

    Let’s face it: You can’t overhaul your personal efficiency overnight.

    You can, however, boost work productivity over time by adopting one or more of these weekly 10-minute practices. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, try at least one each day.

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    1. Declutter your inbox

    Dedicate 10 minutes each week to unsubscribing from useless or unwanted emails. They come in all forms: newsletters you never read, redundant notifications from social media sites (do you really need to know if someone new is following you?), daily-deal emails and marketing emails from online stores you’ve patronized in the past.

    Eventually, you’ll have pared your inbox down to a more manageable size, giving you more time to attend to relevant emails.

    2. Meditate

    One of the best ways to boost your productivity at work is by recharging through meditation. While meditation is best when you have ample time to relax, you can still reap its benefits by sneaking away for 10 minutes during your workday. Find a quiet spot where you can close your eyes, breathe deeply and clear your head: a quiet stairwell, an empty conference room or even a nearby park will do just fine.

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    3. Weekly wrap-up

    End your workweek with a quick self-audit. Set yourself up for success on Monday by jotting down a list of projects and to-dos to tackle when you head back into the office. Take a moment to also note some of the successes and shortcomings you encountered, and learn from them week over week. What worked? What didn’t work? To amp this up further, end each workday with this practice.

    4. Take a walk

    Once a week, take 10 minutes out of your lunch break and use it to exercise. Walk around the block, or take the stairs to your office instead of the elevator. If you opt for take-out, select a spot that’s 5 minutes farther away, or take the long way to your usual restaurant. Like meditation, exercise resets your brain for creativity, ultimately boosting your work productivity.

    5. Race the clock

    Set a timer for 10 minutes and do as much work as you can on a big, imposing project you’ve been putting off. Alternatively, knock out several smaller tasks. Force yourself to avoid distractions during this 10-minute burst to really pump up the intensity. These short yet intense work periods can help you build the momentum you need to take control of your to-do list.

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    6. Do nothing

    Follow up an intense 50-minute work period with 10 minutes of unrestricted time. Take a walk around the office, catch up on your favorite blogs, play on Twitter or just do some quick stretches at your desk.

    7. Clean your workspace

    A clean, organized and clutter-free work area minimizes distractions that can hamper productivity. Take a few minutes at the end of each week to eliminate the unnecessary and give yourself a clean slate on Monday.

    8. Plan a project

    Before you begin a new project, spend 10 minutes creating a mind map or outline to focus your efforts. This process will let your unconscious mind marinate on your next steps and keep you on task while you’re working on said project.

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    9. Compile boilerplate text

    We all work with content that can be made into boilerplate text, whether it’s HTML code, canned email responses, blog post templates or custom signatures. Use a tool like TextExpander or Texter to create shortcuts for these blocks of text. Bonus: TextExpander also automatically corrects common typos as you write.

    10. Reward positive behavior

    Top up your emotional tank by recognizing and rewarding the good things you do at work. Perhaps you helped a coworker diagnose and solve a problem, or a blog post you wrote got more comments than usual. Don’t rely on your boss noticing this and complimenting you; instead, remember each “win” as self-motivation for later.

    Put together, all of these practices will drastically improve your productivity if you dedicate a few minutes out of your day or week to follow them.

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    (Photo credit: Ticking Clock via Morguefile)

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    Last Updated on June 1, 2021

    7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

    7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

    “Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

    “Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

    As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

    Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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    The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

    To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

    1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

    Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

    “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

    2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

    Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

    3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

    If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

    It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

    4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

    One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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    If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

    5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

    It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

    If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

    Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

    If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

    7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

    If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

    So, How To Get out of Busyness?

    Take a look at this video:

    And these articles to help you get unstuck:

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    Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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