Have you ever reached the end of the day and felt like a hamster running on wheel? Somehow, with all of the smart devices and the apps that clutter them, modern professionals find themselves going around in circles trying to get things done. Instead, we have become entrapped in the paradox of being busy and unproductive.
How did this happen?
In a culture that praises multi-tasking and rewards individuals that seem to juggle everything all the time, we have diminished our ability to dedicate energy to completing specific tasks. The result is a vicious cycle of lapsing priorities that leads to more juggling and ultimately causes burnout.
How can you get off the wheel?
There are plenty of ways you can cure the hamster syndrome and maximize your daily productivity. The keys to increasing your productivity are:
1) adopting a routine
2) maintaining focus
Check out some of the ways you can build those strengths…
1. EXERCISE EARLY
Working out for 10-45 minutes before a grueling day of work improves performance. Exercise increases blood flow to your brain, which may boost concentration.
2. BE INTENTIONAL
Set a list of priorities before you come to work. If you know what you need to focus on as soon as you get to your desk, it saves time and decreases any sense of being overwhelmed by a heavy workload.
Play soothing music in your background and clear your work space to create a relaxed environment. A cluttered environment creates a cluttered mind and results in latent stress.
4. BE IN THE MOMENT
If you’ve designated time for a task, stick to it. Multi-tasking actually slows you down because the brain functions more efficiently when you focus on a single task.
5. GIVE YOURSELF A BOOST
Make sure your work consists of small tangibles and large projects, and complete the smaller tasks first. This gives the impression of productivity. When you feel more productive, your workflow will improve.
6. SET AN EMAIL SCHEDULE
You will never get any significant work done if you spend your day chasing emails. Read and respond to emails at the opening, midpoint, and end of the day. Otherwise, stay away from that mail icon!
7. PUSH PAUSE
The brain is a muscle; the more intensely it works, the less endurance it has. Work in 30-minute bursts with no distractions, then take a 5-minute break. You will remain focused on your work and accomplish much more during the day.