We’re all guilty of slacking every now and then, and it can be hard to tick off your to-do list when you’re just not feeling it. But, thanks to the following advice from the experts, you’ll be sure to bring your A-game both at home, and in the workplace – you’re welcome!
1. Practice mindfulness
According to research*, the typical office worker gets interrupted every 11 minutes, yet it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task. With a busy mind it can be tricky to focus on one task at a time, and, in turn, we start to feel overwhelmed and struggle to be productive. If this is something you find difficult, then a touch of mindfulness is what we prescribe. Set aside a few minutes to yourself, take some deep breaths and close your eyes. Let the last of the frantic thoughts disappear and embrace the feeling of stillness that follows.
2. Clutter = chaos
If you’re anything like us then you’ll really struggle to concentrate when things are messy, both at home and at work. An untidy space can really stunt your productivity and leave you feeling distracted. According to Princeton University, when your environment is cluttered it restricts your ability to focus and process information. Try to spend a small amount of time each Friday afternoon to reorganise your space – whether that be your desk or your kitchen – and remove any distracting items. Instead, channel your inner Marie Kondo and add a personal item that sparks joy!
3. Get outdoors
Make sure to take your lunch break, and if you can, go outside. If your to-do list is never ending it can be tempting to carry on working, but it will actually make you less productive in the long run. “It may sound counterintuitive, but spending a full lunch break out and about in the fresh air is the ideal way to maximise productivity,” says national account manager at Center Parcs, Nichola Jacklin. “Not only does your mind have time to recharge in the outdoors, it’s the ideal opportunity to get domestic admin done – be it phoning for appointments or shopping for dinner!”
4. Procrastinate… positively
You may think that procrastinating is negative and even feel frustrated when you do so, however what if we told you it could actually make you more productive? Yes, really! Forward Role (forwardrole.com) found that it can actually skyrocket your productivity. “Negative procrastinators put things off indefinitely, whereas positive procrastinators schedule tasks to do at a later date. They’ll strategically book time in their calendar to do a task when it’s closer to its deadline, focusing on smaller, but more urgent things in the present,” explains John Perry in his book, The Art of Procrastination. “Jot down everything that’s on your mind to determine which tasks are urgent, and which aren’t.”
5. Balance your lifestyle
Sarah Romotsky, director of healthcare at Headspace, says it’s important to identify hobbies and interests that make you smile, happy or ignite feelings of passion. “Not only will this be a rewarding experience, it will energise and refresh your mind, enabling you to nurture your creative thinking.” It’s so easy to get caught up in everything life throws at you, so start by making a list of all the activities and plans that you wish you did more of and make it a priority to take time for yourself. If you’re feeling fulfilled you’re more likely to be productive, so it’s a win-win situation!
6. Get some shut eye
Put your dress on back to front this morning? Lots of us are guilty of a little clumsiness when we’re tired, so it’s no surprise that a lack of rest can stop us from performing at our best. “Studies on the effects of sleep deprivation have shown that it’s essential for proper cognitive functioning. Sleep is necessary for learning new information and accessing previously acquired information” writes author Lisa Varadi in Sleep. Time for an early night!
7. Up your vits
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough iron, as a lack of it can make you feel weak, exhausted and unable to concentrate – not good when you’re trying to stay on top of your workload. “For the best iron-boosting effects, it’s good to eat iron and vitamin C-containing foods together, so a handful of almonds – which are a high source of plantbased iron – and a vitamin C-rich orange are the perfect partners,” says registered dietitian, Juliette Kellow.