The dreaded 9-5, the grind, work – different names for the same beast that consumes us all. Or takes over our schedules, at least.
We know how easy it is to get carried away with professional projects and to let those weekdays (and nights) get away from you. Which is why we’ve got seven ways to increase your productivity at the office, or home office. So you can get control of your calendar, before it starts to control you.
Research has shown that our brains work on a two-hours-on, thirty-minutes-off rhythm that requires designated times to rest and reset. So try your best to schedule breaks throughout the day, even if you can only afford five minutes here and there. The key to squeezing these in is not to squeeze at all – incorporate them into your calendar, just like you would any other planned work meeting or commitment.
It is physically impossible to aim your attention on two things at once. (Much less, more than two!) Your brain simply switches from one task to the other and back, wasting your precious time and energy. So put those distractions away, take a breath and take on just one project at a time.
Ever heard of the two-minute rule? It says you should take every spare two minutes to accomplish, or at least start, something. If you have a task that can be done in two minutes or less, go ahead and take the time to get it off of your list. Otherwise, spend the two minutes planning or prepping for a larger task. This is a sure way to maximize efficiency and make for a more manageable workload.
Speaking of a manageable workload. It is essential to know your limits. (Both personally and professionally.) Be realistic with yourself about what can and cannot get done in a given work day or week – account for other commitments, and do a quick mental check-in to see what you can handle. Allow space in your schedule to accomplish small tasks while leaving enough time to work on large tasks with looming deadlines. Try to avoid saving things for the last minute by breaking projects into smaller chunks.
Biologically speaking, our brains operate almost solely off of motivation. One of the easiest ways to multiply the motivation factors for your day is to consider crafting an intentional workspace. Decorate your productivity zone in a way that both suits your style and minimizes distractions. Consider music and a pop of color to keep the mood up on especially heavy days at the desk.
Perhaps the most important component to having a productive work day is to take care of your body. As much as your mind needs motivation and rest, your body needs nourishment. Eat and drink regularly. If you’re a snacker, choose light and healthy snacks for stable energy levels. And try to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day.
Caffeine has a number of benefits for both the body and the brain. Consider a quality cup of Joe to get your day back on track. It’s best to drink coffee in the mid-to-late morning, but you’ll want to stop at least six hours before sleeping. Be careful not to go overboard, as you can have too much of a good thing – too much caffeine will actually be counterproductive to your workflow.
So with these tips, don’t let that schedule monster get the best of you. Seize the (work)day! 💪
And while you’re at it, give our cold brew concentrate a try. We’ve got the perfect way to check caffeine off of your to-do list. With premium cold brew delivered direct to door and on tap from your fridge, you’ll be able to cut that trip to the cafe from your calendar.