Do you struggle with productivity — especially in the morning? Discover 10 easy ways to boost your brainpower and become one of the most productive people you know.
Do you quietly admire people who work more than you and succeed — and are happy, vigorous and never complain? You may think that they have magical skills, but they don’t.
Productivity can be learned. All you need to do is to find the productivity methods that work for you and make them a habit. (Click here to tweet this quote.) You’ve probably already tried a few popular solutions, so here are 10 less obvious hacks that may help you to become a productivity beast.
1. Sweat a little before work
Get up early and dedicate half an hour to an hour to your beloved workout. No matter what you prefer — running, swimming, lifting weights or something else — morning effort gives your brain a nice shot of oxygen and glucose. Don’t let your mind be undernourished.
2. Take a cold shower
A cold shower in the morning may sound like a horror, but it gives you extra vital powers. A cold shower forces you to take deeper breaths and your blood to flow like wild river. It also gives you an additional oxygen injection, makes you more energetic and is guaranteed to boost your concentration.
3. Gobble strawberries
Yum! Aside from the simple fact that almost everyone loves strawberries, they also provide you with towering level of antioxidants. When you start forgetting things and becoming more susceptible to stress, a simple dose of strawberries may save your life.
4. Change your morning Facebook habit (or whatever you do) to crosswords
For a long time, I thought reading anything before breakfast and coffee skyrocketed my productivity because it trains my brain. Beep! Wrong. Scrolling Facebook, Lifehack or reading a newspaper is like sliding over the surface of information.
Try something that engages your mind, like crosswords, puzzles or Sudoku. You’ll see a noticeable change in how your brain works after this kind of engaged warm up.
5. Always make note of your productivity ideas
When you think about your plan for a project you’ve been working on, you probably see little holes and weaknesses in your perfect plan. The worst thing you can do is to change your strategy on the spot.
What you can do is plan to avoid those problems in the future. Form the habit of writing down every idea of how you can improve your workflow in the future.
6. Design your workplace yourself
Current design trends of minimalism and puritan austerity have a negative impact on productivity. The results of British scientists, Craigh Knight and Alex Haslam, speaks for itself: employees working in self-decorated workplaces are about 32 percent more productive than those working in minimalistic offices.
7. Work standing up
Writer Ernest Hemingway used to work standing up. Thanks to this little trick, he could write for hours, staying concentrated and clear-minded. When you sit, your body is resting, so you become susceptible to distractions and procrastination.
Standing requires healthy muscle tone and improves blood circulation, so you stay stimulated and don’t get distracted.
8. Avoid too much “good job”
Terrence Fletcher, the spooky music teacher from movie Whiplash, said: “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.” Be careful about congratulating yourself too often.
If you’re too tolerant of what you do, you may miss the moment when you lower your standards. Treat your achievements more like next steps to something bigger than like a final victory.
9. Don’t listen to overly engaging music
When you listen to your beloved Mozart’s second piano concert in B-flat major, you won’t’ be able to focus on work because you’ll focus on your favorite parts of the music. It’s similar when you listen to music that’s new for you. Fresh, interesting sounds capture your attention. If you have to listen to music, listen to pieces that allow you to work.
10. Replace the office with the cafe
Working in the office can sometimes be like sitting in front of a blank page and saying “Now I have to figure out some glorious ideas.” Please, don’t do this. According to The Journal of Consumer Research, occasionally leaving your comfort zone and going to a somewhat noisy place (like a cafe) can unblock your creativity, allowing you to think more clearly and focus on work for a longer time.
Being productive doesn’t have to mean sacrifice and maintaining strict discipline. As you can see, most of those tips are pleasant (maybe with the exception of the cold shower) and are easy to put into practice. They’ll help you be more satisfied with your work and your achievements.
Have you tried any of these tips before? Did they work for you? Or maybe you know some other weird or unusual productivity methods? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
Jan Godlewski is a creative writer at TimeCamp. Jan writes about productivity hacks, self growth, time tracking and project management.