You’ve pushed and pushed but you just can’t push anymore. You’re working on a big report and you’ve completely drained yourself. You don’t see any way to get back on the productivity train, and it’s only 10 a.m. If only there were some (healthy) way to kick you back into the zone.
Well friend, if you’ve got 2 minutes to spare, you’re in luck. Here are 3 tricks that I use to stay productive throughout the work day.
1. Knowledge is Power
One way to prep your mind for a productive day is to consume some knowledge. Whether this be through literature, videos or conversations– try and learn something before or in between work sessions. Doing work requires you to flex some mental muscle. Knowledge is your pre-workout meal.
Spend a few minutes to read some interesting articles or research into another problem that you're working on. This will warm you up to do some heavy lifting.
Before I start checking emails or opening spreadsheets, I read some articles from my favorite comedy site. It's a good way to ease into the day and puts me in a good mood to be productive.
2. Switch Gears
We all know that feeling of being burnt out. It usually comes right when you're in the middle of a big project (or after the giant turkey leg you had for lunch, you barbarian). Once that feeling hits, you're basically dead in the water. I personally feel like my creativity well has run dry. Sometimes, it could take a good chunk of an hour to get back to optimal levels.
Well fear not amigo, I’m going to share my personal trick to mitigate this damage. Solitaire. That's right, Solitaire. Whenever I feel like I've hit a wall, I will pull up a game of online Solitaire and start clicking. After a minute or two of casual play, I’m back in the zone. Now it doesn't have to be Solitaire exactly. Just pick a game that you like. As long as it's mentally stimulating and requires some basic problem solving, you'll find that the exercise will oil your gears and allow you to get back to work.
3. Food & Fitness
When all else fails, turn to food and fitness to increase your productivity.
Food literally makes up your body, so if you eat crappy, you'll feel like crap. I'm not saying that you have to follow a strict diet. But definitely try to integrate some brain food into your rotation: fruits, nuts, leafy vegetables and tea. Try to eat 3 to 4 light meals throughout the day. Larger, heavier meals tend to leave you in a food coma.
If you're lucky enough to work at an office with a lenient in-and-out policy, take advantage! Get away from your desk for 5 minutes for every 55 minutes that you work. Walk around, go outside for some fresh air or wrestle a bear. The mild physical exertion will help put you in an alert mental state.
Want to know another way to be productive at work? Stop reading this article and go crunch some numbers, fella'!