Did you know that studies have shown that October as the most productive month of the year? In fact, the study has pinpointed 11am on a Monday in October as the most productive time of the year, which makes sense, considering that you are rested, full of Pumpkin Spice coffee, and ready to take on the work week. Of course, productivity slowly drops throughout the week, so the question becomes, how do you keep that 11am Monday morning productivity going until Friday at 5pm? Here are four hacks that will help you stay productive:
Structure Your Day
It’s a lot easier to be productive when you have a plan in place for the workday. Starting each day with a schedule of what you need to achieve, and what you need to do to achieve it, allows you to structure your day in a way that makes sense for your work habits. This way you can take the most brainpower and concentration when you actually have said brainpower and concentration to spare. For example, if you know you know that your creative juices are typically at their peak from 9-11am, this is when you should block out time to take on your most demanding projects. On the other hand, if you suffer from brain drain after lunch, that is a great time to take care of some of the busy work you need to take care of.
Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, meaning that multi-tasking is essentially your brain switching from one project to another at a rapid pace. Some people have the ability to do this well; most don’t. In fact, studies show that you can actually use 40% of your productivity if you are task-switching two items at once. In other words, while multi-tasking is a buzzword for your resume, it’s doesn’t really help you in practice. So while you may have multiple tasks pinging around in your brain, the best way to complete all of them is to prioritize and take on one of them at a time.
As we’ve established, the human brain is not great at focusing on two items at once, so betting on the fact that you’ll remember to do that thing at 1pm while also being focused on something is a bit of a stretch. Because you don’t want to leave anything to chance, setting a reminder on your phone or through Outlook is the best way to make sure you actually get that item done on time.
Pro-tip: set your reminder for a time you know you will be able to see the alert and action the reminder. It does you no good to have your reminder come up and then get buried by a dozen email notifications and text messages.
Move Around Every Hour
It can be easy to fall into a cycle of staying sedentary during your workday, especially if you are busy and working towards deadlines. While it can be hard to pry yourself out of your seat when you are on the role, studies show that getting up and walking away from your desk at least once every 60-minutes can make you more productive in the long-term. Getting up to grab some water, or even step outside for some fresh air, will help rest your eyes, improve circulation, and rejuvenate your brain, lessening the chance of burnout.