We all have days when we just can’t seem to get anything done. For most of us, finding a routine, making a list, or other traditional ways to help get focused will do the trick. Sometimes though, we find that getting motivated seems to be out of reach. Here are a few unique tricks that can help you get in touch with your productivity and start getting things done.
Sometimes a change in environment is what we need to get refocused. But picking up and moving isn’t always an option. Try taking a bit of time to overhaul your workspace by getting rid of the distractions and the clutter. Having a cluttered and chaotic workspace is full of distractions, and clearing out some old files or excess knick-knacks and furniture can help restore the sense of calm that you need in order to focus. If you’re short on storage space, look into renting a storage unit to help stow archival files or that beat up recliner that’s interfering with your flow.
The ability to multi-task is often touted as the key to efficiency and getting more done. Unfortunately, this is more myth than reality, and trying to do too many things all at once keeps you from focusing on any item, and they all wind up getting left behind. If you already tried making a list, go dig it out and then select a single item to devote your attention to, and work on it until it’s completed. You will probably find that by eliminating the other tasks for the time being, you will be much less overwhelmed and able to get a good chunk of work done.
It’s completely counter-intuitive, but if you’re staring at a project and nothing seems forthcoming, just quit for a while. Find a video game to play, take a nap or a walk outside, or sit and watch an episode of your favorite show. Give yourself the permission you need to do something frivolous and stop worrying about work for a bit. When you return to your office or computer, you will be looking at things with fresh eyes and hopefully, a bit more motivation.
If notifications and alerts on your mobile device keep interrupting you while you’re trying to stay busy, just turn it off. You can also take advantage of the Do Not Disturb feature on most devices to hold all calls and emails until you decide to return to them. Stopping your flow to read a new email, answer a call, or check your social media accounts is a huge damper to productivity. While you may feel the need to be available all the time, consider the effect of waiting an hour or two to respond to an email. Is it really critical that you respond immediately? If not, take steps to prevent such interruptions while you’re working.
This may seem silly, but there is sound evidence that postponing work to do something creative can actually help boost your productivity when you do finally return to work. It can be as simple as one of those adult coloring books, or as elaborate as hand-crafted jewelry or knitting. Let yourself relax and engage in something that you find fun and create something just for yourself. The feeling of success will help to boost your energy and give you a sense of accomplishment, which can help tip the scales back in your favor when you finally return to work.
While almost all of these tips may look like they’re taking away from the time you should be focusing on work, the boost in productivity that you get from them might be well worth the time spent. Try one or two the next time you’re in a slump and see for yourself.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.