Keeping yourself focused and productive isn't an easy job. If you ever end up feeling guilty after an entire day of doing nothing– don't beat yourself up about it. We've all been there before. Use this as a chance to learn and improve yourself. Overworking yourself isn't going to do it, and neither will taking a nice, long (2-week?) break. Here are 5 tips that you can use to work efficiently– whether you're at home or at the office.
1. Set specific goals
Knowing what you want to do and when you want to have it done by is just so crucial. Setting small and breakable tasks will help you stay focused on what needs to be completed. Using the Pomodoro technique is a really good place to start– where you spend 25 minutes on each task. Not only does this keep your work sessions short and simple, but it also makes sure that you're keeping your tasks short and simple. I've also recommended an app called Forest on another one of my posts– it's worth checking out! Try your best to stick to your routine and you'll get better at it with practice.
2. Get your 8 hours
I can emphasise this enough. Getting 8 hours of sleep is so important. Improving your sleep can improve your productivity, and improving your productivity can actually improve your sleep– it's an amazing cycle that can really improve your life for the better. As well as that, sleeping for a sufficient amount of time can give you more energy, faster reactivity and it'll make you feel more creative and focused too.
3. Treat yourself
Give yourself a reward every now and then. Do something that makes you happy, every day. Whether it's a chocolate or snack break, some video games, a walk in the park, or a reading a book– it is so significant to take a break because not only is it a healthy way to form good habits but it also keeps you happy about what you're doing. Overworking will only deprive and tire your mind and body– so make sure to give yourself something to look forward to daily and to always do your best to keep a positive mindset.
4. Clean up your workspace
If your workspace is clutter, then your mind is a clutter. Only keep what you need on your desk and keep the rest aside. Make sure you have enough space and that you’re comfortable too. Don’t leave any distractions around you or anything that’ll shift your mind from staying on task. If you’ve got sibling(s) like me, then be sure to let them know that you’re about to have a serious study sesh and they better not disrupt you. It’s said that it takes an average of 25 minutes to resume any work you’ve been doing after an interruption. So three interruptions is like a waste of 75 minutes, trying to refocus– when instead you finish your work with no interruptions and then spend the 75 minutes taking a sweet break.
5. Don't multitask
Look, I genuinely think that I’m awesome at multitasking but according to science– multitasking isn’t actually possible. After researching various sources on the internet, there's one common message that keeps being highlighted: people who believe that they can split their attention between multiple tasks aren’t actually getting more work done. What happens is that you split the amount of brain effort that you put into each task, so you are getting both done– but you’re not really absorbing any of it properly. I have a serious habit of solving math problems whilst watching tv shows, and lately, I’ve realised that when I’m really stuck on a question, I tend to pause whatever I’m watching. That’s when it hit me that majority of the time, I only understand what I’m learning if I focus on it solely.
These 5 tips have definitely improved my productivity but I still have a lot to work on. Give them a try and let me know if they work for you!