Whether you head into the office for the 9 – 5, work remotely, or you’re your own boss, being productive is important. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes also quite hard. Staying focused and working hard requires a significant effort on your part, but there are a few tricks that can help you. Whilst these aren’t a substitute for good old-fashioned willpower, they can help that willpower to stretch a bit further and once you start seeing results, you’ll be hooked.
The Pomodoro Technique
If you struggle to focus then the Pomodoro technique could be a good tool to have in your arsenal for those days where all you can seem to do is procrastinate. This tool works on the basis that you work solidly for 20 minutes and then play for 5. Whether you watch videos on YouTube, log on to the best casinos online, or just enjoy a crossword, the play part is up to you! The working part is definitely the trickiest bit to perfect, but it promises big results. For the 20 minutes that you’re working, turn off your phone, ignore incoming emails, switch off your music and concentrate on work only. Once the work time is done, you can reward yourself with that hand of poker, or crossword clue, then it’s back in for another 20 productive minutes.
Whilst 20 minutes might not sound like a lot, the human brain cannot concentrate on one thing for more than 40 minutes. Use 20 minutes as your starting point and if you manage to build it up to longer, then congratulate yourself, because you’ve just about reached the peak of human concentration capabilities.
Create the Right Frame of Mind
For those who have a hectic home life, arriving at work totally flustered will not be a new scenario. Balancing the commitments of a family, a side-hustle, or even a pet can be a demand on our time in the morning. If you’re arriving at work all of a fluster then you need to factor in some time to arrive either at your office, or at your desk at home, feeling ready to be productive. A simple way to do this is to always arrive ten minutes before you need to begin working. This in itself will help alleviate some of the stress of potentially being late, but it’s best used for a few minutes of mindfulness.
Incorporating as little as five minutes of mindfulness before you start work can help to declutter your brain and leave you feeling ready to go. If you’re a complete beginner to mindfulness then a useful technique can be to close your eyes and concentrate on your other senses. Think about the sounds you can hear around you, what you can smell, and your clothes, or the breeze you can feel against your skin. If you walk to work then you can try mindful walking too, using all of the techniques above, but of course, remembering not to close your eyes!