Do you wish you were more productive and focused during the work day? Have you ever wished that there were more hours in a day? I’d probably run out of fingers and toes a hundred times over if I tried to recount how often I wanted more time to accomplish my tasks for the day. Like many business owners (and probably every other person we work with on a daily basis), 5 o’clock sneaks up on us every day through the week, and your family gives you a strange look when you say, “I’ve got work to do” at 8 pm on a Saturday evening.
If any of these examples resonate with you, I want to provide a few tips that will boost your productivity level and get you to bed sooner.
- Drink Water. Not just the kind that’s been heated up and poured over roasted beans or herbs (however tempting and delicious). I’m not going to lie, there are days where I drink more coffee than I do plain water, but that’s what I’m warning against! Studies show that drinking water helps to expand the gray matter in our brains, and can increase our productivity by upwards of 14%. Even ignoring all the other health benefits of water, I’d call that a win! I’ve been using a simple water intake app on my phone to help me keep track of how much/often I reach for the H2O.
- Work Space. About a year ago, I found myself taking my laptop to bed with me on almost a nightly basis. Not only did this hurt my productivity, it also started negatively affecting my sleep patterns. I’ve read several studies that discuss the importance of keeping your bed reserved for sleeping. This helps train your mind to sleep when it’s time to sleep! In order to solve this problem, I made sure my office space was specifically geared towards convenience and efficiency. Even if you don’t have an office in your home, you can designate a place reserved for work. Have a good light source, a pad of paper and pen, and even your fuzzy slippers waiting for you! Your goal should be to make it the easiest place for you to comfortably plop down for a couple hours without unnecessary distractions. Having this designated place trains your brain that it’s time to get work done. And having the area already set up saves you the time and the distraction of “nesting” in a new spot every evening.
- Set Goals and Deadlines. Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to accomplish as much in the 4 hours late at night as you did in the 8 hours during the day. Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself; just enough to keep you on track and productive, but not too much that you become overwhelmed and discouraged. At the beginning of the year, I started using Google Keep as a supplementary task tracker. Of course there are more robust programs/apps on the market, but I found that I appreciate the simplicity of Keep. The fact that it syncs instantly between my phone and computers means that I can stay organized on the run. There’s also something distinctly satisfying about checking off items on a list (i.e. List Item 1: Make a List, List Item 2: Check off first item). I have a checklist for each of my clients where I store basic tasks. I can even set reminders for them in case I forget to look at them. I also use it to take quick notes, store pictures, or even sketches. Being able to “upload” this information allows me to rest easier without feeling like I’m going to forget all the little things.
- Tune Out. Alright, confession time. I’m not always the best at this one! At times, I use Netflix as background noise while I’m working. Probably not the best idea! Even the old, boring reruns can grab my attention if my motivation is lacking. In this world of notifications and retweets, it can be difficult to remain focused on the task at hand. Turning off the TV and closing down those extra browser tabs could be the best thing for your productivity level. Instead, try turning on some calming or classical music. This may satisfy your ears by filling the auditory void, while not distracting you with dialog or lyrics.
What are some tactics you use to stay focused and productive late at night? Drop us a line and let us know! Stay tuned for future blogs about Increasing Your Productivity.
Written By: Brad Kercheval, Project Coordinator & Designer, Fetch Multimedia