Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. And while that may be true to a certain extent, for many of us, what it really boils down to is that we just aren’t using the time we have as productively as we could. Luckily, there are several small and painless ways to get around that. Click through for simple strategies to boost your productivity. Share your own tips in the comments!
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1. Take a Power Nap.
Several studies have championed the power of the mid-afternoon nap. A 15-20 minute power nap will help you recharge and refocus your energy, as well as improve your ability to learn and remember information. (The Power Nap: Tips & Benefits)
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2. Eat Right.
They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing! Skipping breakfast negatively impacts your focus, productivity, and memory. Keeping your body fueled throughout the day is important, too. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, and even the occasional dark chocolate to keep your brain at full working capacity. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too!
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3. Take a Walk… Or a Shower.
In our hyper-connected world, there are fewer and fewer times in our day when we can just take time to clear our thoughts. Which is unfortunate, because, often times, this is when our best ideas come to light. If you’re stuck in a rut, go out for a quick stroll around the block or, if you can, hop in the shower. You’ll recharge, refresh and benefit nicely from a change of pace — one study showed a huge jumps in creativity and productivity when workers took shower breaks during the day.
4. Change Lighting & Temperature.
It’s not just habits that can boost your productivity — it’s also your environment. One Department of Energy study, for instance, found that workers in offices with exposure to daylight had better health, fewer absences, and, yes, increased productivity, than workers who were not exposed to daylight. Temperature plays a role here, too. Rooms that varied too much far from 77 degrees will hinder your ability to get stuff done. Use a fan or an air conditioner in the summer, and a space heater or a sweater in the winter, to keep your body at an optimal temperature.
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5. Look at Photos of Cute Things.
Don’t mind if I do! Researchers in Japan found that, after viewing pictures of adorable animals, babies, and other cute things, participants’ concentration shot up by a whopping 44%. Why, exactly? Well, researchers think it connects to our natural urge to nurture and protect adorable, harmless creatures — a task that requires plenty of concentration.