You can’t jump-start anything, especially your productivity, if you don’t keep your body happy. Nobody is happy when it doesn’t get enough sleep. Although skimping on an hour here or there might seem like no big deal, it can add up and make you a cranky and unproductive mess. Routine tasks can become horrendous burdens that end up riddled with mistakes and taking triple the time they normally would with adequate shut-eye. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day – not each week or month. Try going to bed one hour earlier than usual and see how peppy, energetic and ready for action it makes you.
A happy body is also one that gets adequate nutrition with a balanced diet and regular exercise. A balanced diet does not mean one selection from each row in the vending machine, either. Fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates keep your body purring along at optimum capacity. Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day cuts down on stress, improves your mood and staves off fat. It can also be a prime time to get the creative juices flowing since you can let your mind relax and thoughts come easily.
Kicking out worry, stress and all the cluttered thoughts that clog your brain like crusty rust is a must if you want to be productive at all. A brain that is oozing with worry will, in turn, only oozes out half-hearted efforts that are probably again riddled with errors. Exercise helps greatly in this arena, as does taking at least 30 minutes or more each day to spend just relaxing in meditation.
True, relaxing for 30 whole minutes might seem like the exact opposite of being productive, but it’s really not. Carving out time to sit quietly, relax — and actually breathe — can help soften the crusty brain rust so you can rinse it out and delve into your tasks with a clear channel that can think. Meditation is not necessarily filled with chants and Tibetan singing bowls – although it can be – but is really just a time to cool your brain, focus on your breath and soothe your soul.
Organization is a major player when you’re learning how to jump-start your productivity. In fact, it’s actually key. Just like a cluttered brain leads to crummy work, a cluttered workspace can produce results that are equally as haphazard. Keep a filing cabinet, or at least a filing system, where you store all those important documents you always need but can never seem to find. Keep your work surface clean, clear and open so you have room to actually put your current task in front of you. Go through those little scraps of paper at least once a week to throw out the ones you’ve completed, file the ones you need to hang onto and chuck the ones that never really mattered in the first place.
Lists are a very effective tool for jump-starting your productivity, provided you don’t get addicted to them and spend all your time making new ones. It also helps if you write legibly and keep more than one list, organized by priority. Keep a separate list for all those little tasks that take a few minutes here and there to do in one lump time sum. Sticking them between larger tasks only serves to distract your train of thought away from the more important work. Busy work, it’s called. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to get busy with that work while you put the more important stuff on their own separate lists.
Prioritizing lists by deadlines is one way to go about it. But you can also organize lists according to your rhythm of productivity. If you’re first task of the day is still performed with rust in your brain, for instance, stick something easy at the top. If you’re the type that gets a running start, stick your most difficult task at the top so you have the most energy to get it out of the way.
Making your tasks fun is another key when figuring out how to jump-start your productivity. Intersperse more amusing tasks between big, heavy ones. Schedule time for relaxation, meditation or exercise after a particularly heady task so you have something to look forward to when you’re done. Get your sleep, eat your bran flakes, organize your desk and watch your productivity grow.
About the author: Diane Johnson primarily writes about online classes and anything else that interests her. She enjoys traveling, reading, and shopping.