5 Productivity Hacks for Slow Days
You know those days when you wake up and just go. Nothing can stop you - you’re on a roll and it feels so good. Well if you’re anything like us, then you’ll be wanting to feel like that all the time. Because why would we want to feel less than energised and full of enthusiasm for the day when you know how good it feels to have energy in bounds.
We’re always looking for ways to maximise our productivity to beat the afternoon slump. On occasion though, our own wellbeing has been sacrificed. We’ve put other commitments before our own self-care many, many times and we’ve all been there. We know though from experience that our actions have actually achieved the opposite of what we intended. With this, we’re now we’re sharing our five top tips for maintaining a nice, consistent level of energy to fuel you through the day.
understanding what time of day works best for you
We love a to-do list. However, sometimes it can begin to feel like there is no end in sight because let’s face it, you could just carry on and on if you really wanted to. There will always be jobs to be done. At first, it might feel advantageous to have a list of the things you need to get done and in so many ways, it is. A study in Perspectives on Psychological Science demonstrates that writing lists can help us remember things, especially when we are feeling stressed. However, writing down your tasks without a sense of priority or time can actually limit your productivity.
Do you know how much you can get finished in 30 minutes or an hour? Good time management all pivots around knowing the value of your time and using your energy astutely to achieve more in less time. The humble to-do list is a time-honoured system. They give us a structure and when executed well, to-do lists generate pretty great results!
Jason Womack, author of Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More, recommends a different approach though. He suggests you write an ‘Ideal Day’ scenario for yourself to make the most of each day. Knowing what that ‘ideal’ means to you gives you a goal, he says. What tasks HAVE to be done today? What time of day can you do your best work? How do you want to spend your day?
Try also writing priorities at the top of your list, alternating between stimulating and draining tasks, and perhaps most importantly, identifying low-priority tasks, or tasks that can be delegated! Developing a method behind your to-do list madness will help you stay aware of what matters most and more importantly, get the work done.
2. steering clear of negativity
It’s imperative to understand and feel the close relationship between our productivity levels and our wellbeing. By taking steps to prioritise your most important tasks, productive behaviours will naturally flow. We know that by going to the gym first thing on a morning before breakfast and checking emails, we’re far more productive throughout our day.
Be patient with yourself and steer well clear of any negative self-talk when you don’t finish something. Remember, we’re all human and these incompletions are just part and parcel of the process!
3. taking time to eat
This is one we’re still guilty of sometimes and really have to work hard on pulling ourselves away from our desk! When tasks are piling up, it’s so easy to feel compelled to grab a quick snack on the way to your next meeting or eat lunch at your desk. You may even skip lunch altogether, all of which may feel like the best choice that day but will always ultimately lead to a loss of productivity later on. This Journal of Health Psychology shows that those who skip their lunch break and instead eat while multitasking might feel less physically satisfied, and could end up eating a second lunch at a later time.
The Journal Cognition also now features a new study which invalidates a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and outlines that even brief deviations from our to-do lists can significantly improve our ability to focus on that task for much longer periods.
It’s also important to remember, sometimes we all just have slow days. They’re needed and necessary so just listen to yourself. You’ll know what you need to do.
4. Automating where possible
We are fortunate to live in an age where we can lean on technology for better on occasions and set it up to automate our days where possible. Our favourites include:
G-Suite - for all things business (we do everything imaginable with Google Sheets, Docs, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive)
Google Analytics - for reporting
Hopper HQ - for social scheduling
Dropbox - for storage + sharing
Xero - for finances
1Password - for security
Copper - for CRM
5. knowing what your ultimate objective is
Change is not a matter of ability, it’s a matter of motivation. Motivation and results with work through great time management all begin when you’re able to clear your mind of what you think you should be doing and getting clear about what it is that you truly want. By doing this exercise, we become much more able to let go of fear, doubt and procrastination and take advantageous, focused leaps of action that will achieve the results that we want.
Any tips you have, please let us know. We love hearing from you!