Trying hard to focus but find that your brain just keeps wandering? Put your mind over matter with our top five tips on how to be more productive
We’ve all been there - you’re faced with an ever-growing, mountainous pile of work or jobs to get done and rather than act efficiently you find yourself distracted, dilly-dallying and a serial day dreamer (how many tiles are there on the ceiling anyway…?)
However, do take comfort in the fact you are definitely not alone in your time wasting ways. A recent study of 750 people demonstrated that over 89% of respondents admitted to wasting time daily, with over 60% admitting to wasting between thirty minutes to at least an hour each day on non-work related tasks. This may not sound like much, but when added together even just 30 minutes every day amounts to 2.5 hours a week, or a whopping 130 hours of complete and utter pointless procrastination each year!
Deciding that our lack of ruthless efficiency simply had to stop, we reached out to a selection of our top experts to see what invaluable tips and guidance they could provide on how to truly maximise our efforts and get the utmost out of our days.
1. Wake up with HIIT
“15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training is all it takes to get your body burning fat and feeling awesome,” says Online Nutrition Coach Joe Wicks . "Not only do you burn calories during the exercise but due to the intensity you also get the 'afterburn' effect meaning you burn calories for hours afterwards. Aside from the physical benefits of HIIT cardio you also get incredible psychological rewards - after intense exercise you have increased energy, focus and productivity for your day ahead. Mentally, you feel like you’ve accomplished something and it sets you up for the day in a more positive way. Try something simple like 20 seconds treadmill or stationary bike sprints followed by 40 seconds rest - repeat this 15 times."
2. Mind-boosting breakfast
“The breakfast that gives me the most energy is chia pudding with all the fixins,” says Nutritionist Jenna Zoe . “Chia seeds contain that perfect combination of fat and protein, which is ideal for energising you in the morning - and it will last all day long. The cacao also contains the smallest amount of caffeine, as well as a stimulant called theobromine, which will stimulate you in the same way as coffee would - but with none of the energy crashes afterwards. This is much gentler on your body yet still gives you a kick. Serve with a heaping dollop of almond butter and some shredded coconut.”
The night before, mix together:
1 tablespoon chia seeds
250 ml almond milk
1 tablespoon cacao powder
Few drops of vanilla extract
3. Prioritise and Simplify
“Start by choosing only three tasks that have to be done by the end of the day, write them down and tick them off as you do them,” says Clinical Hypnotherapist Terrence the Teacher . “Psychologically, choosing only three tasks takes the pressure off and gives a person the feeling that the tasks are more possible to achieve. Not to mention, you often find that after you’ve done the first three tasks, you’re able to do more - before you know it you’ll have been more productive than you would have ever expected.
4. Positive Thinking
“Check your thoughts. Are you thinking right and in line with the outcome you want? Creating thoughts that feel good will ensure the right actions and outcomes, so make sure that what you are thinking feels positive,” says Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Coach Jacqueline Hurst . Remind yourself of all the evidence you have of why you CAN do it, rather than why you can’t and everything will happen a little easier and probably a little more successfully.
5. Reward and re-charge
“No matter how young or old we are, we all respond well to getting a reward for work well done,” says Terrence. “So, reward yourself with little breaks throughout the day. Move away from your work space and go and re-charge. Get some fresh air, make yourself something healthy to eat and drink or even take five minutes to read an interesting feature. Ultimately, your mind is a quick learner and It will eventually start seeing work as something you enjoy - that connection will in turn help you to become more productive.”