1. Start early
Getting up very early and working at home lets you make progress on your most critical projects, work without the distractions of social media or the phone, and creates space in your day for rest.
2. Focus, rest, repeat
By working intensively for an hour and a half to two hours, then taking a break for 20 minutes, you get the restorative benefits of a rest, while still keeping your intellectual momentum going.
3. Keep multitasking to a minimum
Multitasking prevents you from working productively on any single task. So close your email, put on headphones, and turn off those notifications. You’ll do more in two focused hours than six distracted ones.
4. Take a walk
A recent study found that even walking on a treadmill while facing a cinder block wall boosts creativity. So next time you’re feeling sluggish at work, walk around the block to get those creative juices flowing.
5. If you can, take a nap
Not every workplace is nap-friendly, but even a short nap in a wellness room can top up flagging energy, help your brain retain new information, and even boost your creativity.
6. Stop in mid-thought
Many writers stop for the day in mid-sentence, which makes it easier to pick up again the next day. As scientists recently discovered, knowing that you’ll return to a problem encourages your subconscious to keep working on it.
7. Leave your work at work
When you leave the office or finish a task, put it out of your mind. Bringing home your problems guarantees that you won’t get the rest necessary to tackle them effectively.
8. Actually take your vacation days
People forgo tens of billions of dollars’ worth of vacation days every year. Not only is this like not cashing a paycheck, but people who don’t take vacations are at greater risk of chronic stress and burnout.
9. Find a really engaging hobby
The best minds have hobbies that let them enjoy some of the same satisfactions as their work, but at a small scale and without the frustrations.