1. Omm anyone?
Researchers say the focus applied to breathing and meditative exercises in yoga can have a positive effect on other aspects of your life, such as when you’re carrying out mental tasks and routine activities. US study confirms that 20 minutes of Yoga helps you maintain your focus and retain new information.
2. Pen it down.
Trying to remember everything you need to do in a day can stress the brain and slow it down. It would be good to do a ‘to-do’ list with a benefit attached to every action item. For example, completing your tasks by Friday would give you the benefit of being able to enjoy your weekend.
It is also recommended that you keep a notepad on hand to jot down important reminders and any brilliant ideas that pop into your head so that you are less distracted by them as you work on your present task.
3. Learn to prioritise your tasks.
Make time to go through the mail to sort out the bills, reminders, etc. Schedule time for plowing through the bunch of envelopes, and don’t do anything else until the job gets done.
4. Take a quick break.
If you think your productivity is being hindered by boredom, take short breaks. Just getting up to walk around, have a stretch, or a quick sip from the water cooler may be all you need.
When you’ve completed a task, give yourself time to regroup.
Be careful, though, not to move into procrastination mode though, and let that morph into an hour-long Facebook chat with friends.
5. Set an alarm.
If you are constantly unable to finish your tasks, set a realistic time. Figure out how much time it really takes to get where you’re going and let technology work for you. Program your phone to alert you when it’s time to get going. Or, when you go to sleep the night before, set an alarm that’s more than arm’s distance from you so that you’ll be forced to get up.
6. Drink tea.
A recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found drinking tea improves attention and makes focusing on what you’re doing easier. It’s due to the combination of caffeine and amino acids theanine in tea that keeps you alert and yet calm. But you’ll need to sip through three cups of tea within 90 minutes to enjoy the benefits.
A job well done doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. Know when to delegate; know what you do well and what you don’t. Focus on your strengths and ask for help when you need it.
Some people find gadgets work better than paper and pen for keeping lists and reminders. Electronic organisers can be a wonderful alternative. Smartphones are a great option, as are digital sound recorders. Input your to-do list, appointments, and upcoming events.
9. Turn off email notifications.
Turn off email and notifications (and anything else that interrupts you). When you sit down to do something, nothing else gets attention. Just because someone decides to email, chat or call you, doesn’t mean it’s more important. Those things can wait. But if you know they are waiting there, you’ll be too tempted.
10. Multi-tasking does not help.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not efficient. No surfing during phone calls, reading during meals, chatting while writing. Do one thing at a time. Not only is multitasking terribly inefficient but it stresses you out and it’s rude to anyone around you.