10 Ways to Stay Productive at Work and in Life ...

Ever get that feeling at work, where you have a lot of work to do but can’t seem to focus and power through the day. Here are ten ways you can get through that work day slow down and get it done.

1. Get off the World Wide Web

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While breaks are important, unscheduled breaks can be more distracting than relaxing. You can get software to block certain sites, although, simply ask yourself, “Will help or hinder me from getting the work done?” If it hinders, stop what you’re doing, and get back to work.

2. Put the Phone down

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This kind of goes back to the first one. Much like with the internet, messing with your phone is just another unauthorized break, taking you away from your responsibilities at work. A suggestion: place the phone in an area where you can’t see it: out of sight, out of mind. Another suggestion would be to turn your phone off while at work, unless you need your phone to stay on for emergencies. You can also try putting your phone on silent or vibrate.

3. Make a List and Check It off

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If you can see it, you can do it. Being able to have a list to guide you on what you need to do will help you cross every item on your list.

4. Turn on Some Tunes That Don't Have Any Lyrics

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Personally, I can work whether the music has lyrics or not, however, it has been noted that music with lyrics can be distracting while you try to work. So try something orchestral or instrumental to help the work day go by faster but not distract you from the task at hand.

5. Get a Personal Productivity Trainer

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If you perform better under pressure, then have someone light the fire in your irons (if you catch my drift). You can pick a friend, a colleague or make it a goal your set for yourself, whomever you choose and whatever your goal, make sure it’s an external force that will push you to work harder.

6. Have a Deadline and Stick to It

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If you put it off to tomorrow, you’ll continue to put if off and never get it done. So, give yourself a reasonable deadline of when to have it done. If you set a deadline for tomorrow, you won’t have to put if off for tomorrow.

7. Try the Pomodoro Technique

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A time management tool created in the 1980s that combines several types of productivity tools already discussed in this article. This technique promotes focus with regularly scheduled breaks. “Pomodoro encourages you to map out what needs to get done in manageable, 25-minute continuous blocks.” After each pomodoro, or each block, take a three to four minute break, but on every fourth break, take a longer break with 15 to 20 minutes. This will help create a steady workflow, while allowing your brain time to recuperate and incorporate information.

8. “Don't Break the Chain”

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A technique popularized by Jerry Seinfeld, he had a motto that you shouldn’t let a day go by without accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. What you do is collect all your dates for a year and put them on a wall. And when you complete all the tasks from one day, mark a giant red “x” on that day. After a while, you’ll have enough days crossed off to form a chain.

9. Create Your Own Office Space

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Whether you work from, or telecommute (working from anywhere), you’ll need to create a space to work in that is separate from the space where you sleep, eat, etc. By creating your own space designated just for you to work, you are sure to increase your productivity. Some suggestions that could work if you can’t afford an office space are the library, a coffee shop or the park. These places will help you keep your professional life separate from your personal life.

10. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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Unrealistic expectations can be the most detrimental to productivity. These overzealous expectations can be the result of guilt over not being productive enough but you shouldn’t feel shame if you don’t get everything done. And don’t try to cram it all in just because you have the next few days off or just returned from a vacation. Access what you can reasonable do and work on one thing at a time. Give it your all to each task you’re doing, instead of rushing through everything and not do a job well done.

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