It’s half way through the week and the weekend still seems like a long time off yet. Do you find your focus and motivation starts to dip as the week goes on? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Here are some tips to keep you focused and motivated right through to Friday:
1. Take regular short breaks
Take a short break and try a brief activity to help break up tasks that take a lot of physical or mental energy. A break could last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and involve anything from making a cup of tea to stretching or watching a video.
Though the breaks might seem small, they can have a disproportionately powerful impact – studies have shown that they can improve your ability to concentrate, change the way you see your job, and even help you to avoid the typical injuries that some people get when they’re tied to their desks all day.
2. Keep an eye on how long tasks are taking you
I really like using time tracking apps like Toggl to keep an eye on how long different tasks are taking me. Perhaps there’s something you do regularly which could be automated, or maybe there’s a task that you put off because you don’t like doing it - you could time box this task so that you know you’re only going to spend a set number of minutes on it. Challenge yourself to complete the task within this time.
3. Get active during your lunch break
Take a walk, a lunchtime cycle, run laps of your garden, try high-intensity interval training, a yoga class from My Self-Care Sanctuary or do some weight training - there are plenty of ways to get active during your lunch break. Not only does a lunchtime workout increase your serotonin levels, making you feel upbeat and energetic, and allows you to step away from your desk for a while, but also might improve your productivity in the afternoon. A 2017 study found that our learning and productivity can be influenced by what we experience immediately afterwards, including physical activity. The research demonstrated that low-impact exercise, done immediately after learning, led to better memory recall than doing a non-active activity like sitting down, or reading.
4. Stop trying to multitask
If you’re thinking now you should switch to single-tasking to improve your efficiency, you’re not wrong. A Stanford University study which looked at multitaskers versus single-taskers shows that single-taskers get less distracted, have better working memory and can perform better when switching between tasks than multitaskers.
But the benefits of single-tasking go well beyond just improved efficiency and productivity, according to Dr Earl Miller, Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “True creativity comes from following associations – ‘memories’ in your mind – to new and different places. But when you multitask your brain can’t make those associations because your mind is constantly backtracking. So by single-tasking we’re allowing our minds to be more creative.”.
5. Take a proper lunch break, don’t eat at your desk
While it’s convenient to do so, this habit also makes it hard to disconnect from work and take a mental break. Leaving your workspace for your lunch break ensures that you get the hiatus from work that you’re entitled to and have a chance to recharge during the workday.
Give these 5 tips a try and see how they impact your motivation levels! Let me know how you get on - send me a message via Instagram or Facebook at @myselfcareedit.