I think I can, I think I can…
We’ve all been there: You’re on the second cup of coffee and you’ve finally finished up a difficult task. You decide to take a short break and catch a brief glimpse of the clock to realize it has only been… TWO hours! What seemed like a full days work only has you one step closer to that beloved lunch break. All motivation and concentration moving forward might as well be lost.
So here’s how to make what seems like the longest last few hours of the day more productive:
Wake up Early & Get Moving!
Exercising before work will give you an extra energy boost in the mornings. Pair this with a healthy, wholesome meal (oatmeal, yogurt & fruits, etc.) and you will be well on your way to a productive work day. Can’t wake up early or already at work and in a slump? No worries – try yoga or pilates on your lunch break, taking frequent walks throughout the building, or grabbing some fresh air. I tend to have almonds at my desk for a mid-day, healthy snack.
Also, plan your day accordingly and be sure to allocate the appropriate amount of time to each task, preparing yourself ahead of time for the workload throughout the day. Persistent motivation at work starts before you reach the cube…
Define & Prioritize the Tasks at Hand
Making lists to organize the given tasks into hours, days, weeks, and even months will make the world of a difference. Once all tasks are laid on the table, prioritize them. Depending on how you personally prefer to tackle objectives, start with either the smallest or largest task at hand. I find it helpful to start small, realizing that crossing out a completed task gives me motivation and encouragement to move on a tackle the next.
Take Frequent Breaks to Rejuvenate
I find that taking small, frequent breaks after every big task completed or series of small tasks tackled help improve my motivation and interest in work related objectives throughout the workday. I will admit that it can be difficult to go back to work if the break is too long, so try not to fall victim to this as well! Chatting with coworkers or finding a creative outlet (I tend to scroll through Pinterest or Travel Blogs) helps ease stress levels and could potentially even be an incentive to finish those last bits of a project.
Add Variety into your Workday
I am stating the obvious by saying that doing the same old thing day after day can and will get old. To prevent yourself from falling victim to this, incorporate various tasks into your workday that involve a variety of skill sets. For example, I work primarily in strategy but like to incorporate an hour or two of Code Academy or teaching myself Spanish on the Duolingo app into my workday for personal growth.
Create Incentives to Finish Tasks
Whether the incentive be to gossip with your cube mate or grab one of those free muffins from the break room, create mini incentives to help push you to complete the next task at hand. I tend to allow myself to mindlessly google cheap flights or browse Travel Bloggers sites and pictures after completing a task. This helps me break up the day and tackle objectives quicker than if I had all the time in the world (8 hours to be exact) to complete a few tedious tasks.