If you aren’t being productive then it isn’t likely that you’ll want to go out of your way to give yourself a boost in the right direction. Often the best approach to getting yourself up and running again is to alter your normal routine with changes which are small but mighty, and you’ll be surprised what a difference they actually make.

Excessively topping up your coffee cup or writing lists until they are piling up so high you can no longer see your desk may provide you with a short term cathartic release but aren’t realistically going to bring you any closer to your goal.

Instead, try taking the “lazy” approach. You might find it hard to believe that combining “lazy” and “productive” equates to anything of measure, but try these tips and see if you can squeeze more out of your day.

Stop multitasking

You might think that you can do several things at once, but stop trying to do too much in too little time.  By giving one task your entire focus you will find that it is easier to take things to completion, and most likely, produced to a higher quality.  Juggling balls may make you feel like you are ticking off more boxes, but the reality is that you are dragging urgencies out longer than you should.

Tweak your temperature

Where you are working can influence your outlook for the day ahead. Comfort is extremely important when it comes to being productive, particularly the temperature. A room too cold and you won’t feel motivated, a room too warm and you may start to get drowsy. A study by Cornell University has shown when temperatures were low (68 degrees or 20 degrees Celsius) employees made 44% more mistakes than at optimal room temperature (77 degrees or 25 degrees Celsius). So put on a jumper or turn up the heating.

Switch your lighting

Like the temperature of your room, lighting can easily change how you feel. Exposure to daylight is linked to greater levels of productivity, so get close to a window if you can. Getting up earlier may not make you any more productive, but having the extra time in contact with the sun might. Glare from computers and artificial lighting can be hard on your eyes, so take a break if this is affecting you.

Indulge in “me” time

Speaking of breaks… regular ones are good for you, so take them. Once you are recharged you should be able to work more effectively. If you feel like your brain is hurting, it probably is. Go for a walk, have a snack or do a quick blast of exercise. Mixing your work and personal emails throughout the day is also a distraction. So start or finish your day with time solely dedicated to your personal matters to eliminate this.

And if all else fails…

Who doesn’t like looking at baby animals?! Research has shown that it is actually helpful it terms of productivity levels- Hiroshima University in Japan found that looking at cute images aids concentration. So the next time you want an extra helping hand to push things forward, a pair of furry paws may do the job just as well.

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