There’s not a soul out that there can say they spend 100% of their working hours actually getting work done. It’s all fine and good if you can manage everything, but what about during crunch time? Of course, there are a million different tips to “hack your brain” and increase your productivity floating around, but these are the few that I have put into practice that netted good results.
An easy way to get yourself motivated to start a particularly boring job is to allocate a small amount of time to do it. I’m not talking about planning your whole day, just taking a block of time, say 5 minutes, and devoting that exclusively to work. It’s a lot easier to convince yourself to do something you don’t really want to do if you’ll only do it for a few minutes. And half the time, if you spend those minutes working, you’ll wind up getting a lot more done than you thought.
It’s been covered by publications like Wired, but multitasking is horrible for your productivity. It may make you feel like you’re getting a lot done, but you wind up splashing more than swimming. Set aside time for individual projects, whether you need a few minutes, hours, or even days. If you focus on getting one thing done at a time then your work will be better and you’ll get it done faster than if you try to juggle other things. I prefer to multitask on a ‘Macro’ level not on a ‘Micro’ level, meaning that I will multi-task different projects on a per-day basis (one day dedicated to one project)
Don’t finish your work before you take a break. If you leave a task halfway done, then it’s a lot easier to get back into what you were doing, pre-relaxation. Hemingway supposedly left a sentence unfinished before going to the kitchen to freshen up his drink, letting him immediately pick up where he left off. Your brain wants closure, and if you leave something undone then you’re a lot more likely to get back to it, instead of browsing Reddit when you finish your break.
Schedule Some “Me” Time
I’ve found that I am a lot more productive after I have some time to pursue my own interests. In practice, that means I wake up an hour before I absolutely need to, and spend that time reading up on the news, my terrible stock choices, and maybe some sports, but your leisure activity and time may vary. Doing some low-intensity reading or other activity before working functions like a warm up for the brain, and has helped me stay productive, even in the face of distracting coworkers.