1. Complete one task right away
Try starting in on your hardest task first thing in the morning when your energy level is at its highest.
As Mark Twain suggested: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
You don’t literally have to eat a live frog every morning, the point is that if you get your most dreaded task out of the way early, you’ll have more energy to face the rest of your day.
It’s been proven that by complete tasks you’re more capable to complete more tasks, turning you into a task killing machine.
When you finish a task, your brain gets a rush of dopamine (the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation and perseverance), which gives you more motivation to complete the next task.
Neurologist Judy Willis recommends breaking large tasks down into smaller pieces, with a process she calls incremental goals.
With this method you get more frequent rushes of dopamine, essentially re-wiring your brain to become more motivated in the long run.
As Judy Willis says:
“As you meet your incremental goals and have repeated experiences of dopamine-reward, you will literally change your brain's circuitry.”
2. Keep a Positive Mindset
Guess what simple hack can give you the following:
- 3x the creativity
- 31% increase in productivity
- 23% fewer fatigue symptoms and
- 40% more likely to get a promotion?
The title may have been a giveaway, but you’re right, the answer is a positive mindset.
Research shows that your brain works better at a positive level than stressed or even neutral.
Happiness researcher Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage, suggests cultivating two minute habits -- simple habits like deep breathing, practicing gratitude, conscious acts of kindness, etc.
As Shawn says,
“Happiness is such an incredible advantage in our life. When the human brain is positive, our intelligence rises, we stop diverting resources to think about anxiety. Our creativity triples. Productive energy rises by 31 percent. The likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent. These figures are all from studies we’ve done in places like Nationwide Insurance, UPS, KPMG.”
3. Eat breakfast
We’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps you more successfully lose excess weight, is better for your health, etc.
But did you know that your brain also needs breakfast to operate at it’s highest level of productivity?
The USDA found that kids who ate breakfast before trying a difficult math problem were more successful than the kids that skipped breakfast.
Another study found that kids who ate breakfast scored 17.5% higher in math than the kids who skipped breakfast.
It’s not just kids whose minds benefit from eating in the morning, adults who eat breakfast are proven to be more productive, with better concentration and higher creativity than those who didn’t eat breakfast.
4. Set goals
When you take a few minutes to write down your tasks for the day, it helps you stay more focused on completing them, than simply keeping them in your head.
Most people don’t realize they’re wasting time until it’s too late. By having a set schedule you’ll be less likely to get sidetracked between tasks.
It’s worth mentioning that it might be useful to also keep a stop doing list. Get rid of the tasks that aren’t important and prioritize.
Don’t let the smaller, inconsequential tasks sap your energy before you’ve tackled the important stuff.
Even if you take time out of your work day to exercise, you’ll still get more work done in less time. It’s that effective.
Jim McKenna, professor of physical activity and health at Leeds Metropolitan University , authored a study of 200 workers and the effects of exercise on their work.
The research found that when workers participated in 30-60 minutes of exercise (usually during their lunch hour), 6 out of 10 reported improvement in their ability to meet deadlines, time management skills, and in their general mental performance.
Exercise also helped them avoid the post lunch energy dip, improved their mood, and gave them extra energy to finish up their day on a productive note.
Have any hacks of your own?
Share them below in the comments.
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