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Five Easy Ways to Increase Productivity

Do you have a lot on your plate this week? Make the most of your day with the help of these five doable habits:

Stop Multitasking: Even if you hear people raving about how good they are at multitasking, don’t do it! Studies have shown that a “switching effect” occurs when people go back and forth between tasks. Switching effect means residue of the previous task stays in the brain, preventing you from fully focusing on the task at hand. Make a point of doing one task wholly and completely before you move onto the next task. Keep your phone out of sight for set periods of time while working. Unfortunately, a brief glance at your phone is all it takes to disrupt your focus!

Take More Breaks: Sitting or standing in any one place is bad for circulation, and thus bad for your brain function. Improve your ability to focus and problem solve by giving yourself adequate time to breathe and break away, even briefly, throughout the day. “Pushing through” is more likely to lead to headaches, fatigue, and a poor mood.

Create a System: Once you find a way to tackle a problem quickly and efficiently, stick with it. Structure enables people to find a healthy flow and avoid the risks of important tasks falling through the cracks. Stay organized as much as possible with the help of calendars, charts, and other appropriate programs.

Shorten Your To-do List: While this may seem counter-productive, if your to-do list is too long, you are setting yourself up for frustration, not success. Having multiple items roll over each day from your to-do list puts pressure on you and encourages self-disappointment, whether you are aware of it or not. Be realistic each day with your to-do list to keep yourself mentally clear and as productive as possible on a daily basis.

Mornings Are for You: Studies show the way you start the day has a major impact on your overall productivity. Use your morning to get centered. Gain a sense of what you need to do for the day and prepare as needed. Give yourself time to eat well and exercise, if possible. Even waking up fifteen minutes earlier can make a big difference!

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