1. Work near home.
Find and book a local space! Cutting out the commute and getting to know workspaces in your community pares down the barriers between you and the location variety that fuels creativity and keeps things fresh.
2. Avoid monotony.
Be flexible. Sometimes taking a break from that intimidating to-do list or stepping out of a strict routine can help you get things done more efficiently. Need a little convincing? Check out these five ways trying to stick to a super-strict routine could be killing your productivity.
3. Be accountable.
Big goals give you a beacon to work toward — but little goals are super important, too. Try setting small, achievable tasks, a.k.a. “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound). Write your tasks down and tick them off when they’re complete. Neurological research shows that even small opportunities for success spur the brain to release dopamine, the chemical responsible for pleasure, learning and motivation. In other words, getting things done begets a desire to get more things done!
4. Take a break.
Get up, stretch, say hello to a friendly face. Research indicates that breaks makes work better, and improve our health, from posture and fitness to mental health.
5. Reward yourself.
Grab that coffee! Take that walk. Pick up your binoculars and watch birds for a few minutes when you get a task done — Or whatever workday treat floats your boat. Remember what we said about dopamine? Especially when you’re managing your own time, forcing yourself to work, work, work with no perks for good performance, milestones hit or tasks well done isn’t going to make your workday better. But self-care is.