Without giving up fun stuff like chatting, social media, and your will to live.
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Fun fact: No one is 100% flawlessly productive all the time.
Becoming more productive is not unlike getting in shape, says productivity expert Julia Roy, host of the podcast How We Work Now: You never really reach a point at which you say “I'm in shape now; time to stop exercising/getting enough sleep/going to the doctor!”
So don't look at productivity as one more goal to cross off your to-do list. Instead, think of it as an ongoing process that you can get better at over time. “We're always seeking that balance where we get the work done, still have a life, and are happy with what we're able to accomplish,” she tells BuzzFeed Health.
With that in mind, know that the tips here may or may not fit with your schedule or the culture at your job. That's OK; the idea is to take what might work for you, see how it might help you get shit done, and leave the rest.
Determine which parts of your schedule you can actually take control of.
“People really underestimate how much power they have over their schedules, and how much the way they behave trains others to have certain expectations,” productivity expert Jocelyn Glei, author of Unsubscribe, tells BuzzFeed Health.
Sure, most jobs make at least some demands on your time that are outside your control. But Glei suggests trying to find all the parts of your day you actually can control.
For example, do you deal with your email as it comes in because all the email you get requires urgent responses, or because you got in the habit of replying really quickly and now it's just how you work? Same thing with meetings — are you letting people schedule meetings with you whenever because your job requires you to be available 100% of the time? Or would it be mostly possible to not schedule or attend meetings till the afternoon? Once you know, you can start to hack your schedule.
Instagram: @sbuxchris / Via instagram.com
Use the morning for any work that requires deep focus.
Although there's some variation based on your sleep schedule and whether you're a hardcore morning person vs. a night owl, for the most part, adults tend to feel sleepiest between 1 and 3 p.m., thanks to our bodies' circadian rhythms, which regulate our alertness and drowsiness throughout the day.
Knowing that, go ahead and use the morning to deal with work that requires intense concentration. “The general rule is that it’s good to do deep attention work in the morning and then do busy work or the less challenging work in the afternoon,” Glei says.
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