My life is a busy one, with lots (of currently very exciting) things going on.
I’m one of those people who has trouble sitting still. My mind is often frantic with plans, projects, ideas and 100 different things on the go. I have little time for rest and I like it this way – we only get one life, we need to fill every day and soak up as much as we can.
As Sophie would say – one life, live it.
Spinning so many plates all the time can sometimes be overwhelming but I’ve been trying to take some time out to really organise and plan my life – at work, in fitness, for this blog and at home.
Forcing my brain to focus on one task at a time has been, shall we say, educational, but doable by, doing some brain training to improve my cognitive flexibility and working memory, courtesy of Weight Watchers’ BrainBoost campaign.
BrainBoost is all about building a stronger, more focused mind to stay productive and make healthy food choices throughout the day, even when that day’s been hectic and you’re tired. You can find out your eating typology and life hacks for healthier eating on the BrainBoost website.
I’ve been practicing my hacks and seen some steady improvements in my general ability to just get shit done recently – I’m focused, more energised and stronger at resisting the urge to procrastinate.
Because, let’s face it – when the internet throws things like this at you, it’s hard not to stop drop and play.
You clicked through and clicked on ‘make it rain’, didn’t you. Yeah you did. 🙂
Anyway, on that note, enough bouncing cats – here are my infinite pearls of wisdom on how to be more productive.
Go forth and produce, my pretties!
1) Pomodoro Chrome Extension
The Pomodoro Technique is basically a lifesaver for me. A time management method that splits work into intervals of 25 minutes productivity with a five minute faff-break for watching important cat videos, making tea, checking Twitter, etc.
The thinking behind it is that short bursts of focus intercepted with regular breaks is better for mental agility, rather than trying to slog it out for hours on end.
I’ve installed the Strict Workflow Chrome extension which blocks social media and other sites I tell it to when in work mode.
You can get a surprising amount of work done if you just focus solidly for 25 minutes. Try it!
2) Get into bed with Google
Like literally in bed. Google is the one. Thank the Lord for its presence.
I honestly don’t know how I’d cope at work without good old Google planning my day out. I create and share documents on Drive, block out timeslots on Google Calendar for tasks and colour code for each client so I can see at a glance what I’m doing that day.
I used to write endless To Do lists on paper but could never go back now that Google Calendar is so engrained into my working day. I also have a colour coded Google doc and spreadsheet for my weekly training schedule and monthly budget. It’s ace.
Download Google Drive and Docs apps and you can access your work whenever and wherever you want.
3) Limit open browser tabs
As I write this I’ve only got six tabs open over two browser windows, which is pretty good for me to be honest.
I used to have so many tabs open I’d spend half my life flicking between them trying to remember what I was doing so now I limit myself to five or six.
Focus on one task at a time and rely on Google Calendar to remind you what’s coming up next.
Don’t keep opening new tabs for stuff you’ll get to later. The likelihood is, you won’t. Just one task at a time and a filled-in Calendar with alerts set up is all you need.
4) Exercise in the morning
— Tess Agnew (@FitBits_) October 13, 2015
This might just be me, but I love an early morning workout. If I get my run, gym session or swim in before work I arrive at my desk energised and full of endorphins, ready to take on the day.
Going to bed early, prepping food and getting kit / work stuff ready the night before is definitely the one. Once the initial disgust at the situation passes, getting up early to workout really is the shiz. Just make sure you take enough food with you (see next point) to work to sustain you ’til lunch – don’t learn the hard way!
I’ve had an unintentional week off from morning workouts after an awesome inaugural Bright10 last Sunday, and whilst it was nice to have a few lie ins and chilled mornings, I’m gagging for a pre-work gym sesh or run.
5) Keep your blood sugar steady
|And the most offensive office-snack award goes to…|
This is something I’m not always that good at but is a work in progress. It’s amazing (and actually pretty simple) how what you eat and drink affects your energy levels and productivity throughout the day.
How many times have you had a big carby lunch or treated yourself to a slice of cake in the office and felt really sleepy in the afternoon?
Or started the day with a sugar fix instead of eggs and got massive cravings or hunger pangs mid morning?
I’m actually quite the connoisseur in offensive office snacking, much to the dismay of my colleagues. On good days, when I’m organised and have packed my food, laid out my kit and made my morning workout, my meals and snacks keep me on a nice level ground until hometime and I’m never really hungry.
On bad days though – it all goes to shit. No one needs to see hangry Tess. No one.
This post is a collaboration with WeightWatchers. Self-confessed addiction to pointless cat websites and tips are my own 🙂
How do you stay productive throughout the day? Any other tips or hacks to share?