• 3-minute read
  • 8th July 2014

Getting Work Done: How to Increase Productivity and Stop Procrastinating!

Sometimes you need to write an essay, but find yourself getting distracted before you’ve even begun! Truly, we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to meeting the targets we set for ourselves, but there are some simple ways to stop procrastinating and increase productivity.

Recognise When You Work Best

Night owls are more able to concentrate in the evenings, while early risers get their best work done first thing in the morning. And sometimes we need to work around these patterns. Try scheduling work time for when you know you will be able to focus. This will improve the quality of work you get done in the time available.

Take Breaks

Studies have shown that the average attention span is around forty minutes. After this, our ability to focus on the task in hand decreases. Take a short break when you start to notice your mind wandering, especially if you are re-reading sentences without taking in their meaning!

If possible, use your break productively. This could be as simple as doing the washing up, but you could also get some exercise during you break or meet a friend for coffee. This will help take your mind off your work, yet means you’re not sitting around doing nothing.

Stay Hydrated

Ensuring that you are well hydrated can improve your ability to concentrate. By the time you feel thirsty, your cognitive function may have decreased by up to 10%. It is also important that you eat well. Don’t forget to look after yourself during intense periods of work, as stress will significantly decrease your productivity.

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Create the Ideal Surroundings

You should work somewhere calm and uncluttered. Make sure you sit in a position at your computer that allows you to type in comfort.

If background noise distracts you, find a quiet room in a library. If you enjoy listening to music while you work, it might be better to go for something instrumental, as this will be less distracting.

Stop Procrastinating!

If you don’t have the willpower to resist browsing the internet when you’re supposed to be writing, install a computer programme which stops you from accessing certain websites. Such programmes allow you to input a website ‘blacklist’ and a timer. And this will help you avoid Facebook/Twitter/Buzzfeed breaks while you’re working!

Treat Yourself

Finally, make sure that you have things to look forward to either at the end of the work day or the week. A dinner with friends or a weekend trip provides motivation to meet the targets you have set for yourself.

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