The deadline for several projects you are working on is looming, and you desperately want to finish your work, but your head is aching and your body feels weak. Sound familiar? Almost everyone can relate to the above scenario because we have all been there at one time or another. There are days when you are swamped with tons of tasks that need to be done, but you are also aware that your body needs rest.
Your initial reaction may be to sacrifice one or the other. Either you listen to your body and ignore the deadline or stretch your strength to the limits as long as you get the work done. Facing the dilemma in one of these ways may work, but can also backfire in the long run. You may think it is too good to be true, but with a few tweaks to your daily habit and routines, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. You can stay productive and meet the deadline without abusing your body. Try the following practical hacks:
Take regular breaks.
Have you been struggling to finish your tasks easily because you’re not taking breaks? It may feel a bit sad to know, but this tactic will not work. In fact, ignoring break times may only slow you down. Taking a break and forgetting about your work for a little while will refresh your mind. After the break, you will likely to be more inspired and ready to tackle the tasks anew
If you need further proof, researchers from the University of Illinois showed in a study that taking quick breaks can greatly enhance focus and performance. So no matter how heavy your workload gets, remember to take a short break once in a while. Allow your mind and body to recharge by taking a short power nap or eat some snacks. If you know that a busy week is coming, you can prepare for it by taking a relaxing getaway just before things get hectic.
Schedule a time for emails.
Email notifications can be useful but can also distract you from the more important tasks. To keep these messages from stealing your attention, you may want to allot a specific time for it. Choose the most convenient time in your day to check and reply to emails and stick to it. You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish if you do not have to stop your work progress just to reply to a message or read an email. A smart idea to ensure that emails will not take up too much of your time is to set a timer for it. Thirty minutes a day will be more than enough to ensure that you do not miss any important messages or reminders.
Drink your way to productivity.
On days when you feel really sluggish and unmotivated, a cup of black coffee can help you get through the day. A research study published in the British Conference of Undergraduate Research showed that drinking coffee before physical exercise results in longer workout hours. You can boost your caffeine fix by drinking black coffee mixed with coconut oil. Many claim that this drink gives tremendous benefits, but others say that it can pose health problems. To be certain, you may want to consult with a physician regarding your coffee intake. If you are not a coffee drinker, tea is an alternative power drink. One study revealed that drinking tea stimulates the mind and help you do your job more efficiently.
With coffee and tea on this list, it seems obvious that staying hydrated is essential to staying productive. So aside from the drinks mentioned, do not forget to drink enough water. Research done by the University of East London proved that water intake can increase brain activity up to 14%. Next time you feel a need for something to perk you up, a glass of water may be all you need. It is generally readily available and safe for all.
Stand, walk or stretch.
Sitting too long working on a task is likely to lead to health problems and can contribute to poor work performance. Throughout the day, take time to engage in a brief physical activity. This suggestion is tied into the idea of taking a break, because it implies finding opportunities to have time away from your desk. You can allot a few minutes to stand and stretch your muscles. Or have lunch at a nearby restaurant. Walking to the restaurant and a bit of change in the surroundings can leave you more inspired to work.
Aside from the four tips featured here, there are many other ways to stay competent and productive even when the workload starts to get overwhelming. Panicking and worrying will not help and may further slow you down. So stay calm amidst a pile of tasks. With a few tricks here and there, you can finish them all in a cinch!