Speed Up Your Workday: 12 Tips for a More Productive You
Ever noticed how time zips by when you’re having a blast, but when you’re at work, it seems to slow to a snail’s pace? It’s like the clock conspires against you, making those minutes drag on endlessly. And if you have something exciting planned after work, forget about it – time seems to taunt you, playing tricks with your patience.
But hold on, what if you could find a way to make time at work feel more like time off? While you can’t manipulate the clock’s ticking, we have some practical tricks to help you change your perception of time.
So get ready to boost your productivity with 12 practical tips to speed up your workday and become productive.
How To Make Time Go Faster?
Use time tracker
Keeping track of your time using a time tracker can make you feel like time is flying by. Seeing how much time has passed gives you a sense of progress and urgency, making time seem to speed up.
For instance, imagine you’re working on a project, and you check the time tracker – seeing that you’ve already put in a good chunk of time can motivate you to keep going and make the day feel shorter.
Learn the art of focus
Focus is about giving your full attention to what you’re doing without distractions from the outside world or your thoughts. Time flies by when you’re fully immersed in deep, focused work because you’re so engaged in the task. It might seem like focusing is hard for some people, but it’s a skill that can be improved.
Dr. Andrew Huberman suggests deliberate exercises like expanding your peripheral vision, meditating in short sessions, using a fidget spinner for self-stimulation, and consciously blinking to reset your perception of time.
Avoid constantly checking the clock
Watching the clock always won’t make the minutes pass any faster. We often become fixated on time, especially when eagerly waiting for the end of the workday. But constantly checking the time only makes it feel like time has reached a standstill.
To break free from this time-watching trap, try to find ways to block out those distractions. You can cover a corner of your computer screen, put away your phone, take off your watch, or even discreetly disable the office clock.
When you focus on your tasks and not the time, you’ll find that your day moves along more smoothly and effortlessly.
Stay on track with a to-do list
Your to-do list is like a roadmap for your day, guiding you through tasks and reducing those moments of aimless wandering, wondering what to do next. It may seem like a simple piece of paper, but it holds tremendous power in managing your tasks easily.
When you jot down your tasks, don’t shy away from adding some challenges. These ambitious tasks will demand full focus and liberate you from time-watching worries. It will also leave you with incredible accomplishments once you conquer them.
Embrace deep work for maximum productivity
Modern-day people are caught in the web of distractions – multitasking like there’s no tomorrow, attending to emails, phone calls, and endless chat messages. But the truth is multitasking is the enemy of productivity. It results in unfulfilling, exhausting, and inefficient work.
Now, let’s flip the script. Enter deep work – the opposite of scattered attention. You pour your undivided focus into a single task, shutting out all distractions. This is where real productivity happens. Deep work boosts your productivity, enhances the quality of your work, and sparks creative genius. And the best part? Time whizzes by when you’re in this zone of intense concentration.
Divide and Conquer with Time Blocks
Instead of getting overwhelmed by thinking about the entire day ahead, break it down into easily manageable chunks. Assign specific time blocks to each task you need to accomplish. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what’s coming next, making time appear to pass faster.
For example, rather than stressing about the entire day, segment it into smaller tasks you can tackle in bite-sized intervals, say 20 minutes each. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how swiftly the day passes when you have a well-organized schedule.
Tackle the tough stuff first
Ever heard the saying, “A man should swallow a toad every morning so that he might meet with nothing more disgusting during the rest of the day”? That phrase gave birth to a productivity gem called Eating the Frog. It means you must face your most intimidating tasks head-on right from the start.
Science tells us that procrastination often goes hand in hand with a present-oriented mindset – where immediate gains take priority over structured and purposeful time. But when you embrace Eating the Frog, you become future-oriented.
You delay gratification to feel better later. By putting off those unpleasant tasks, you end up carrying around anxiety and guilt all day, making time drag as you constantly keep an eye on the clock. But if you gobble up that frog of a task first thing, you’ll feel liberated to tackle the rest of your day.
Socialize and share your work
Yes, work is important, but enjoying the company of your colleagues can be just as essential. Those little office chit-chats and banter sessions might seem unproductive, but they are crucial in building and creating a positive work environment.
If possible, team up with a colleague to work on something together – you’ll get the job done and have a good time doing it. Even if you’re fully remote, you can still hop on a call or chat with your flatmate, significant other, or even your adorable pet for a few minutes every hour or two. It’s a perfect way to keep yourself motivated and energized throughout the day.
Embrace the “Do Not Disturb” Mode
The notifications are always tempting! It’s a constant stream of updates, messages, social media buzz, and an ultimate time-sucker. But you must resist the urge to scroll away your minutes to make time zoom by faster at work.
Activate the “do not disturb” mode to stay focused and on track:
- Silence your mobile phone and smartwatch.
- Turn off notifications on messaging apps and use asynchronous communication tools.
- Shut down email, social media, and video streaming tabs in your browser.
- Disable push notifications from news and social websites.
Now, you’ll have entered the productive state of deep work, and before you know it, the day will be over, leaving you free to enjoy those cute puppy videos guilt-free.
Add background entertainment
Spice up your workday with pleasant background tunes or a mildly exciting podcast. It’s like having a delightful companion to keep you entertained while you conquer your tasks and trust me, time will start moving faster.
But here’s a warning: steer clear of anything too hilarious or catchy. You don’t want to end up giggling all day or belting out songs instead of getting your work done.
When it comes to the perfect music choice, classical tunes are a go-to for enhancing focus and brain power – as long as you enjoy them. Another excellent option is video game soundtracks, specially crafted to keep you concentrated without being intrusive.
Reward yourself for a productive day
Do you know how gold stars and pats on the back motivate you to excel? Well, the same goes for grown-ups. Setting goals for yourself and rewarding your achievements can be a great incentive to stay focused and keep your productivity soaring until it’s time to call it a day.
And guess what? It’ll make time fly even faster. It can be a little treat, a short break, or simply basking in the satisfaction of a well-done job. Each reward will keep you motivated and your workday more enjoyable.
Surround yourself with blue
Here’s an intriguing little fact from BBC Earth Lab – the color of light around you can influence how you perceive time. Red light can cause anxiety, slowing down your time perception, while blue light has a calming effect, making time feel like it’s passing faster.
An experiment with 150 volunteers found that being in a blue-lit room made a minute feel 11 seconds shorter on average. So, if we apply some quick math to an 8-hour workday, that’s a whopping 1.46 hours saved. Time to consider investing in some blue light bulbs for the office.
All in All : Speed Up Your Workday
Let’s face it – there’s no such thing as a perfect job. You’ve probably wished you could magically speed up time at some point in your working life.
And here’s the ultimate golden nugget of advice: steer clear of clock-watching. When you shift your focus away from constantly checking the time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly time lingers.
So, take these tips to heart, put them into practice, and start your workday with increased productivity.
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