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With so many distractions in and around us – social media, events, dreaded deadlines as well as working styles and habits, we sometimes find it difficult to concentrate and “get the job done”, especially if we’re desk-bound.
We all know what it’s like after a few hours of desk-time and how our efficiency takes a serious nosedive. Here are a few (non-conventional) ways to help increase your productivity:
Look at absurdly cute animals
Who ever knew looking at pictures of uber cute little kitties and puppies would actually help you concentrate better? Researchers at the Hiroshima University in Japan actually proved that it really does the trick!
Two groups of participants were to play a game. One group was exposed to images of puppies and kittens before playing and the other group was not.
They found that the group that watched the cute images performed the tasks in the game more accurately. The next time you find yourself unable to concentrate, perhaps watch some videos of little fur-balls and see if it helps!
Narrate your to-do list
Rather than just listing down all the things you need to do for the day in good, old-fashioned bullet points, try visualizing and mapping out your to-dos into a story instead.
This method will not only motivate you toward finishing the tasks at hand but the technique could also help you remember the tasks, and plan your day better.
If you’re one who finds it impossible just sitting down in front of your computer all day, moving around or desk-hoping could be a life saver. If you work flexible hours or do not need to be confined in a workstation, you could even try moving cafe to cafe.
The idea is that you complete chunks of your work in a given place and plan your next action so by the time you arrive to your next location, you already know what to do next. This method is especially effective if you’re trying to break huge tasks into small, doable pieces.
Call it fooling your brain but if it works, it works!
Strum a guitar
Playing an instrument is akin to giving your brain a full-body workout as it causes multiple parts of your brain to light up. The next time you’re frazzled and unable to concentrate, just pull up a guitar, or any other instrument accessible to you and play for a few minutes.
Do the things you hate first
It’s the same thing as finishing your least favourite dish on your plate first so you can slowly enjoy the others later. Not everyone likes to tackle their most dreaded tasks first but it’s most effective when done first thing in the morning. Once you get those out of the way, you’d feel more motivated to carry on to other tasks.