Feature Image by Brooke Cagle

It would be nice if you woke up energized and ready to conquer your to-do list every day. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially when the days feel daunting and the hours are dragging on.

Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to increase your productivity. Here are five hacks for those never-ending workdays.

Create a good work environment
“Create an environment that keeps you focused, motivated, and free of unnecessary distractions,” says career coach Deena Baikowitz. Consider if you’re more productive in a quiet, empty space or in a busy office or coffee shop. Find music that keeps you on track, keep your desk organized, or even consider surrounding yourself with motivational quotes, inspirational images, or other items that encourage you to keep hustling. “Your environment should support how you feel, what you think, and how you behave to accomplish your goals,” says Baikowitz.

Time chunk your work
“Our brains work in two ways,” says business coach Liz Tran. “Slow thinking, which is effortful, logical, and conscious, and fast thinking, which is automatic, frequent, and unconscious. We get tired when we have to switch back and forth between these two systems. Time chunk your day to work on ‘slow work’ (writing, strategy, design, presentations) for 90 minutes, and then ‘fast work’ (emails, Slack messages, and scheduling) for 60 minutes. Log out of your email while you’re working on slow projects.”

Tune out
Distractions are our worst enemy when it comes to productivity, so do your best to get rid of them. “Turn off every app, site, speaker, device, and distraction that might keep you from accomplishing your tasks,” says Baikowitz. Depending on your tasks and workplace, you can set your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” set an “Out of Office” email for the day, or shut your door for periods of time to avoid interruptions.

Take breaks
It’s tempting to want to power through your work without stopping, but allowing yourself a break can let your brain recharge. One way to do this is to socialize. “The quickest way for me to get my energy up is to have a lighthearted conversation with a coworker,” says Tran. “Socializing at work may seem counterproductive to efficiency, but states of joy allow our prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and complex cognitive function, to operate better.”

Stay nourished
Don’t skip out on meals just because you’re too busy. “Dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue. So on busy days, I make sure I’m drinking an entire 20-ounce water bottle every hour,” says Tran. “I also take conscious breaks to snack, focusing on snacks that take at least five minutes to prepare (like making avocado toast or cutting up fruit for my granola bowl).”

xx, The FabFitFun Team

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