• Shifali Gupta

8 tips for better productivity and achieving a state of flow at workplace!

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

The real meaning of productivity lies not only in getting ‘more things’ done, it is getting them done effortlessly. I believe that in order to be actually productive, it is imperative to get into that flow state, (brilliantly described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his work 'Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience'), where everything seems to be easy and automatic. This ensures that by end of the day, you not only get things done, but have plenty of time for following life's other exciting pursuits.

Here are some of my favorite productivity hacks, that will help you get the most out of your day:

1) Have a morning routine: How you begin each day, decides the quality of rest of your day. We are at our creative best in the first few hours of the day. So, make sure, you don’t end up scrolling through your phone or thinking about your life problems, first thing in the morning. Create your own rituals around a perfect morning and follow them every single day.

2) Be focused: In order to get the most out of your time, set aside a time period in your day, in which you would like to get a specific work done. During that time, be mindful to focus only on the activity you are performing. Your level of focus makes all the difference in both the quality and quantity of the work, you'll be able to deliver. Keep away your phone or anything else, which can be a source of distraction.

3) De-clutter your environment: You might be having a workspace, teeming with your favorite photo frames and artifacts, that creates a sense of belonging and makes you feel like home. However, research has shown that, if you have lesser objects in your visual field , your brain has more processing ‘space’ and can perform better at the task-at-hand.

4) Drink water: Our brains are 75% water, so, a dehydrated brain can not only make you less efficient, but also results in scattered thinking. It’s a good practice to keep a glass of water beside you while you are working, to ensure continuous hydration for your body and brain.

5) Set timely goals: Remember how during an examination, your productivity is heightened because you are bound by time, and that makes you think faster and perform better. Imagine having an exam that lasts for an entire day. Wouldn’t you be tempted to go slow, take breaks and spend your entire day on it? Before beginning a task, always anticipate the time required by it based on its level of difficulty. And then, aim for the completion before the anticipated time. You'll be surprised how this habit will let you accomplish the most colossal tasks on / before time.

6) Take timely breaks: Research suggests that you can keep focused attention on a task for a maximum of 30-45 minutes. After this period, your performance begins to deteriorate, and you end up spending more time on a task, than you should be. Therefore, it is very crucial to take timely breaks, in order to ‘refresh’ your brain for optimal performance.

7) Break it down: Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to even get started on that 'big and important' thing, just because you expect it to be a time and energy consuming monster. If you have one humongous task to do, break it down into smaller and simpler steps. Now, set timely goals on each 'baby step' you need to take, in order to get done with the bigger job at hand.

8) Do harder things in the morning: You have a big to-do list in front of you. Some of these things may be easy, but there are always certain tasks you avoid or tend to procrastinate. I believe it’s always better to do the tasks you dread the most, first thing in the morning. What this approach does is that it takes your mind off 'the despicable things', creates space in your mind for other priorities and makes you feel accomplished in the few first hours of the day.

By using these hacks, you are sure to be on the road to peak performance, heightened creativity and living a more-fulfilling day.

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