Mint Editor’s Choice: How to Work Smarter
You know that moment when you’re sitting in front of your computer trying to work and the blank page is just staring back at you? As much as you try to start working, nothing is happening. If you are anything like me, at this moment you will sigh and grab your phone to gather “inspiration”. Just a quick look at Twitter or a peek at Instagram to see if anyone responded to your funny story, and while you’re at it, you might as well go to Facebook! Perhaps you should grab that bag of chips that will give you the “push” you need to start typing.
Two hours later, the blank page is still staring back at you and now you’ve had two bags of chips. This happened to me more than I would like to admit in the new year, and I decided I needed to find a way to become productive. I knew that if I did not improve the way I worked, I would have a lot of unproductive days in the future. So here are a few things I did this past month to uptick my productivity:
Quit Social Media: This was a big decision for me. Social media was the main distraction in my life. I knew that if I wanted to see immediate changes in my work habits I needed to cut the apps out. Now I know this may not work for everyone, especially if you have over 15,000 followers and you’re an influencer. But, I think everyone in their own way can take a break from their phone. It doesn’t have to be a 30 day cleanse like myself, but it can be five hours in the day that you block the apps, or take one day off. Everyone needs a bit of time to be in the present moment. Since quitting social media, my productivity skyrocketed, my sleep cycle improved, and I find myself enjoying not knowing what everyone is doing or thinking at every moment of the day!
Set A Routine: They say the most successful and interesting people are boring, because they do the same things. Wake up at the same time, workout at the same time, eat similar things, and set habits that ensure they work. I attempted this and the results were stunning, I wake up at the same time everyday, so much that I no longer need an alarm! I eat a variation of the same healthy four meals throughout the week and I force myself to never work in my bed, no matter how comfortable it is. Not only am I working at an impressive rate, I feel physically healthy! But while I may be boring throughout the week, I still allow spontaneity in my life during the weekends, because everyone needs to break routine here and there!
Read and Listen to Podcasts: Since I quit social media, information does not come easily, so in order to know what is going on in the world, I have to seek information out. I make sure to read the New York Times everyday and listen to my favorite podcasts (The Daily and Hidden Brain are great!). This is a great way to stay informed about the world, but it also inspires me to work and create because there are so many causes to be passionate about. Another thing that shocked me about doing this productivity challenge, was that I found more time to read books! I’m a book nerd and always read a lot no matter what, but without any distractions, I’m flying through books! I just finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara in a week and it was 800 pages!
Go Outside: As much as I want to work better and create more, I realized very early on that I needed to make time to go outside.
It’s important to turn off the work every now and again. If I sit in front of my computer or phone and work all day, I will burn out quickly, so if I can go outside and take a walk, go on an outing, or meet a friend, I do it. The work will still be there when you return, so take a few moments and shut off the computer!
These are just a few things I did to work better and smarter and I will definitely incorporate of lot of these tips into my long term habits. Sometimes you just need to set a reset button. Hopefully these tips improve your work habits as well!