These productivity slumps happen to even the most ambitious and disciplined. As it turns out, research shows that although our willpower reserves are finite, they tend to decrease over the course of our day.
Here are some hacks to get you through your 9-5:
- Allow yourself a few distractions – if your body is signalling that you need a break, you probably do. Studies show that brief distractions can actually increase concentration such as a walk outside, reading a good book or grabbing a coffee to reset your body and brain. If you’re lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, sneak in a power nap – The National Sleep Foundation recommends twenty-minute naps to improve alertness.
- Tune into the right sounds – pause your usual mix and cue up some calming melodies. Of all musical genres, ambient music is the least distracting and most likely to enhance your creative performance. Gentle music can actually boost productivity by prompting clear thinking.
- Move desks (temporarily) – a simple change in setting can jolt you out of your distracted rut. Sit at a different desk, find a room on another floor or set-up shop at a nearby coffee shop. Physical places trigger different emotional and mental responses based on environmental conditions – lighting, noise and temperature to name a few.