Battling fatigue can be tough. There are times you would rather give in to and let your body get some much needed rest. This can be difficult to justify or do especially when you are an entrepreneur because you are the business and there are always things to be done. You need a solution, and you need one quickly so that you can re-energize and remain productive even when the long hours of the day are starting to weigh heavily on you.
The following 9 tips will help you overcome fatigue levels and have you staying productive.
1) Make a list of what you must do and pick the most important task first.
The problem that most people have is trying to do 20 tasks in one day, instead of prioritizing the tasks by their level of importance. Your most challenging task needs to be reserved for when you are alert and clear-headed during the start of the day. This allows you to move towards easier tasks that do not require that much brainwork for completion as you near the end of the day. This also prevents your mind from being strained with trying to operate at 100% capacity at 6pm.
In addition, do not make the mistake of multi-tasking. Juggling multiple tasks is already hard enough to do when you are fully alert, but can be almost impossible to do when your mind is tired. Doing so will only further exhaust your brain and lead to you crashing sooner. Focus on one task at a time so that each can be completed with your full attention. This reduces the chances of mistakes being made and the quality of your work being affected.
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2) Take a 5 minute break every hour
It can be tempting to want to continue working through your fatigue because you have deadlines to meet. This may seem like the right action to take but it is actually damaging your quality of work. Although you are getting the work done, you might not be aware of the poor quality of work that you are producing. This makes you look unprofessional even though your intent is to be fully professional by doing what is required of you.
It is acceptable to take breaks in between your work. These do not have to be 30 minute breaks; 5 minute breaks will work just fine. You should take these breaks every hour so that you give your brain a brief moment to rest. This allows you to recharge and maintain the ability to focus on the task at hand without interfering with your productivity.
3) Turn off email and phone notifications
Your phone is a distraction that can greatly disrupt your ability to be productive. Intentions of responding to a text or checking your Facebook feed can lead to you easily spending an hour on your phone. Your phone is a time suck that needs to be put away so that you can focus on your work and not entertain distractions.
Schedule time to check your phone, instead of continually checking it whenever an alert notification goes off. Put your phone on silent and have it out of sight. You can choose to check it every hour and only reply to messages that require an urgent response. Matters that are less important can be attended to when you are completely done with your work.
4) Enjoy the benefits of stretching
Your body will eventually get tired from sitting in the same position for many hours. This can affect your ability to work as you become fixated on the stiffness of your joints and muscles; work progress might be slowed down since you are battling discomfort, fatigue, and the demands of completing your work.
You will need to frequently stretch in between your work so that your body does not stiffen. The benefits of stretching include more oxygen flowing to your brain, thus giving you a boost of energy.
5) Drink coffee
Staring at a computer screen for hours can leave you feeling tired. This can either result in you nodding off, or staring at the screen straining to think. This happens because your brain is drained and needs a stimulant to reawaken its activity.
Coffee can act as a great stimulant when your brain needs to be switched back into productivity mode. Drinking coffee can increase cognitive function and help you operate optimally for several more hours — helping you meet those important deadlines.
6) Work from a different location
Working from the same location for hours can affect your productivity levels because you tend to get too comfortable with the environment around you. This could lead to you slacking off by browsing the Internet, taking numerous breaks, and forgetting that your goal is to get the work you have in front of you done.
When you feel like your concentration is starting to slip, try relocating to a new setting. A new setting will increase concentration and creativity levels because you are not used to what is around you. It especially helps to visit a location such as a coffee shop or co-working space. When you see others busy with work, the competitiveness and inspiration kicks in and you will want to emulate their behavior.
7) Work while standing up
Sitting for long periods of time can get uncomfortable – you tend to fidget a lot and lose your ability to concentrate. When this occurs, you will want to walk away from your desk to move around, but will probably remain away from it longer than expected. This could result in time wasted and you would have to sit at your desk longer to complete your now-delayed tasks.
It is in your best benefit to stand up while working to keep your productivity levels going for a longer period of time. Standing while working increases brain power and burns more calories during the day. It has also been proven to reduce back and neck pain.
8) Listen to music
Concentrating on your work for a long period of time can get boring, which makes you crave entertainment. You will begin to browse social media, YouTube, and other entertainment sources to relieve the monotony that your brain is dealing with. While this helps in the short-term, it can result in a great distraction and delay the completion of your work.
You can prevent this from happening by listening to music that helps increase your work performance. When working on repetitive tasks, music can help you perform faster and make fewer errors. This happens because listening to the music you like triggers the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, which helps you feel relaxed, happy, and therefore focus better. While you are listening to music, you will not notice the hours going by because you are actually enjoying the work process.
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9) Work by a window
It is difficult to remain productive when you feel like you are working in a prison. Being surrounded by nothing but walls and artificial light can make you feel trapped and even depressed. This causes you to want to escape your surroundings, which means you abandoning your work.
It is best to work by a window so that you can benefit from being within natural sunlight. Open the windows, breathe in fresh air, and listen to the sounds of nature while you work. This helps your mind become more relaxed and boosts your productivity levels.
Entrepreneurship is a grind and every minute counts. These 9 tips will help you remain productive every waking moment even when you are feeling fatigued.
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