Highly productive individuals often have habits that contribute to their productivity, and many of them point to a clear mind, which allows them to heighten their focus. If you’re interested in getting more done during the day, consider the following habits:
Do something you love. It may seem counterintuitive, but stopping your work to do something you adore can actually make you more productive. Take 15 minutes to play with your pets or kids or do a crossword puzzle. Grab coffee with a friend. Take an afternoon off to see a movie or go to an art exhibit. Freeing your mind from the struggle of daily work will clear space to focus later on.
Get outside. Fresh air (and, if you’re interested, exercise) can improve your mood and your focus. Take a break from work to go for a stroll, read a book on a bench or take a hike with your dog or your family.
Meditate. Those with a meditation practice have long touted its benefits on focus and overall productivity, so if you find mediation appealing, it may be time to start. If you’re not interested in meditating, you can still glean some of its benefits by taking five minutes to focus on deep breathing exercises. Try it before you start your work, or take a break in the middle of the day.
Be creative. You don’t have to be artistically gifted to reap the benefits of creativity. Allowing yourself space to try something creative can improve your mood, overall well-being, problem-solving and ability to focus. Of course, not all creativity has to be time-consuming or strenuous, like writing a novel. Puzzles are creative, as are coloring books, poetry or simple sketches.
Stretch. Similar to meditation, taking a five- to 10-minute stretch break during the day can reground you, make room for heightened focus, improve circulation and build flexibility and strength. You’ll return to your work with a clear mind, and a looser body.