4 Tiny Productivity Hacks That Make A Big Difference
Do you ever feel like your days are starting to blur together? You go to the same places, eat the same foods, and feel like your life is a hamster wheel.
But did you know that repetition isn't just boring — it can affect your productivity, too? It gets harder and harder to come up with new ideas or think creatively when you’re reinforcing the same habits and choices over and over.
If you feel like you're stuck in a monotonous pattern, here are a few ways to shake up your daily routine and boost your creativity without overhauling your life:
1. The habit: sitting at the same desk in the same office in the same building all day every day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year.
It’s difficult to be inspired when you’re staring at the same wall for ... ever.
The fix: Change your surroundings — a bit.
Trying to come up with ideas for a project? Why not have your brainstorm outside? Have to do work online? Try a coffee shop for a few hours, or take a lunch break outdoors if you're stuck with a desktop. Exposing yourself to nature actually improves your concentration.
2. The habit: checking your phone every minute or five.
When you're stressed, you might think the answer is to not stop for breaks and power through, but that tends to make us feel more stressed, and that actually means we're less productive.
The fix: Create a no-cellphone zone.
Any time I take a walk (even if it's just my walk to the subway in the morning), I put down my cellphone and enjoy my surroundings. I learned this from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Really take in the sounds, the smells, and the colors around you. Just taking a few minutes to unplug and engage in the world around you is empowering and inspirational. It doesn’t have to be a long break, but just get into the habit of giving yourself one.
3. The habit: skipping networking events.
Meeting new people can be stressful, but when we stay in our own little bubble our ideas can become stagnant.
The fix: Do something nice for someone else.
A great way to reach out to people is by helping others. Simple acts of kindness can really boost your mood and get you out of a funk. Doing nice things for other people can lead to a significant increase in positive feelings and relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance.
4. The habit: avoiding change.
I'm definitely a creature of habit, but I've learned from experience the value of actively seeking inspiration.
The fix: Make a habit of consuming and experiencing that which inspires you.
For example, you could keep a gratitude or goals journal or create a Pinterest board of inspiring quotes. Depending on where you live, there are sure to be myriad options for cultural enrichment nearby. Take advantage! The world is full of so much beauty, not a day should pass when you don't feel inspired.