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Just say no to meetings

The average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.

Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting.

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Only around 17 % of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. 

Using the right tool can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on daily tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.

Take regular breaks

Taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. 

Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance.

A manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. 

For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. 

If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. 

Completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.

If you absolutely must have a meeting, there's some evidence that standing meetings (everyone stands) can result in increased group arousal, decreased territoriality, and improved group performance.

Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. 

Make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

This goes for any unexpected "bonus" time you may find on your hands.

Instead of Candy-Crushing or Facebooking, use that time to pound out some emails, create your daily to-do list, or do some brainstorming.

It's common for entrepreneurs to get hung up on attempting to perfect a task.

It's better to complete the task and move it off your plate; if need be, you can always come back and adjust or improve it later.

Take exercise breaks

Using work time to exercise may actually help improve productivity.

If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym.

Set aside time for responding to emails, but don't let them determine what your day is going to look like.

Have a plan of attack at the start of each day, and then do your best to stick to it.

Turn off notifications

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. 

During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead, build in time to check email and messages. 

Researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. 

They also found that top-performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day

Look at something nice

Outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements--like plants--can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. 

Jazz up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.

Brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. 

Minimizing interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door closed, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.

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8. Balanced Diet

The food we eat is the fuel for our bodies. A Ferrari can only perform its best with quality gasoline. The same can be said for our bodies, yet it seems too many people don’t connect the two.

While the vegetarian diet is certainly healthy, you may prefer to take a more balanced approach. Fish, meat, and pork all provide us with amino acids essential for health.

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IDEAS

"If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do."

We are more energized to do a task when the task has a shorter timeframe to complete. Impose shorter deadlines for your tasks.

Rather than writing out a massive to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then relentlessly focus on those tasks during the day.

Once you determine your 1-3 most important tasks, they are scheduled first in your day. You then make progress on essential items before you get bombarded by distractions.