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Look at something nice

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.

Follow the "two-minute rule"

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.

Set self-imposed deadlines

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. 

Quit multitasking

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.

Track and limit your time spent

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 exercise breaks

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.

Give up on the illusion of perfection

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.

Turn off notifications

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. 

Be proactive, not reactive

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.

Hold standing meetings

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.

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.

Work in 90-minute intervals

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

Minimize interruptions

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.

Take regular breaks

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.

Take advantage of your commute

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.

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