5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity

You only have so many hours in a workday and tasks can pile up when you aren’t optimizing your productivity. Working smarter and managing your time more effectively can help avoid the spooky thoughts of a longer to-do list the next day. 

Treat yourself with these 5 helpful tricks to keep you motivated and productive during your workday. 

1. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

“Alexa, play Monster Mash by Bobby Boris Pickett” 

5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity Halloween edition

Not only does it help provide background noise, but music has been shown to improve both productivity and cognitive performance, especially in adults. Listening to music can help people manage anxiety, become motivated and stay productive.

Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, does research on the effect of music listening on work performance and found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and had better ideas overall than those who didn’t. 

However, using music to enhance work productivity is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Find what type of music works for you and your work environment. 


2. Take Regular Breaks 

“Come and play with us, Danny. Forever… and ever… and ever.” The Shining (1980)

5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity Halloween edition

You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times. Consider setting a timer to remind yourself to take a break from your work. Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. A technique often used is the Pomodoro technique, where you focus on a task for 25 minutes, followed by a five minute break afterwards.


3. Plan your Day Beforehand

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”Jaws (1975)

5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity Halloween edition

Having a plan before your day begins will ensure you won’t find yourself woefully underprepared. Prioritize your to-do list and spend your day doing the tasks that are most important to you. Once you realize that you are making healthy progress on your most important tasks, it builds up to a positive momentum for the rest of the day.


4. Don’t Multitask

“We all go a little mad sometimes.”Psycho (1960) 

5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity Halloween edition

According to research, multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%. This is because toggling between multiple tasks limits your focus, hampers working memory and increases stress and mental fatigue. So boost your productivity by focusing on only one task at a time.

To be fully present with each task, create distraction-free blocks within your schedule whereby you can work without disruptions. Turn off all notifications on your phone and desktop, and if possible, let your colleagues know that you would be working without disruptions.


5. Get Enough Sleep

“Nobody trusts anybody now…and we’re all very tired.”The Thing (1982)

5 Tricks of Optimizing Productivity Halloween edition

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. According to a 2007 Harvard report, sleep deprivation reduces efficiency and makes you more prone to making errors. Being well-rested elevates mood, boosts creativity, reduces stress and improves memory. A good night’s sleep also sharpens your focus and enhances your ability to accurately make split-second decisions.