Some of these may seem obvious to you already, but some might be hidden gems. Read on to find out what you can take away to help make you more productive!
1. “Electronic for Studying” on Pandora
I wouldn’t be able to get anything done during the day without music. I like the silence of my home office, but silence is a funny thing because, well, it’s easy to interrupt. My sense of curiosity kicks in when I hear a noise and then the next thing I know I’m watching a neighbor out the window. Pandora has this awesome station called “Electronic for Studying” that is devoted to songs that help put you into an intense concentration trance. This is not your usual “at the dance club” electronica. It’s chill and upbeat all at the same time. I read somewhere once that if you really want to focus, you should listen to video game music because it is scientifically created and enhanced to hold your concentration without distracting you because video game designers want you to play for as long as possible. This is similar to video game music except that you won’t feel like you should be jumping over a mushroom or repelling from a helicopter. It also includes some instrumental versions of popular songs with the lyrics omitted so you don’t just tune it out completely. This station is my #1 secret to getting things done!
2. Hiding The Phone
For whatever reason, even if my screen on my phone is off, when I see my phone I get distracted. I want to check my emails and text messages, use whatever new app I’ve downloaded, check the weather, etc. I would never just leave my phone behind for the day because that wouldn’t be practical (especially since I’m usually listening to Pandora on it or making business calls). But what I do when I’m not actively using my phone is hide it behind my monitor or put it in my pocket. This lets me have it close by but not obsess about checking it.
3. Coffee – Not Cool Energy Drinks, Just Joe
I love energy drinks, I really do! But for whatever reason, coffee seems to make me focus better than Red Bull or Rockstar. Maybe it’s the difference in sugar content (I use artificial sweetener in my coffee), but coffee just seems to do the trick, especially on those colder days.
4. Lighting, Temperature and Your Work Surface
Getting down to business during the work day requires that your environment be conducive to letting you work. Sometimes I just feel like I can focus better with the room really bright, other times I want it darker. Sometimes I get cold while working (even if my office isn’t cold) so I have to throw on a sweatshirt to stay focused. There are certain mornings or afternoons when I really feel like I have to be at my desk or I won’t be able to be productive, and others where I just need the comfort of plopping down on the couch with my laptop. Achieving ultimate concentration means listening to your body and adapting your environment to aid in the process of working at your highest potential.
5. Choosing Protein Over Carbs
If I eat a big carby breakfast or lunch my productivity usually plummets after because it makes me tired and lethargic. Not eating at all can cause me to get irritated. So when I get hungry during the day, I try to replace some carbs with protein to help keep me productive through the afternoon. At night, however, it’s a different story because I know I’m going to be going to sleep at some point after dinner anyway, so at that point I say “Bring on the carbs!”
What helps you concentrate and get things done? Let us know! We’d love to hear your tips as well!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!