Forcing yourself to be productive when you feel like procrastinating is much more difficult than getting additional productivity from another person. For pretty much the same reason that you can’t tickle yourself, it’s hard to trick yourself into doing things. There’s no surprise in it.
Smart entrepreneurs know that scaling up your business is often all it takes to get results, be productive and, and these methods will work even if you’re only focusing on yourself.
Turn up the lights
Your surroundings have as much to do with productivity as anything else. There’s a reason why humans sleep when it’s dark and get active when the sun comes up. Making your workspace into a darkened cocoon has a tendency to trigger a relaxation response in your brain. Fight it with changes in lighting.
It’s not just as simple as turning on all the lights, either. The kind of light you get matters. Your body gets its cues about how to run its internal clock by its exposure to natural light, especially through the eye. Your computer screen and the fluorescent lights overhead give the wrong kind of cues. Scientists have found that natural light absorbed by the eyes affects your mood, body temperature, sleep, melatonin production, and many other aspects of your behavior and health.
Try banishing the blinds and letting in more natural light. Push your desk over to the window, but turn it sideways so the light doesn’t wash your screen or shine directly in your eyes. If that’s not possible, augment the lighting where you work with lamps that have natural spectrum light instead of cool fluorescent tones. Your improved mood and alertness will naturally lead your towards getting things done instead of putting them off.
Turn up the temperature
This one is hard to grasp for many people. Home offices are often kept on the cool side. It’s common for brisk temperatures to be associated with staying on your toes, but the evidence doesn’t back it up. According to a very rigorous study where work from home entrepreneurs made 44 percent more errors when the temperature was 68 degrees then they did when the temperature was 77 degrees. That’s a big productivity gain to enjoy just by turning up the thermostat, or in many cases, turning off the air conditioner.
Go where it’s noisy
If you’re having trouble concentrating because the sound of the computer fan drives you up the wall, you might think the last thing you’d want it is to find a place with even more noise to help you concentrate. The evidence says otherwise. If you’re having a particularly unproductive day, trick yourself into higher mental alertness by heading off to the local coffee shop.
This one’s tricky. There’s a sweet spot of noise and bustle that focuses your mind on what you’re doing, usually by supplying a steady 70 decibels in the background, delivered by a bunch of people sitting around you. As long as you don’t go to socialize, the people around you don’t distract you, but the human urge to impress people when you’re being observed kicks in. The background noise needs to be like a steady, undifferentiated hum, not recognizable conversation. If trays of dishes get dropped with any regularity, you’ll do better in another diner.
This one would send a supervisor into fits, but you’re tricking yourself, remember? Some of the most productive people that ever lived, including John D. Rockefeller, Sr., took a power nap after lunch every day and met the afternoon workload refreshed. Just 15 or 20 minutes of shuteye in the middle of the day is like starting fresh in the morning again. Trick yourself into two mornings a day, and get the benefits of that morning burst of productivity a second time.
You can coordinate your power nap with a cup of coffee to sharpen your mind as well. Drink a cup of coffee after you eat your lunch, and then take your power nap. The caffeine in a cup of coffee doesn’t kick in right away, and it’s surprisingly easy to fall asleep right after you’ve had one. When you awake a little while later, the caffeine will just be hitting its stride, and so will you.
Now It’s Your Turn!
What do you do to turn procrastination to productivity? How has it helped your business? Please feel free to share your comments below in the comments section and I look forward to reading them!