Synchronize your watches and start your clocks. With just 20 minutes, you can boost your productivity. But how is that even possible with such a short window of time?
We’re all busy. Every day we’re inundated with calls, emails, and projects that can leave even the most efficient people feeling scattered. Jose Vasquez recognized this issue and wrote a piece for Huffington Post insisting that taking just 20 minutes to follow some pretty simple steps will increase how productive you are. As he mentioned, that’s even less time than a lunch break. But how does it work? The first step is to shut everything down (if you can), try to isolate yourself as much as possible. Turn off the tunes, turn off the phone, and get started.
For five minutes, do nothing. Think nothing. Every time you catch yourself starting along the lines of a train of thought, gently pull yourself back to a peaceful, meditative state. Let your mind empty — think of it as clearing your cache.
Don’t be surprised if it’s hard to get past this first step initially. It’s difficult to do a hard reset on your mind. It may initially take 20 minutes every day just to master this, so don’t be deterred!
For five minutes, get moving. Even if you feel a little silly, try doing some jumping jacks or some pushups in your office. If you’re interested in lower intensity, then simply stretch. But make sure you get your body in motion for five minutes.
We have already spoken about the benefits that exercise has on productivity growth. This will really help clear your head and get your blood pumping.
For five minutes, make a list of everything that worries you. These are long-term worries and short-term worries that might otherwise distract you from what you need to do. Then, one by one, cross them off that list. It’s a psychological trick that will help you focus on what you can change rather than what concerns you.
Maybe you’re worried about dinner or have been putting off household chores. Cross them out, even though you have haven’t finished them. You can’t do anything about them while you’re at work, so let’s get them out of here for now.
For the last five minutes, jot down the most important tasks you want to accomplish in the rest of the day. This will set a strong course for the remainder of your time at work.
You can’t do everything in one day. Just tackle the ones that you can actually complete that day. Think about the others during your 20 minutes the next day!