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6 easy-to-establish productivity habits

Whenever I return from long or short vacations, I find the task of getting back to work a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Is it laziness? Is it my penchant for procrastination? Or is it the apprehension of knowing what will undoubtedly come from just opening my laptop?

Either way, I decided not to blame myself. While on the surface it might seem untrue that a human fresh off vacation would have trouble getting straight back into things, that's certainly the case with me, so I'm sure it's the same for the others. And I know I'm not the only person who gets Sunday Dread a few hours before bedtime on a Sunday, when they realize that tomorrow is a work day – well, don't worry, those feelings are actually a hidden responsibility.

Yes indeed and I have some ingenious habits to help you manage it.

1.Make a list at the END of your day

There is nothing more frustrating for the powerful brain than not knowing what you are supposed to do with your day and lists are perfect for that. Making your list for tomorrow at the end of the day today is the smartest way to ensure you work efficiently from the start each morning. At the end of each day, you'll know exactly which tasks you've already worked on and which ones you need to prioritize so you can work seamlessly from that point the next day.

This list is your new morning cereal and should be eaten at your desk as soon as you walk in (don't really eat your list, it's a figure of speech - how can you refer to your list throughout the day if you have already eaten?).

2. Only check email twice a day

Yes, that might sound really scary, if not impossible, since we seem to spend so much of our time on emails, but you see that's the problem. You are not paid to communicate with your colleagues all day; you get paid to complete a job while being able to communicate effectively throughout the day.

I would say 11am and 3pm are good times to check emails, but pick two times that work for you. This means that you should refuse to check mail outside of these times and instead focus on the job at hand. As things crop up during the day, add them to your priority list as much as possible and rearrange them at the end of the day for tomorrow's new list.

3. Difficult tasks come first

Did you know that most convicts are granted parole after hearings that take place in the morning? Experts attributed this to the judges' natural physiological needs, which require food and rest as the day progresses. Can you imagine something as sensitive and life affecting as prisoners and judges affected by a bit of bread and butter? It’s crazy, but it’s true and the same goes for us civilians too; we have the most energy in the morning until noon, then a further surge after lunch, but it starts to dwindle around 4 p.m. – so spend your mornings doing the hard stuff.

4. Play during your working day

We become smarter workers when we dedicate specific time slots and deadlines to our daily activities, which should include fun things to keep you happy during your work day. If you're a serious worker, your boss won't care if you log into Facebook for 10 minutes, watch a You Tube video, or share a few jokes around the office, but that should only be done in your ( especially small) allocated. time slot. And remember point 3 about convicts and judges – so recess should be after 4pm when your brain is at its peak anyway.

5. Find freedom in a procrastination pillow

Ooh boy, this is my favorite working toy and you have no idea the sheer freedom you'll be giving your mind until you start using it. It is the simplest tool that has a huge impact on the working day. All you need is a small, unserious notepad to jot down every little thing you can think of that could potentially distract you from the task at hand. When you have free time, and ONLY when you have free time, allow yourself to go back to the list on your notepad and do the things you have time for. Whether it's reading this article, checking phone messages, or "quickly" visiting this website - whatever it is, put this naughty little distraction to bed safely on the procrastination mat.

Start every new day with a new page on the notebook, uh I mean the awesome procrastination pillow.

6. Work one hour at a time

We can't help but become lethargic and lose focus after sitting for hours at a desk, this is due to low glucose levels, staying in one place too long and not doing much other than staring at a screen while you do your daily tasks. For sustained productivity, creativity, and energy levels, it is advisable to take small breaks often throughout the day. Have a (silent, but flashy) timer on your phone that you set for 60 minutes, when it goes off you should get up and leave your desk for 3-4 minutes. When you return to your desk, set the timer again for 60 minutes. During these downtimes, try NOT to think about the task you were working on.

Try to drink a small glass of water during each break and get some fresh air if possible, but even a gentle walk around the building or a conversation with a colleague or finding a quiet place to stretch is also a great time .

I came across other productivity tips and hacks you can use to help you get the most out of your day. Sometimes our day can feel overwhelming, but if you do a little planning, you can make every day more manageable.

Photo credit :Waleed Alzuhhair