5 Ways To Be More Productive At Work, Right Now

Try these tricks to increase workflow and brain activity, and beat that midday slump

Back Web Only Jul 6, 2016 By Robin Epley

1. Stand Up

Doubtless you’ve heard by now that a standing desk can increase your productivity by increasing blood flow, increasingly brain activity. Google, Twitter and Facebook offices all offer standing desks to their employees, and if you’re not impressed by modernity, then consider that Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill were also fans of standing desks. If all that’s not enough, then take a look at the studies that say people who sit for most of their day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack. Yikes.

2. Organize Your Space

An organized desk is an organized mind… or something like that. But it actually makes a lot of sense to purge your desk of unneeded clutter once in awhile — and while it’s clean, make sure to run a disinfecting wipe over it, too! Try these 21 tips from Lifehack.com to get your desk and your mind in order. At the very least, moving things around might jog some ideas in your brain. At worst, it will provide a bit of useful procrastination. Regardless, you’ll feel energized with all that productivity once your desk is sparkling clean.

3. Stare Out a Window

Office workers positioned near windows sleep better and have improved quality of life compared to their cubicled neighbors. Working with natural light has a whole host of health benefits, so even if you can’t move your desk, get up and go stare out a window for a few minutes every day. And if you have eyesight problems, make sure you stare at something other than your computer screen. Blink rates are reduced significantly when staring at a screen all day, leading to eyestrain and problems with nearsightedness down the road. Let your eyes take a break by taking a look outside, if only for a few moments.

4. Buy a Plant

The visual charm of something growing and living on your desk helps break the concrete urban mold we often find ourselves working in. Did you know that most office workers, when choosing artwork for the walls, tend toward pictures of outdoor scenery and nature? Desk jockeys with a nearby plant and a window view have improved task performance and cognitive productivity. Try ferns, aloe vera or ivy plants: All need little- to low-light environments and thrive in office settings.

5. Fake a Smile

It’s been scientifically proven for years now that faking it actually helps you make it. Think about it, letting yourself stay down in the dumps is a surefire way to never get out of them. So if you’re feeling down and out about something, try to disrupt the pattern. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it, and your mood will follow. Having trouble mustering the energy to smile? Try holding a pen in your teeth. Even just mimicking smiling helps you feel better and genuinely decreases stress levels.