Tricking your slacker of a brain into doing things isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. One might even say he has a mind of his own. Bad joke aside, we’re also very preoccupied with what makes us more (or less) productive, and since we’d like to be the best in everything we do, we’ve compiled a nice little list of things you can do to increase productivity. It doesn’t matter if it’s work, hobbies, fitness goals or actually getting out of the house. The only way you’ll ever achieve something is by starting. So let’s get started.

[adsense300gray]The first thing you have to do is start writing lists. (How inspiring. We’ve started this article in list-form. Now we also feel productive!) First thing in the morning, jot down whatever it is that you have to do that day, next to neat little boxes that can be checked once the tasks are completed. You can also use subtasks, dividing chunks of work into smaller pieces so that they seem more approachable. This way, upon completion, you’ll get a sense of great satisfaction and your overall mood will get a well-deserved boost. Even if those lists only have things like “Get out of bed” or “Shower” checked, it’s important to know that you’ve gotten at least a little bit done that day. Good job, you’re doing great.

Do one thing at a time. Now that you have your list, it’s important to remember to take things one by one. If you attempt all of them at once, you’ll feel overwhelmed and quit altogether. Which is why it’s imperative to prioritize and take it slow. Baby steps, baby.

Sleep. Sleep well and sleep when you should be sleeping. No cutting down on sleep time just because you need to finish some big project. You’ll just, if anything, lower your productivity levels. A well rested mind is a productive mind. Keep that in, well… mind.

Check your list before going to bed. At the end of the day, ask yourself: are your top three priorities checked. If the answer is “no,” make sure those are the first things you tackle the next day. It’s important to get the big things done first. This way, you’ll feel better about yourself earlier on.

Work out before work. Or after. Or during. Whatever gets your body going. It’s important to keep yourself exercised. When more glucose and oxygen gets to the brain, you can definitely think better and clearer. Set up a treadmill in the office. This way you’ll catch two birds with one stone.

Surround yourself with yellow. The color yellow supposedly increases productivity and alertness. The color decreases the amounts of melatonin in our bodies – this is the hormone that makes you sleepy in the evening – thus providing us with more energy and desire to complete tasks.<

In the end, you just have to wake up one morning with the thought that you’ll do something – and then go ahead and make it happen. It’s all up to you, champ.

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