I’m one of those few people who’s not “naturally productive” during Mondays. I admit, there are times I feel completely lazy and sluggish even after a good weekend rest. But I know I can’t be like this forever, that's why I've collected some brain hacks to help myself (AND HELP YOU, TOO) increase productivity and focus so we can all get more tasks done.



Brain Hack #1: Walk or cycle your way to the office



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This actually works. Before when I was still renting an apartment, I had no choice but to walk every morning since there are no jeepneys going straight to my office building. And believe it or not, I always arrive less stressed and happier. It’s because, according to studies, these simple daily activities help distracts the brain and helps us think. Walking also has positive physiological effects.



Brain Hack #2: Make a ”Stop Doing” List


If you have a “to do” list, you also need to create a “stop doing” list. Get a paper and list down all the habits, lifestyles, or people in your life that are bringing negativity and holds you back from being productive.


Creating a “stop doing” list, I’m telling you, is not as easy as it sounds. You have to be honest and think really hard about what’s in your life that’s taking your self-esteem and happiness down.



Brain Hack #3: Don’t multitask



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Admit it, multitasking is something you do every day. You create PowerPoint presentations while answering a bulk of emails, you write stuff while doing Excel formulas, you do business cases and work on projects at the same time. Dude, time for you to break that habit.


Because did you know that when you multitask, you are forcing your brain to perform at its FULL capacity? That will burn you out at the end of the day. My tip? Do the “first in, first out” method.



Brain Hack #4: Schedule your tasks


Aside from doing the “first in, first out” method, I also recommend you schedule your tasks in a day.


Like me, I reserve my mornings to write what needs to be written, then I spend the rest of the work day doing my other tasks. I use my Mondays to finish all my pending tasks from the previous week, and I reserve my Fridays for meetings. It’s as simple as that. Develop discipline towards work.



Brain Hack #5: Look at pictures of cute baby animals


Have you tried doing this?


Researchers believe that our bodies react to images dramatically. So in case you can’t get out to take a break, just look at pictures of puppies or kittens (if you love kittens) and that will produce positive reactions in your body and will help you reduce stress. Sounds strange, but hey, it works! Try to use a picture of a cute puppy as your wallpaper.



Photo source: http://cdn.animals-pics.com/



Brain Hack #6: Have a plant on your work desk



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Looking at nature and natural colors can be just as powerful as looking at pictures of cute puppies. Researchers say that having plants on your work desk can help you concentrate for longer and can promote healthy brain activity. So, bring a plant in! Your colleagues will be delighted as well, that’s for sure.



Now it’s your turn! What brain hacks work for you? Use the comments section below to share them! Have a productive week everyone!