Sometimes, all we need is to trick our mind into believing we’re energetic, motivated to do the work and focused enough to complete everything in no time. That’s when you enter the right mental state to stop procrastinating and actually get to work. This gives tremendous results even though you didn’t plan anything in particular.
Let’s see how to do that. Below, you’ll find 9 such mind hacks you can use to develop the mindset necessary to be productive even when planning isn’t something you like:
1. Have a deadline
Let’s start with something quite simple but which works wonders. Deadlines might be a big part of the corporate world and something you don’t like hearing about. But when you’re the one setting them, you build the discipline you need to get everything done on time and without stress.
Turns out, our brain operates differently when on a deadline. That’s because time pressure helps us think more clearly and get more done. A clear deadline also helps you remove other distractions and concentrate on the one task at hand. And this is all you need to find focus and actually be productive.
To find focus, the first thing should be for many to avoid social media distractions, by switching off your phone. People lived thousands of years without a phone, your can survive a few hours.
2. Be a productive procrastinator
If procrastinating continues even after you’ve tried all you can think of, there’s still a pretty easy way to turn that into something productive.
Whenever you’re about to begin working on a project but your mind tells you why you can’t do it now and should put it off for later, don’t fight it. Agree but then fill your time with something else instead of just being lazy.
This is the good form of procrastination and it can be used to build momentum and move onto more important projects right after that.
For instance, if you can’t start studying, working on your new business idea or else, you can dedicate 5 minutes to outlining the first steps or doing a research. That doesn’t require any willpower so you probably won’t resist that.
Once you get it done, it will be easier to switch to an activity that requires a bit more focus, such as setting a deadline for the first step on the list. Then, your brain will feel more comfortable with the idea of actually working on this thing and getting it done. You’ll soon be ready to get to action.
3. Optimize your environment
There are many changes you can make to your environment that will help you get more done. This is yet another mind trick as it gets you into the zone thanks to optimizing external factors.
That could be moving your desk closer to a window so you can let more natural light in. It’s proven to help with focus. Temperature is another factor that can make or break our productivity. A study found that people tend to make more mistakes when working in a cold room.
Another thing you can do is add some greenery to your workspace. Plants boost your mood and concentration, reduce stress and even sick days.
4. A change of scenery
Sometimes we can get stuck because of being in the same place for too long. A change of scenery can be beneficial to your productivity and creativity.
You can take your laptop to a nice cafe and try to do your most important work there. You can also join a co-working space and even socialize and meet people there.
Simply being in a new environment will activate your brain and it will perform better.
5. Hack your brain with music
Another smart technique you can use to get more done without a strict plan is to listen to music when working.
Our nervous system reacts to sounds in a certain way, which then impacts our ability to concentrate and our emotions. Music is proven to relieve anxiety and depression, remove negative thoughts and help us avoid distractions and quickly get in the zone.
It’s ideal if you’re in a noisy environment and need to find some focus. And is especially helpful with boring tasks.
It’s worth doing your best to squeeze the most of your day. Why to waste time on boring tasks which can be optimized fast and have more time for your private life!