Do you ever find yourself running around stressed as you try to juggle your commitments and end the day feeling like you never accomplished anything? We’ve all been there. 

But this ‘busyness’ is one of the biggest barriers to productivity. When we are productive we are purposeful and methodical in what we are doing and feel a great sense of accomplishment when done, we aren’t racing to put out fires or trying to multitask to-dos.

So how do you get back in control of your schedule and accomplish more in the process? Here are six productivity boosts to help you get more done.

1. Take regular breaks

While it can often seem like you are ‘too busy’ to take a break the truth is you are too busy not to. You concentration and cognitive function starts to decline without breaks. Simply by giving yourself a 5-15mins break to refresh can give you the mental boost and space you need to tick off more tasks on your to-do list. 

2. Apply the 90-minute rule

Book your work or tasks into 90-minute intervals. After this time have a break and do something different. By mixing up your tasks you keep your brain active and alert and if you are someone who tends to have a shorter attention span or gets bored easily it is a great way to keep yourself engaged and challenged.

3. Avoid Distractions

Easier said than done I know. We live in a time where distractions are constant. Phone calls, social media, emails and interruptions can often take our attention away from what we are meant to be doing.  The key to maintaining your productivity is to manage your distractions. 

Shut down your browser and emails, close your door, turn your phone on do-not-disturb and if needed disconnect from the Internet until a task is completed. Do whatever you need to do to maintain focus.

4. Have fun!

The more you like a task or make it fun, the more motivated you will be to do it. So why not find ways you can turn your tasks into games? Or set yourself a reward after it has been done? 

Not convinced? Chemical reactions take place in our brains as a result of playing games. Research has shown that dopamine, a key factor in motivation, productivity, and focus, is released when there is a sequence of challenges then achievement. Testosterone is also released when there is a ense of victory, which can enhance your mood, increase energy and improve your self-esteem, so start playing!

5. Check your environment

Your environment can have significant impact on your productivity and frame of mind. The more cluttered your environment, the more cluttered your thoughts. Spend five to ten minutes each morning bringing order to your surroundings, you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make.

6. Do the hard tasks first

While it can be tempting to procrastinate and leave the hardest task until last, this often makes them appear harder and scarier than they really are. Instead focus on the hardest (or worst) task first, not only will you get it out of the way, you’ll also feel a huge sense of accomplishment which will give you the motivation to tick-off the rest of your tasks.

7. Outsource or collaborate

The truth is you don’t have to do everything, look at what you can delegate, outsource or collaborate on with others. From work tasks to home tasks identify what you don’t like or aren’t good at and ask for help!