Working people are always looking for a way to get more productive and make the most of their already-stretched working days. There are many ways in which humans get off track, thus losing productivity and leaving them wondering, “Where did all the time go?” Here are a few ways we tend to get off track, and a few tips on getting back to a productive path. 

5 Ways to Get Off Track

1. Staying in Bed too long

Sleeping in too late can sweep away your motivation and reduce the amount of time you have to get daily tasks or work out of the way. Lying in your comfy bed for an extra 30 minutes or hour can feel good, but just takes away 30 minutes or more of time you have to get important activities done. Forcing yourself out of bed followed by a good stretch will get the blood circulating, informing the brain that it is time to begin the day.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Just as oversleeping can hinder your productivity so can not getting enough sleep. If your brain and body is not fully rested you will have a hard time concentrating, and you may become irritated or more forgetful.

3. Playing with your Phone

Being productive is hard when you are constantly being bombarded with text messages, social network updates, requests, e-mails, or are tempted to get past one more level on Angry Birds. Smartphones are a big distraction and not only during the day, but also when you are trying to get to sleep.

4. Multitasking

Yes that is right; multitasking requires you to focus on many different processes at once. Take a computer processor for example: a computer processor can have multiple cores each dedicated to handling a certain type of task. However, you only have one brain, so you are not as capable of handling multiple tasks at once like a computer. Taking on too many projects at once is a sure path to getting off track, leaving none of the projects attended to, and leaving you wondering just what the heck went wrong.

5. Not trying

If an excuse can be made for not trying something, people can find the best ones. Sure, some of us might be lazier than others, but finding an excuse to not spearhead a project that needs to get done—or putting it on the backburner for later—is a foolproof method for projects and work items to collect dust.

 5 Ways you can get back on Track

 1. Get out of Bed Earlier

As soon as you realize you are awake, hop out of bed and start moving. This is something your body probably is not used to, so a few minutes after getting up you will feel more energized than you normally would. Set your alarm clock farther away so that you are forced to get up if you have to. You can also leave a curtain back so that the sun naturally wakes you up earlier.

2. Get more Sleep!

Medical professionals recommend that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to achieve optimal brain performance. If you have trouble getting to sleep, try going to bed earlier, turning off your phone, and not drinking or eating anything right before bed.

3. Put your Phone on Silent

When you are busy, turn your phone on silent or put it away. This will help you to not get distracted by incoming texts or messages, and once you are focused on work you will not even think about it. Check for updates on breaks only, and find a routine that helps you leave your phone out of your work progress.

4. One Task at a Time

Try focusing on getting one activity or task done at a time. Setup a check list and get things done according to how important they are. If all of your focus is on one task, not only will you get it done sooner but you will also get it done properly.

5. Measure your Workload

Do not take on more work than you can handle, or else you will be forced to do things poorly or risk missing deadlines. If you are keeping up with your current projects just fine but finding that your time is more restricted than you would like, then it may not be a good idea to tack on more projects to your schedule.

 Angie Picardo is a Financial Analyst, Content Manager and staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy and save money with West Elm coupons. Email Angie at angie.picardo@nerdwallet.com.

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