We get it: Some days it can be really hard to focus and stay on task. In fact, right now as I'm writing this, I'll admit that it's taken me a while to start this simple intro paragraph—thank you, Instagram and emails. Or on the flip side, maybe you are focused as ever, but you can't seem to whittle down your to-do list. That might mean you're not using your time wisely, or you might need to get up and clear your head for a bit.
Whatever your productivity problem, I think it's safe to say we've all experienced something like it before, but the good news in all of this is that there is strength in numbers, and we can all help each other. So I asked THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear editors to share the ways they stay productive and focused. Read on and try a few out to see if they fit with your working style. Good luck with that to-do list!
Who What Wear
"I'm a big list person. If it's not on my list, it doesn't get done. Besides that, writing down my tasks every morning actually helps calm me down and prepare me to start working because I can see everything I have to do and don't have to worry about forgetting anything."
"I like to use the 'touch it once' method to help my productivity with emails. Despite most productivity articles recommending to set limits on how frequently you let your inbox distract you, I am in email nonstop. While archiving emails I don't need, I'll often accidentally open up an email I had planned to tackle later, even though I haven't set aside the time to really address it. My instinct is always to read the email, mark it unread, and re-read it later when I am ready to respond. This is touching it twice, which makes more work for yourself! Instead, I'll force myself to deal with it then as a consequence of having already opened it. This way, I'll have only touched it once, and don't have to revisit it later—that is until the recipient replies, of course!"
Who What Wear
"I recently picked up this supplement from Violet Grey (my favorite beauty retailer, which also has an amazing wellness selection), and it's made a huge impact on my productivity and mood. I love that there isn't any caffeine in the formula so I avoid extra jitters since I'm already dealing with that from my morning cup of coffee. I keep this jar of capsules handy at all times, stowed in my gym bag. The ingredients, according to the brand, are clinically proven to increase neurotransmitter activity and fuel the brain while simultaneously boosting memory, attention, and focus. I've definitely felt the difference and can't stop talking about it."
"When I'm working on an assignment or article, I'm really trying to put my phone in my desk drawer and not look at it until I've completed the task. It's a really hard feat these days, as I'm so used to mindlessly scrolling, but I've found if my phone is not right in front of me, I can be more focused on my tasks, and I end up completing them much quicker. I'm trying to instill this more and more these days to help with my productivity."
Who What Wear
"At work, I've recently started listening to instrumental music to put me in a relaxed, productive mood. I find it's a little less distracting than listening to my other playlists because I won't feel the urge to sing along or dance. I also like keeping my AirPods on at all times so that I'm still in the zone even if I get up to get something from the other side of the office (but not that far—thanks, Bluetooth connectivity restraints!). Of course, if someone stops me to chat or says hi, I'll pull my AirPods out to talk. I'm not that rude!"
"One thing I always do to stay focused is separate myself from my usual working environment for a bit. I love going into a private meeting room and accomplishing one to two pressing tasks that I usually end up procrastinating on. I find that removing myself from my desk forces me to really hone in on the tasks at hand. I'm not sure of the logic behind it, but switching up my scenery and being alone always increases my productivity tenfold."
Who What Wear
"I've tried so many productivity tricks, but the one that gives me the fastest results is drinking matcha when I need to focus. I mix ceremonial-grade matcha powder (I usually order it from Alfred or Cha Cha Matcha) with oat milk, and I get an instant burst of energy that lasts for hours."
"A scoop of Brain Dust in my morning coffee gives me laser-focus energy that lasts well after my caffeine hit has faded away. The combination of adaptogens is specifically designed to combat stress and promote focus, and I can attest that it does both!"
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.