This is a guest post by John, a digital nomad and freelance writer.
Creating a structure to live and work by is in itself a tough project – but once your system is in place, you’ll appreciate the improvements to the way you get through the week.
Until, that is, a time of turbulence comes along and threatens to throw your whole schedule out of whack.
Deadlines, backlogs, and special projects all require an extra push beyond your regular agenda: or, better said, they require an agenda within an agenda.
So do you have an emergency back-up system in place for those times when you’re pushed to utter exhaustion, beyond your regular working hours, and you still have tasks to complete?
It’s not as difficult as it may sound.
In fact, there are a number of body cheats and mind hacks to get a few extra hours of focus and productivity from your system, as long as you are prepared for them in advance.
One such hack is to ensure you continue taking regular breaks.
If your normal working schedule is already in place, you’ll know the importance of break times.
However, it’s easy to neglect them when you sense a deadline approaching and time running out. Avoid this trap by planning ahead.
If you usually take five every 25 minutes, plan in advance to alter it to five every 50 when you’re pushed for time.
Use a timer, or an app such as Break Timer, to ensure you don’t power through your scheduled breaks. And if you are tempted to ignore the reminder, remind yourself this: even a 30 second break can actually improve your productivity. You will actually get less done if you work straight through.
Another good trick is to schedule a change of scene into a particularly long day.
If you know you need to put in 12 hours at the computer, think about planning a mid-morning trip to work in a café, and a couple of afternoon hours at the library.
If you’re pulling an all-nighter, you might even find a 24/7 co-working space to try.
Again, taking the time to move to a new location might feel counter-productive – but it’s not. A change of scene can boost your creativity and concentration levels, so give it a go.
And if you really can’t motivate yourself to pack up your laptop and head out into public, there’s a simple trick you can do at home or in the office: stand up.
We’ve all heard about the recent craze for standing workstations, and a period of exhaustion is actually a great moment to try it. Move your stuff to a shelf or window sill where you can comfortably type without slouching, and carry on working: science shows it can boost brain power and positivity, while reducing fatigue. Just what the doctor ordered!
The guide below presents eleven productivity hacks, there’s plenty in there to keep you productive even when a tough period at work is grinding you down.
Give yourself that extra push now, and you can relax tomorrow.
What about you?
What do you do when you’re tired and how do you continue to be on top of your game for the whole day?