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You’re no stranger to the “3 o’clock” feeling. You started your morning strong, cleaned up your inbox, prioritized your calendar, and maybe even locked in plans for the weekend. But then lunch was a little too heavy, and now it’s mid-afternoon, your blood sugar levels are shot, and you want nothing more than an 8-hour nap.
The solution for that may not be so difficult, but what happens when it’s not a mid-afternoon slump, but a mid-week one? You came off of a great first couple of days, made a lot of progress on your tasks, and now all of a sudden you find yourself with proverbial writer’s block. You’re wandering in your tasks, taking way too many breaks, and can’t seem to focus on what’s most important.
The truth is, you didn’t do anything wrong. But something has gotten you disengaged from work. And when you’re not engaged at work, you’re a whole lot less productive. We’ve all been there, but the solutions never seem to stay top of mind.
If that’s you, we’re here to offer a few quick solutions to snap you out of it.
Gamification can tend to be a buzzword, but there’s real science behind the power of treating simple parts of our life more like something to be “won,” rather than just “completed.”
Think of your coffee run this morning: was there a two-option tip jar that asked you to vote on something that had nothing to do with tips? Did you find yourself dropping a dollar in a jar just to affirm that Star Wars is indeed superior to Star Trek? Congratulations, you’ve been gamified.
So why not apply that to the tasks you’re not finding super sexy today? If you’ve got a handful of emails you know you need to respond to. Put a timer up on your desktop and see how many you can get done in the next 30 minutes. Who knows, you could be the Usain Bolt of cc-ing!
It’s possible that you’re just spending time on the wrong things. Maybe a project hasn’t gone the way you thought it would, and now you’re bored–stuck in the same spot you were Monday.
Put some time on your manager’s calendar today, asking if you can have a quick reset of your priorities. You may be surprised to find that your manager agrees: you shouldn’t be on that project any more. That can give you the chance to move on to something new, and get re-engaged with a project that’s got some momentum.
We all work too much. No, seriously, according to Bloomberg, Americans work 25% more than Europeans. And while that may make you beam with some level of patriotic pride, it may also just mean you need to take a break.
Go home, get some sleep, and enjoy some time to yourself. Taking the time to rest helps you to be present and focused at work–helping you to work smarter, and more productively, when you finally do get back to your desk.
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