Do you ever get to the end of a day and wonder where it all went? You worked so hard but there are still so many more things to do! It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself but also to be smart about how you work. Lay a strong foundation by taking care of yourself (your brain needs fuel!) and build on that by remaining mindful of how you work. Check out these 7 tips to stay focused and increase your productivity:

1) Eat a Good Breakfast

You’ve read it on Mini-Wheat boxes and probably heard your mother say it, but eating a healthy breakfast in the morning does have an effect on the rest of your day. Web MD says that eating a healthy breakfast leads to “improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom.” It doesn’t have to be complicated, grab some fruit and cheese, spread some peanut butter on a bagel, or even just eat an energy bar.

2) Move Around

Mind wandering? Stand up! Walk a bit! Break dance at the water cooler! Ok you don’t have to go that far, but you’ll be amazed how much better you feel after some movement and a change of scenery. You might even come back to work with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

3) Get enough shut-eye

It’s been proven that sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later. [source] Your brain and yourself in the morning when the alarm goes off will thank you.

4) Drink more water

A 2012 study in The Journal of Nutrition found that mild dehydration (so subtle that you don’t really feel it) can lead to inattention. [source] Keep a water bottle close at hand and drink up! Check out other benefits of drinking more water here.

5) Work in blocks and take breaks

The Pomodoro Technique basically means that you work in blocks of 25 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break. Working in blocks is a good way to measure throughout the day how long tasks are taking and to evaluate your productivity.

6) Use a task management system

Trello is a good option for this. It’s harder to be overwhelmed when your tasks are clearly mapped out rather than just an ambiguous and intimidating mass in your mind. Trello gives you a clean view of what needs to be done, broken down into columns like “To Do Today”, “To Do This Week”, “Completed Tasks” etc. It also allows you to assign tasks to others and assign due dates.

7) Make sure your environment is conducive to your work

If you work from home or in coffee shops, there’s a good chance that you’re frequently interrupted. Consider renting a dedicated desk or coworking to escape the hubbub.

Staying focused and increasing productivity is easier said than done, but we hope that these tips can help you off to a good start!

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