Going from a half-day wasted to a non-zero day!

Vidushi Gupta
4 min readOct 31, 2021

Sitting near your desk, looking out of the window? Everything seems grey and an upcoming deadline is haunting you? Feeling overwhelmed looking at your calendar? Here are a few tips that can help you to sabotage your success smartly:

  • Why am I doing this?: Start your work by answering “Why am I going to work today?” or “Why am I doing this?”. Answering these questions aloud to yourself will give you the motivation boost you need to work in the right spirit.
  • Have a healthy breakfast: Breakfast is the meal that provides you the energy and fuel for the rest of the day to be productive and get the work done. If you skip breakfast, you lose out on the energy needed for the day whereas if you have a heavy junk loaded breakfast, it makes you feel sleepy on the desk.
  • Stay hydrated: Water is the food for your brain. Just like we need food, the brain needs water to stay alert, focused and to provide the right attention span. Even though it increases the number of bio breaks you have to take in a day, it also makes you walk to the restroom, keeping you active.
  • Organize! Organize! Organize!: It is very essential to declutter your desk. Research proves that having only minimal things that you need handy on the desk allows you to work for 7.5 minutes longer without losing your focus. It also saves time as you don’t have to keep looking for the folder in a big pile of clutter.
Source: pinterest
  • Get to the desk and get done with a thing: Follow the non-zero day principle wherein you do at least one thing that takes you closer to your goal. Even if it’s 2359 hours, you can still send a text, make your to-do, do 5 squats, anything but 0.
  • Follow the 5 minute rule: If it takes just 5 minutes to get a task off from your to-do list, do it right away. This would lessen the tasks you need to get done with and also prevent delays.
  • Plan 30 minute meetings: Having a short meeting ensures focus and attention span. Since it is a short meeting, everyone looks forward to the meeting and comes in well thought about the agenda.
  • Pomodoro Technique: This is a proven technique to save the time you spend to refocus your brain to work after a lengthy work session. A pomodoro involves working for 25 minutes and then having a 5 minute break. After 4 pomodoros taking a longer break helps you rejuvenate and work with greater efficiency.
Source: sketchplanations
  • Pet/ Hug your pet: Cuddling your furry friends helps you to get your mind off work. I’m sure your dog/cat is going to love you for the hourly treats they get when you get off your desk for a break.
  • Don’t worry: Even if your to-do runs in pages, do not worry. You would end up wasting valuable time worrying, wherein you could actually get something done and strike it off your list. The moment you get started, you’re halfway there to ace the day.
  • Mondays for planning and Fridays for relieving: Try to schedule meetings after noon on Monday so that you have the first half to plan the week for yourself without getting overwhelmed. Similarly try to get done with meetings by noon on Fridays so that you have enough time to wrap up work and relieve yourself for the weekend.
  • Maintain a sleep schedule: It is better to not pull extra hours in the night to get something done because that just makes you feel sleepy and tired the next day.

Apart from these tricks here are a few apps to help you ace the day:

  • Calm.com : Meditation for newbies
  • Headspace: Keep your well-being in check
  • Zapier: Offers seamless software integrations
  • Microsoft OneNote: Your go-to note making software

Get to organizing now and remember that Urgency ≠ Priority!

(Source: holidogtimes.com)