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By Eric Barker – the Ladders

You’re only productive at work three days out of the week. How can you improve that?

1. The secret to getting more done is to make things automatic. Control over your schedule stops you from getting tired at work. Progress motivates us more than anything else. Your mind moves you, but how you move also affects your mind. Superstition can improve performance and when people wish you luck you do better.

2. Mood matters. Happiness and overconfidence both boost productivity. Think positive by imagining the happiest day of your life. Use positive self-talk and positive mental imagery.

3. Know the rules your brain works by, the things that really motivate us, what increases teamwork and how to improve yourself.

4. How the office is decorated makes a difference. Might want to avoid the color red and make sure to buy some plants. Checklists help. So do calendars. Clean your desk. Chew some gum. Stop multitasking and don’t bother sorting your email into folders.

5. Does managing your free time with a schedule sound awful? A study shows it actually improves life satisfaction. Talking to yourself might make you look crazy but it can improve performance. Here‘s what you should say. (Trash talk helps too.)

6. Get enough sleep. Your mood in the morning affects your entire day. If you’re a night owl, shift your schedule later and if you’re a morning lark get to work earlier. Naps help.

7. Rivals increase performance but they also make us more likely to cheat. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to give it to someone else. Self-deception helps too.

8. Thinking about the stereotype of someone who excels at what you’re attempting can improve your performance.

9. Web breaks make you more productive. But whether you need a break at all is dependent on how you see willpower.

10. Chill out. You’re happier when you’re busy anyway.

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