Last month, we told you everything you need to know about efficient online procrastination. If you don’t remember all those handy tips (or need a bit of a refresher), find the original post here.
In the meantime, allow us to remind you that taking a quick break to play a five-minute game or peruse the depths of the internet can actually make you more productive, more efficient, and more accurate when you come back to work!
All that adds up for a more enjoyable tax season (for you and your clients).
But, sometimes, reading webcomics or taking Buzzfeed quizzes simply isn’t enough to get those productive juices flowing. If you’re having a hard time sitting still, keeping your eyes open, or staying on task, you might actually have to get up and move!
A recent study conducted by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who spent 2.5 hours a week being physically active at work (that’s just 30 minutes a day) were more satisfied with both the quality and quantity of their assignments. They were able to work more productively than their inactive counterparts — and they took less sick time to boot.
Ready to power through the rest of tax season with the energy of 100 accountants? Here are eight simple and fun ideas to get your blood pumpin’ and your brain back to work!
Go For a Stroll
Business owner Murray Newlands heard that daily walks improve both productivity and creativity at work, so he decided to put it to the test. For one month, he asked his employees to take two 15-minute walks each day. “The result was a quantifiable jump in productivity of 30 percent,” he said.
That’s because aerobic exercise (like walking) can help workers de-stress and avoid burnout on the job. It re-energizes your tired-of-staring-at-a-computer-all-day brain and allows you to come back to work feeling attentive and productive once again.
Not convinced? Give it a try — just leave your smartphone on your desk. “Employees who took their phones were not as productive as those who didn’t,” Newlands clarified.
Pump Up the Groove
There are a few great benefits to listening to music at work. It keeps you calm, it keeps you focused, and it can even help you complete repetitive tasks with fewer errors.
But these benefits are only increased when you add a few sweet moves to the mix.
That’s right, throwing your hands in the air (and waving them like you just don’t care) when your favorite song comes on can lighten your mood, put a smile on your face, and allow your brain to focus on something other than numbers for two to three minutes — or 14, if your favorite song happens to be “Free Bird.”
Dancing around your office, or even right there at your desk, gets your blood moving and allows you to refocus on the task at hand.
Here’s a few of our favorite jams (we dare you to keep your foot from tappin’!):
Hydration is important. Drinking a big glass of water not only helps to maintain your body’s fluid balance (which helps you digest food and transport nutrients), but it also boosts your productivity, combats fatigue, and promotes clearer thinking!
With that in mind, make it a point to take a daily water break. Get up from your desk, pour yourself a glass of ice-cold water, and don’t think about your ever-growing task list until your glass is empty.
Okay, cleaning up your desk, your office, or your car is a common procrastination tactic among accountants and college students alike.
But taking a few minutes to tidy your workspace (and avoid your task list) can actually make you more productive in the long run.
So go ahead, take a few minutes to organize that cluttered desk drawer, take your nine coffee mugs to the sink, and straighten your paper piles. When you’re done, you’ll feel motivated to get back to work and keep that productivity train rolling!
Spending eight or more hours in front of a computer each day can really take a toll on your shoulders and back — and when you’ve got painful tension or tightness in your bod, it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything else.
Fortunately, the Yogis of the world have come up with a few helpful stretches you can do right there at your desk to relieve your tension and get back to work! (Best of all, these poses won’t freak out your co-workers).
Doodle for Your Life
Adult coloring books are all the rage these days — and for good reason. The color craze is real, but it’s also real beneficial. Studies show that the simple act of coloring or doodling can lower stress, heighten happiness, and promote creativity.
Why? When you’re coloring, your brain is focused on one simple activity, allowing you and your brain to relax and ultimately enter a meditative state.
Best of all, you don’t have to be an artist — or even color inside the lines — to enjoy the benefits of coloring. So head to the nearest store (seriously, adult coloring books are everywhere), stock up on crayons (pens and highlighters will do in a pinch), and unleash your inner Picasso next time you’re feeling drained.
In the meantime, check out these free printables!
Treat yourself to a cuppa Joe away from your in-office Keurig (let’s face it, that thing needs a break more than you do) or go out for a quick and healthy bite to eat. Getting outside and away from the office, if only for a few minutes, will help you clear your mind and allow you to come back to work feeling refreshed.
Plus, a little healthy snacking can help you stay focused, energized, and ready to take on the world! Experts recommend stocking up on fresh fruits, oatmeal, peanut butter, and cheese sticks. Yum!
Make a Paper Clamp Tree
These things are already all over your desk, so save space and give yourself a quick break by building a paper clamp tree!
There you have it! Eight awesome ideas to get you up out of your seat and, ultimately, back to work. Remember, April 18 is only a few short weeks away. Stay tuned for more tips to help you live it up after tax season!