Take breaks early in the day
One study found that the most beneficial time to get out of your work zone is in between when you arrive at the office and when you break for lunch. Researchers also found that frequent short breaks were better at replenishing mental resources, such as energy, concentration, and motivation, than infrequent long breaks. “Unlike your cellphone, which popular wisdom tells us should be depleted to zero percent before you charge it fully to 100 percent, people instead need to charge more frequently throughout the day,” explains Emily Hunter, PhD, who worked on the study. That 11 a.m. coffee break (and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) is officially justified. Here’s how to be more productive in your first hour of work.
Look at photos of baby animals
As long as you don’t get too carried away with those kittens on Instagram, looking at photos of cute animals could be just what the doctor (or your manager) ordered. One study found that people who looked at pictures of baby animals before they completed a task performed far better than those who observed photos of adult animals or neutral subjects. Get started with these photos of newborn sloths who just want to be your friend.