Productivity begins with… beginning. Getting started is often the hardest part of work, and these days we have increasingly more enticing distractions to steer us off course before we’ve even begun; whether it’s the task itself that stops you from starting—perhaps the project you’re working on is not particularly exciting—or maybe it’s just that you’re a confirmed procrastinator and you’re losing track of time by clicking refresh on your social media sites or staring at a blank document.
Fortunately, science has cottoned on to the fact that many of us struggle to get started when we reach our desks in the morning. Researchers and motivation experts alike are striving to find ways to turn those nonstarter days around and get us working at full pelt as soon as possible. For example, one study has shown that we can effectively reboot our mood by bringing forward that reward that we’ve promised ourselves before we start work. A piece of pie or a funny YouTube video (just the one; don’t get sucked in!) will boost dopamine levels, recharging your positivity and thus your self-motivation.
If you’re more of a physical type, consider doing some light aerobic exercise to get those positive hormones flowing. A brisk five-minute walk can get the blood pumping and the air circulating. Research shows that 20 minutes on an exercise bike can reduce fatigue by two-thirds, and increase energy by one-fifth.
If those don’t sound like the solutions for you, or you’d like some more options so you can shake it up each day, take a look at the infographic below. From digital devices to psychological mind hacks, there are methods to get every kind of procrastinator back to work when it just feels impossible to get started. Have a read today, and there’ll be no stopping you.