7 Hacks That Will Change the Way You Work

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
It’s pretty easy to slack off during the summer. The weather is incredible, everyone seems to be taking a vacation, and it’s hard not to yearn for those days when we all had seven weeks off. Fall is officially here, but we’re guessing you’re still trying to enjoy those last glorious moments of warm weather. And it is possible, even though you — like the rest of us — still have commitments, jobs, and families to answer to.

The answer is working smarter, not harder. Click ahead for a few small tweaks that will keep you productive (even when you want to check out).


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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
It’s time to take this figure of speech a little more seriously! By stopping to smell the roses first thing in the morning, you’re exposing your brain to some gorgeous smells — and colors! Research suggests that exposure to bright colors can lift your spirits and energy. The gardens are still blooming — what better time of year to take advantage of everything growing outside and give your spirit a dose of what it needs?
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
You’ve probably been advised to resist looking at your phone when your head’s still on the pillow. Ha. We’re all so connected with technology that it’s really tough to implement that. It's okay. Ease your way into a more positive routine by giving yourself a few minutes to wake up before hopping on email or Facebook. If that’s proving too hard, try plugging your phone in on the other side of the room — you’ll be less tempted to go for it first thing.

Related: 5 Side Hustles You Probably Haven't Thought Of
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Yes, there are arguments that clutter sparks creativity, but research also shows that messes also cause stress. A clean work space can help clear your mind and allow you to focus on the tasks at hand.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
It doesn’t sound ideal, but it works. Go to bed early, and set your alarm. Once you’re up, you’ll have a lot of peace and quiet to plow through your to-do list (while the rest of the world is sleeping). You may be surprised at how productive you can be.

Related: How To Prepare For A Spending Diet
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Try to limit the amount of time you spend on annoying, small decisions like choosing an outfit. Make it a little easier by giving yourself fewer choices. Now’s the time to be ruthless — eliminate anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven't worn in two seasons. Invest in some basics that can be worn in multiple ways. Your morning routine will thank you.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Feel guilty taking a break from work? Don’t! Breaks are important — they help you to refocus, prioritize, and retain information. Even just a 10-minute walk to another floor of the office can help if you can’t get outside for some fresh air.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Yes, commuting can be stressful — but there are ways to make it a little easier. Look at your commute as a way to mentally prepare for the next eight hours. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to work in the morning so you aren’t rushed. Read a good book, plan your day, or just listen to calming music. On the way home, use it as an opportunity to de-stress.

Next: How I Made The Most Out Of Underemployment
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