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Soft Skills


Tips and strategies for getting (hopefully useful) things done.

Use Simple To-Do Lists #

It's common knowledge that checking off tasks keeps motivation up, so having routine or simple items to check off keeps us going.

Do Tough Work First #

Get the tough stuff out of the way, so the stress doesn't build up over time as you procrastinate. Most people have higher energy in the morning for better tackling tough tasks too.

This also holds true for work you want to do but worry about time for later. Making time for it in the start can do a lot in easing your mind about it throughout the day.

Go Outside for a Few Minutes #

Walking around gets your blood flowing and stretches your muscles. Daylight also helps wake you up and reset your biological clock, lowering drowsiness. Best used around lunchtime before the afternoon slump.

Also take a few minutes to stretch your muscles, which keeps them loose and prevents soreness.

Listen to White Noise or other Background Music #

Videos or podcasts split your attention too much when trying to do serious work. Music without lyrics, like electronic or instrumental tracks, are much better for focus.

There's also sites that give background noise that get one's mind into a productive zone even faster. Below are some good examples.

Eat Protein for Lunch, not Carbs #

Avoid pasta and bread. Lunches with things like vegetables, chicken, eggs, tuna, low-fat cheese, and other protein foods are much preferred. Get them all by making a salad!

Get Small Caffeine Doses in the Afternoon #

Caffeinated tea, or a single dark chocolate square, are good options.

Avoid caffeine in drinks, like coffee or soda. The doses are too high, and likely lead to you taking in too much sugar.

Peppermint Scents help Energize You #

Rubbing peppermint oil over your hands and face works, without bothering your coworkers as much. Strong, minty gum helps, which the motion of chewing perks you up and helps clear out post-lunch mouth bacteria.

Save Group Work for Lazy Moments #

Doing work with others always energizes, assuming it's not boring. This makes it great for snapping out of a low-energy funk.

Do Simple Desk Exercises #

Go for Continuous Snacking over Large Meals #

Large meals make us feel bloated and slow us down, while smaller meals and snacks give continuous energy without slowing us down as much. Good snacks usually have protein, fiber, and/or complex carbohydrates and include:

Take Small Breaks #

Small things like walking around the office, staying by the window, or just refilling a drink all help keep stress from building.