For simple tasks that require little concentration or creativity (like answering emails or organizing files), listen to songs you know and love.
Go for less distracting music when you need strong focus. “Low information load” music–songs with little variety and complexity, those with few or no lyrics–allow you to concentrate better.
If you’re feeling sluggish, listen to something new and different. Music you’ve never heard before, music that introduces new demands on your brain can raise your energy level.
If you need to tap into your creative brain, go with unfamiliar songs or unpredictable melodies paced at 50-80 beats per minute.
4. Move your body. Physical movement is one of the easiest ways to boost alertness. Standing up and stretching your arms toward the ceiling and then bending at the waist to touch your toes is a great way to get the blood flowing and release the tension of sitting at a desk all day. Numerous studies indicate that simply walking outside for as little as 5 minutes can deliver huge benefits. Even a short walk around the building or to the mailbox and back forces you to stand up and move, which is beneficial if most of your day involves sitting in front of a screen. Frequent short breaks can boost engagement and productivity, and a quick break from artificial lighting can reset your focus and concentration as the natural light delivers a shot of vitamin D and serotonin.
5. Schedule collaborative projects in the afternoon. When you hit the wall in the afternoon it’s really easy to zone out and lose focus on simple tasks. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, working with others can help boost your energy and keep you on task. If collaboration isn’t an option, consider the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer and “chunking” tasks into 25 minute blocks with a 5 minute break between each block. You can do anything for 25 minutes, right?
6. Plan your day with the "1-3-5 Rule." Determine when your energy peaks and dips throughout the day. Once you understand your body’s natural rhythms, commit to accomplishing 1 major task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 small tasks every day. Schedule your most demanding tasks when you’re at your best and the easier tasks when your energy wanes.