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10 Secrets to Being More Productive at Work: Start by Relaxing

Productivity is hard to come by these days. With distractions like social media, water cooler banter, and food, getting stuff done takes a lot more effort than it used to. But one of the most overlooked secrets to success is in taking breaks and finding small ways to relax while in the office. 12 straight hours without so much as taking a bathroom break is not a productive way to work. Here's what you should do instead.

1. Embrace the water cooler banter.

Your coworkers may be drinking cup after cup of coffee to stay alert and awake throughout the day. But piling on loads of sugar will just give you a momentary high. Staying hydrated is more important, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Use these trips to the water cooler as small moments to socialize and take a break from your workload. It helps you stay connected to your coworkers and be a community. It also leads to improved collaboration.

2. Get the right kind of chair.

Sitting around all day can be a pain in the neck. Or the back. Having a great chair can help provide the support you need to keep going, and keep you healthier. Standing desks have their proponents and opponents, but before we get too crazy, let's start with the chair. These are some ones worth checking out.

3. Filter out the noise.

Some offices are filled with noise. Nose-blowings, personal calls, and printers doing their thing. These noises can be distracting and limit productivity. Try this music specially designed for productivity, or better yet, these noise-canceling headphones.

4. Take a short snooze.

Who doesn't love naps? And the power nap is one of our favorites. They're a great way to reset, refocus, and reenergize. Here are some tips for how to get the most out of your nap.

5. Take a stroll around the block.

Even though you have a great ergonomic chair, sitting all day takes a toll. It limits circulation and makes us stiff. Every hour or so, try to get up and walk around a bit. If you can, go outside. Fresh air is just the thing to invigorate you and get you ready for another productive work session.

6. Give your eyes a rest.

If you work in an office in the 21st century, chances are you have a lot of interaction with a computer screen every day. But this can cause eye strain and eye dryness. Take a break. Try these tips for keeping your eyes in good working order, so you can get more done.

7. Look at something pretty.

Having plants on your desk or photos on your wall will help to calm you. Even a small fountain, statue, or hanging ornament. These will encourage you and create a nice environment. Here's the study that proves it.

8. Give yourself a little neck rub.

Your muscles can get achy and sore from sitting upright all day. Rub it out. Close your eyes and pretend you're at the spa.

9. Stretch it out.

While we're not telling you to do yoga in the middle of the floor at work, do some small stretches that will help get the blood pumping. Here are some great 'deskercise' routines that are discreet enough to do at your desk.

10. Reward yourself.

Schedule breaks for yourself. Every hour, plan an assignment that you will finish, and for that, give yourself a reward. A small, healthy snack, an extra trip to the water cooler, or a power nap all serve as great rewards.

The secret to workplace productivity starts with finding time to relax and focus. These tips will help you be a better worker (and, we hope, a better person!).

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