There are only so many hours in your day, so making the most of that time is essential. You can either put in more hours, or you can learn to work smarter which is what most of us prefer.

Learning how to deliberately manage your time is a must, as well as managing these six simple and effective strategies to ramp up productivity.

  1. Take regular breaks. It sounds counterproductive, but setting aside time for breaks can help improve your concentration. Research has even shown that taking short breaks during long tasks help maintain a consistent level of performance, while working without breaks show a steady decline in performance.  Not to mention, a few minutes away is one of several ways to boost happiness at work.
  2. Get active. If possible, build in time during the workday to get moving. Exercise can improve productivity, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Try to take a walk or visit a nearby gym during the workday. Getting your heart rate up could be what you need to clear your head and get your focus back.  This is one of many ways to encourage a healthier office.
  3. Minimize interruptions (if possible). A co-worker stopping by your office may seem harmless; however, even brief interruptions appear to produce a disruption in work pattern and result in a drop in your productivity. Minimize interruptions by keeping you office door closed and turning off notifications.  Open your door during times you are available and schedule set times to check email and messages.
  4. Get intimate (at home). Lori Buckley, Psy.D., CST from the Sinclair Institute says, “These days we’re busier than ever, and many people tell me that they’re too tired to have sex. Yet, most people agree that sex is one of the most relaxing and pleasurable activities in our life. It connects us to our partner and helps us feel more confident and alive. When we have good sexual experiences, we feel more balanced, whole and happy. Making the time for ourselves and our relationship is important to feeling good at our jobs, which makes us more productive and successful!” Intimacy outside of work can lead to more productivity during the hours of 8 to 5. It will give you the boost you need to get work done more efficiently and even make you feel happier.
  5. Make the most of your commute. Any spare time you may have should go to good use — after all, you know how important each and every minute of your day is. There are several things you should do on your commute instead of playing Candy Crush.
  6. Be proactive. It’s important to be proactive instead of reactive. Unless your job requires you to answer every single phone call, don’t hesitate to let some calls go to voicemail. Incoming phone calls can dictate how you spend your day. You may put out fires, but get nothing else accomplished. Have a plan of how you attack phone calls and do your best to not sway from it. If you choose to let your phone go to voicemail, make sure to return your voicemails promptly.

It’s essential to be conscious of how we work to increase productivity and potentially reduce the number of hours worked.  Right now is the perfect time to make some changes and put these productivity tips into action in an effort to better manage your workload.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at [email protected]