A couple days ago I read a really good post by blogger Albert van Zyl. It’s called 10 Ways History’s Finest Kept Their Focus at Work. I encourage you to go read it for yourself, but I’m also going to summarize some of the best points here.

In my last post I mentioned that I was a little bit busy, to put it lightly. That’s probably why van Zyl’s post caught my attention, because I have to get a lot accomplished in a little bit of time. It’s tempting simply to just keep pounding away. Long hours. Much time. Much accomplished right? As counterintuitive as it seems, some really brilliant people discovered that they could get more done by working less and relaxing more.

As they say, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Some of the easiest ways to get things done? One that I’ve long believed in, if not always followed through with, get up early, work hard for a while, and then be done early. Starting early might not be right for everyone, but for people like me, it is really nice to get a bunch of things done before the day really gets underway.

Another important idea is to stop working and actually have lunch (or breakfast for that matter). It gives your brain a break and lets you actually enjoy your lunch instead of kind of ignoring it as it goes down while you keep pounding the keys. Use your lunch break to find variety so your brain stays happy.

We can’t forget relaxation. Sometimes the variety is not enough, you’ve got to actually stop working altogether. Take the afternoon off. Or remember that weekends didn’t used to be just another work day.

One last thing van Zyl suggests: exercise. Sounds like pretty good advice. I mean when was the last time someone told you not to exercise?

What are your best tips for mixing up the day and staying productive and relaxed at the same time?