Do you feel unfulfilled at the end of your day, thinking you could have accomplished more?
Let’s be honest here. You’re not going to go from slacking to top achiever just by reading this article – but I’ve put together these tips to help you start your journey.
And yes, these productivity hacks are great, but you’ve got to put them into practice to achieve the productive state you desire. It’s like a muscle that you have to make strong by being consistent.
So without any further ado, let’s get started on our productivity tips!
Always Plan Your Next Day Before Going To Bed
One simple productivity hack is to build a plan or to do list. Write a summary of your activities the night before and ensure you’ve an accurate plan of what you’ll do next day.
When you have a plan, you know what to do and when to do. This can help you stay on track and the next day you won’t have to spend time wondering “what now.”
Having a plan also helps you stay focused and reduce stress. When you know what you need to do, you can focus on one task and not worry about forgetting something at a time.
Do The Most Difficult Task of the Day First
It’s always tempting to put off the difficult tasks and save them for last. Unfortunately, this usually ends up with us doing nothing at all. Doing the most challenging task first can help avoid procrastination.
Additionally, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel more productive overall. And as a bonus productivity hack, if the task is particularly challenging, doing it first can boost your morale and motivate you to keep working.
Try Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy that can help you focus and be more productive. The technique is simple: Work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. After four Pomodoros (25-minute work sessions), take a more extended break of 15 to 30 minutes.
The Pomodoro Technique isn’t just about working hard, it’s also about working smart.
By taking short breaks, you’re giving your brain a chance to rest and refuel, making you more effective when you return to work. And by taking longer breaks you’re allowing yourself some time to relax and rejuvenate, which helps you stay focused and motivated over the long haul.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals is essential for productivity. When you set a goal that’s too high, you’re more likely to become discouraged and give up. On the other hand, a goal that’s too low may not push yourself hard enough to achieve results.
Finding the Goldilocks zone for your goals is essential- something that is challenging enough to motivate you but not so difficult that you feel overwhelmed with.
When setting a goal, it’s also essential to be specific. Vague goals such as “I want to be more productive” are challenging to measure and may not be motivating.
Instead, try to break down your goal into smaller steps that you can track easily. For instance if your goal is to write a book, break it down into writing 500 words per day or writing for an hour each day.
The Importance of Saying “NO”
When you constantly take on new tasks, you risk becoming overwhelmed and not accomplishing anything. Learning to say “no” lets you focus on the tasks and ensures you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Saying “no” can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that it’s not always about pleasing others – it’s about taking care of yourself and your business.
Sometimes people ask for your help with things that are outside your area of expertise, or that will take up too much of your time. It’s essential to be honest with them and let them know you’re unavailable. You can always recommend someone else who may be able to help them out.
Try Grouping Similar Tasks
For many of us, we find ourselves going between different tasks throughout the day. But to use a productivity hack related to making lists (tip #1), working out how to use your time in an efficient way is key to being effective. When similar tasks are grouped, the person can use the same process and tools for all of the functions which leads to increased efficiency.
More importantly when similar tasks are grouped, it can minimize distractions as people are more likely to be focused on completing a specific task rather than being distracted by multiple tasks.
Say “No” to Multitasking
The brain works best when it can focus on a single task for an extended period. Research shows that multitasking decreases productivity by up to 40%.
When we try to do too many things at once, our brain is constantly trying to switch gears between tasks which can lead to anxiety and confusion. And when we’re stressed out, it’s tough to focus and be productive.
One way to handle this is establishing a specific time for each task. For example, set aside 30 minutes each morning to answer emails or an hour in the afternoon to work on a project. It will help your brain know what to expect and allow you to focus on one task at a time.
Use 1-3-5 Rule
The 1-3-5 rule is a simple way to help you focus on the most important tasks and avoid getting bogged down in distractions. It works like this: identify 1 task that is the most important, three tasks that are medium priority, and five tasks that are low priority.
You can be sure your progress is continually taking shape concerning large, medium, and small objectives, such as administrative work or completing daily commitments.
To apply the 1-3-5 rule, put out a task list at the start of each week. These may be tasks that you carried over from the previous week or are tasks you carry out regularly.
Be sure to write down any urgent matters that might come up that particular day, whether after a weekly team meeting or a new project or task you’ve committed to start.
As you list your activities, make them concrete and actionable. For example, “Call Jack to discuss details of the marketing plan” is more helpful than “Make a phone call to Jack.” At the end of each week, evaluate your progress. Write down any tasks that were accomplished and list those that you completed.
Have a Designated Workspace
When your workspace is cluttered and chaotic, it’s hard to focus on your tasks. Having a specific workplace will keep you organized and help you avoid distractions. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate when surrounded by things that remind you of work.
Your workspace doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use an unused living room corner or set up a desk in your bedroom. Just make sure that the space is comfortable and conducive to productivity.
Try to Work Near Natural Light
Sunlight also helps your body produce serotonin which makes you feel happier and more alert. Exposure to natural light may improve your sleep patterns, productivity, and well-being.
Working in a naturally lit space can also help regulate your circadian rhythm and boost your mood.
Cut Off Any Possible Distractions
When you’re trying to be productive, it’s essential to eliminate any possible distractions.
Here are a few tips for doing just that:
- Put your phone in silent mode or turn it off completely. If you can’t resist the temptation to check it every five minutes, put it in another room.
- Close all unnecessary tabs on your computer. If there are websites, you tend to visit when you should be working, add them to your bookmarks bar and close the tabs until you’re done for the day.
- Work in a quiet environment. If you can’t concentrate with people talking or music playing, find a place where you can work undisturbed.
- Take breaks regularly. It’s important to step away from your work occasionally so that you can clear your mind and come back fresh.
Wake up Early
There’s a reason why so many successful people are early risers: waking up early sets the tone for a productive day. When you get up before everyone else, you have time to yourself to work on your own goals without interruption.
You can start your day with some exercise, meditation, or journaling to get your mind and body moving. And when you’re done with that, you can get started on your most important tasks without feeling rushed.
But yes, this might not work for everyone since I’m a night owl. If I wake up at 5 AM, I’ll be all sleepy mostly and there will be no productivity for me.
Listen to Productive Music
Some people need utter silence to be productive. For some, listening to music can help them focus and get things done. The key is finding music that is not too distracting and helps you stay motivated.
If you need to concentrate on a task, listening to classical or instrumental music might be helpful. If you want something with a bit more energy, try listening to upbeat electronic dance, rock or even pop songs.
Experiment with different types of music and see what works best for you. You might be surprised at how well certain songs can help you focus and get things done.
Got your own productivity hacks? Share your tips to be more productive in the comments below…