Have you ever wondered how some people get so much done? Have you wondered how others manage to work from home, raise a family, and still have plenty of time for hobbies? Have you found yourself asking, how can I become more productive?
If so, I’d like to share with you 5 productivity hacks that I’ve found work for me:
- Prioritize: Address your most important task first. Do not be afraid to say no and turn away less-important opportunities (no job is worth an 80 hour work week).
- Killthe distractions: Close every window, application or document that does not relate directly to what you are working on. Block sites like Facebook and YouTube in your web browser (you can also download a Chrome extension) and set it to go into “do not disturb” mode until you’re ready for your break.
- Use “the Pomodoro technique”: Set a timer for 25 minutes, work as hard as you can on the highest priority task until the timer goes off, then take a 5 minute break (walk outside, drink some water, whatever you like). Repeat until you feel like taking a longer break (15-20 minutes), then take one.
- Take control of your schedule: Establish start and end times for meetings, announce the workday is over via email to any co-workers who might need your help, set limits on how often you’ll check emails. When everyone knows what to expect, it’s easier for everyone to adjust accordingly.
- Establish productive routines: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Establish your workday routine: exercise, meditation, or some other activity that you know relaxes you. Do something immediately after lunch to get your blood flowing (take a walk outside, do some pushups). By building tasks into a daily habit, you decrease the effort needed to accomplish them, and they become automatic.
- Address the biggest task first, every day. If it doesn’t get done, don’t bother doing anything else.
- Cut out distractions until you’ve completed your main task.
- Set a short timer for 25 minutes of work and 5 of break time to stay focused on your task.
- Make your schedule your own, not something you leave to the whims of others. Obviously make time for the unexpected emergency, but otherwise stick with it.
- Establish productive routines for your day so it becomes automatic
Small daily improvements will result in big changes over time. Investing in yourself with these productivity hacks will help you accomplish more with your time, leading to a better quality of life.