3 Productivity Hacks That Will Change Your Life

In the work world, finding (and applying) productivity hacks that work is like seeking the Holy Grail.  We all want to know how to be more productive without burning out.   And if we are honest with ourselves,  it’s fair to say that many of us – waste a lot of time, or work when we are tired (meaning we are wasting time)  – or battle interruptions throughout the day, knocking over our best laid out plans for the day.

Here are three productivity hacks that are true game changers.

Productivity Hack #1:  Create Micro and Macro Lists

There is a HUGE difference between being busy vs productive.  And there’s a big difference between being productive and working towards your bigger goals in life.   Here’s how this works:

  1. Create a list of at least 5 big goals that you want to accomplish this year.
  2. Work your way backwards with a calendar, dividing the year up into quarters.
  3. Work backwards again, fitting in the steps to reach your goals by month, by week and finally, by day.
  4. Create a weekly to-do list – and prioritize your activities and from there, create your daily to-do list.  Remember to allow time for interruptions and things that will take you by surprise during the day, so that it is already built into your day.
  5. Create your to-do list for the day and then, try the Pomodoro Technique to your stuff done!   Make sure the daily tasks are fitting into the bigger picture and moving you towards your goals for the year, quarter and month.

Productivity Hack #2:  Turn Off All Alerts & Notifications

If you have alerts set on your desktop (think e-mail alerts) and your phone (texts, e-mail, social media etc.) – turn them off now.  There is nothing that takes you off your game faster than alerts.   Even if you ignore them,  the bing, beep or visual cue instantly disrupts your concentration.  If this evokes a sense of panic at this suggestion, try this instead.

  1. Turn off all alerts and notifications except for scheduled meetings.
  2. Schedule a routine for checking your e-mails.  Maybe that’s once an hour, or every 90 minutes.
  3. Do the same for checking your phone messages and texts
  4. For social medial checks, try scaling back to once in the morning and once in the afternoon during a break.
  5. If appropriate, let your colleagues know that you are trying a new strategy for checking e-mails and messages and let them know they can call you if something is truly urgent.  Boundaries are a beautiful thing!

Productivity Hack #3:  Know Your Ups & Downs During the Day

One of the least productive things you can do, is trying to work when you are not on your game.  Tune into when in the day you perform at peak capacity.

  1. Listen to your rhythms and work with them – you’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done in one hour during peak energy times.
  2. If you are an early bird with good concentration in the mornings, then plan accordingly and schedule tasks that require high thought in the morning.
  3. Conversely, if you don’t come alive until later in the day, don’t fight it and schedule tasks that require less concentration early in the day and save up the bigger projects for later when you are at your peak.

Now it’s your turn.  Leave a comment and let us know how this worked and if you have any productivity hacks to share with us!

Until the next time,

Vivienne & Andrew

 

 

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