Productivity is the most important asset we have when it comes to getting work done. Whether it’s for your job, your business, or even yard work, those that are most productive and efficient get the most done in the least amount of time.
Many people will say to multitask and you’ll get more done, but let me tell you something: multitasking is destroying your productivity. It’s making you take longer, get less done, and produce lower quality work.
If you’re a freelancer or business owner, save precious time with tools such as 9Spokes, a dashboard that allows you to centralize all your apps and business solutions.*
Just think about it. Going back and forth with your thoughts between one, two, or even three different tasks can lead to confusion, mixed up facts and details, and never the right focus on a particular subject.
Stop multitasking, and try using a few of the “hacks” that I’m about to give you that will give you real productivity. No more generic, not-working tips, here are 11 hacks that will seriously improve your productivity today.
11 Hacks For Better Productivity
#1 Keep your surrounding clean for clear thoughts
Without a clean room, desk, or even laptop home screen you will struggle with keeping clear and focused thoughts. By having these distractions around you, it’s easy for your brain to wander and think about other things other than what you actually should be working on.
Try making it a weekly habit to clean your desk completely, and then on top of that, try to reduce any buildup of stuff during your working hours.
#2 Like simple math? Remember this: (10+2)*5 hack
The (10+2)*5 hack was introduced by 43Folders.com, and it’s a rather simple concept; Work for 10 minutes, break for 2 minutes, repeat this pattern 5 times for an hour.
The idea is to get 10 minutes of intense work and then take a short break to relax and collect your thoughts. By applying this hack within your day, you’d be surprised how much more you’ll get done.
#3 Find a new work environment
Personally, I find myself getting a lot more work done when I move to a new environment once in awhile. Whether that be going to the library, a coffee shop, or even making a home office; new environments work.
It’s all about replacing the old and being around the new. It sparks creativity; it motivates you to work more, and it’s just a healthy way to get a nice little “refresher.”
#4 Surround yourself with busy people
This hack is an add-on to #3; going to places where others are working just as hard as you is a great way to become even more productive.
It works because when you see others working hard, you won’t want to be the “odd one out” and not be working too. It will prevent you from checking Facebook, playing games, or anything else that isn’t producing results and getting stuff done.
Note: You don’t have to know what people are doing on their computers or phones, just the fact that multiple people are seemingly busy is enough to assume they are working. Heck, you might even inspire them to work more if you sit down and look hard at work!
#5 Create a “To-Do Today List” the night before
Instead of defining what you need to do for the current day, define what you need to do for the next day ahead of time.
This is a tactic I use every night to plan out my activities for tomorrow, and it seriously helps with getting much more done.
By creating a to-do list the day before, you can quickly recall the things you didn’t do today and put them on the list for tomorrow. It’s a perfect way to know what to do as soon as you start working instead of wasting time trying to fill in a to-do list before you start working.
#6 Music helps, and it can help a lot
Music, believe it or not, can help a lot with creating a productive environment for yourself.
Creating a playlist that gets you into a productive flow can be a great way to do this. But if you’d like, there are scientifically proven tracks out there to improve productivity. Give them a try and you might just find yourself becoming highly focused and in return, productive.
#7 Curate a list of time-saving apps
All of our daily tasks are different. Thus we all require different apps to boost productivity. But searching around a bit for apps and tools that will save you time and improve productivity are a great way to cut out wasted time in your life.
Here are some great ones to get you started:
- Evernote – a note taking app that allows for easy note taking
- Password Managers – stop typing in every password you have and just have one by using a password manager
- Todoist – a great way to create your to-do lists and task manager
#8 Turn off your phone one hour at a time
Phone calls, texts, and all of the notifications you get while your phone is on will lead to some serious distractions and thus, less work done.
If you have to be by your phone, try turning it off in one-hour bursts. You can also do this in conjunction with the (10+2)*5 hack. Turn off your phone for 10 minutes and then at the end check your phone for any updates.
Getting a notification every few minutes, even if you try to ignore it, always kills focus. Turn it off, work hard for an hour, check it out, then repeat.
#9 Use a site blocker to avoid unconscious surfing
Do you ever find yourself places that you really shouldn’t be while working? If so, you’re in luck! There are apps out there that will allow you to block sites that you often visit that have no real benefit to your work tasks.
Addicted to Facebook? This tool will work.
Any site out there? These tools can block any site you so desire.
The StayFocusd Chrome extension is a great fit for this hack!
#10 Check your email at specific times
Checking your email every 10 minutes isn’t going to get your work done for you.
Email addiction is a real thing. Most of us feel productive when checking emails, but at the end of the day when our to-do list isn’t completed, we’re surprised.
Check your email at specific times that best fit your circumstances. If you are waiting for a big email, check it a bit more. If it’s just a “regular day” (if that’s even possible), then check it at the start of your day, in the middle near lunch, and then again at the end of the day.
#11 Build momentum with easy tasks
If you can’t “eat the frog” at the beginning of your day, try with smaller tasks that will allow you to build some workflow momentum.
By starting and completing easy tasks, you feel much more productive and thus continue your flow all the way throughout your work day. If you ever feel stuck, go to your to-do list and start with the easy things first and finish with the more difficult tasks.
Don’t implement all these hacks at once. Start by implementing just one each day and you will slowly start seeing productivity improvements over the next few weeks.
Once these hacks are ingrained into your life, you’ll get much more done in less time. Which leads to one of two things: more free time or more time to get stuff done. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
I’d love to hear your own personal tips, hacks, or techniques that you’ve found have helped you be more productive. Share them in the comments below, we all have room for improvement.
*Goalcast may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service. Thank you for supporting us in our quest to help you unlock your full potential.