Now there is ample material on the internet on productivity hacks and I assume you have already consumed a lot of it and wondering what is new about this material, well the answer is nothing. The only thing different about this is, it is a sign for you to actually implement these hacks and make them a part of your life.
Well each one of us would like to improve our ability of getting the amount of work done in a day. And at the back of our mind we know what all could be done but what we don’t do is implement those techniques. Even if we do, we do it only for a couple of days and drift back to old, well-rehearsed behaviour.
We mostly function on automatic mode and it requires a lot of conscious effort to break this behavior to develop a more conscious and controlled behavior pattern. For this, one has to keep observing and making amends in what works best for you.
Let’s have a look at some of the proven productivity hacks.
Work in short busts
Well, by now you already know that an individual’s attention span is not more than 30-40 minutes. So it is important to take frequent breaks to enhance the quality of your work.
Use the Pomodoro technique of taking breaks where you work in an interval of 25 minutes and take break for 5 minutes.
During the break you can do some neck exercises or some isometric exercises. Doing some eye exercise really helps when working for long hours.
Know your productive hour
Each one of us has a different work and rest cycle. If you often feel stuck in a cycle where you ending up wasting a lot of time, then this is for you.
Identify what time of the day you feel most energised and can get more work done.
Also observe what time of the day you end up wasting on unnecessary engagements and turn that around into your productive hour.
Once you have figured out your productive hours of the day, prioritize the tasks you would want to get done in that time. The most important and urgent tasks need to be done first. It could be scheduling a call with potential investors or dealing with an issue you have putting off for a while.
Cut out distractions
In todays time our space is filled with constant distractions, with notifications buzzing your phone, be it a social media or your package has been shipped notification. These tend to derail you from your work.
Something as simple as putting your phone on silent mode or turning off some unnecessary app notifications while working can be helpful.
Make a to-do list
You already know this one and you know it works. But the question is how often do you do this?
Making a to-do list for the next day in advance provides you with a plan of action. Once you wake up, you already know what all is to be done. A to-do list sets the tone for the day.
Set realistic goals for the day
Often while planning out the day, we tend to write down more tasks than are possible to complete in a day. We tend to fall prey to what is commonly referred to as overconfidence barrier. It suggests that people usually have too much confidence in the accuracy of their judgments and people’s judgments are usually not as correct as they think they are. They tend to neglect past experiences while planning out the future.
The hack here is to assess the amount of time and energy each task will require and plan your day in accordance to that.
Create a dedicated workspace
Do you use the same place for almost everything you do? Do you eat, relax or even watch movies on the same couch you use for work?
When a lot of activities are associated with the same spot, your brain can’t decide what needs to be done when sitting there.
It is suggested to segregate your working space from your place of entertainment. So the brain knows the call of action when you sit on a desk with your laptop and automatically tunes out the distractions.
This is another way of getting work done. Create a to-do list and share it with your co-workers and tell them that you will be getting a certain number of tasks done by the end of the day. The thought that you are accountable to someone will motivate you to stick to your schedule.
In the end it all boils down to implementing these techniques and sticking to them. The behaviours that we do more often are the ones repeated and hence reinforced. If you couldn’t do it today, try next day and yet another day until you find something that works for you.
And don’t fret if your day wasn’t as productive as you thought it was going to be or if you couldn’t check off all the items on the list.
While reviewing your day focus on what you managed to do in the day instead of looking at things you couldn’t do. Further analyse how you could have made it more productive and implement those changes the following day.