Learn how to get more done and make the most of your time with these productivity hacks, tips, and resources!
If you look back on the last few days and analyze the things you did, how would you define your overall performance?
Did you do most of the things on your to-do list? Were you efficient? Did you do focused work on important tasks or wasn’t that concentrated and most of them weren’t that meaningful? Did you waste time procrastinating and just doing nothing?
In other words, can you say these days were productive?
Often the answer is no. And that doesn’t mean you didn’t do your best. It just means you weren’t productive.
Productivity is to do all the important things that need to be done, to do them in little time and with focus.
You can cross everything on your to-do list but that can take days, while it’s planned for just one.
You can do them, but not properly, which will lead to bad results. You can be done eventually but realize that most of what you did was unnecessary.
To avoid these and other mistakes we need to apply productivity hacks. To find loops in the system, to use efficient tools, to prioritize and be mindful of what we’re doing if we want a certain outcome.
Start with The Basics
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- How Planning Can Double Your Productivity
- How to Measure Productivity
- Top 7 Productivity Apps
- Develop a Productivity Mindset
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Productivity Hacks to Get More Done
Here are some ways, tips
1. Start your day early.
Waking up really early gives you the chance to do some work without distractions.
The morning itself is productive and this also helps you start your day this way. And a fresh start usually keeps you going until the evening.
Waking up early is not a daily habit of mine, but when I do it, I also do a morning routine, which helps me jumpstart my day and makes me feel great. Not to mention the results I achieve compared to those in the days I oversleep.
This is one of the so-called keystone habits Charles Duhigg writes about in his book “The Power of Habit”. Those are certain big habits that provoke a chain reaction and immediately make us change other behaviors of ours.
Waking up early is a good example of one of the top productivity hacks.
Otherwise, I don’t do each of them often. Getting up early is what causes that routine. And it’s extremely productive.
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- What to Do When You Wake Up Early
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- How I Wake Up in Under 1 Minute Every Day
2. The 2-minute rule.
If you have things on your to-do list (or even in your head – just random things you know you need to do at some point) that take a few minutes, do them right now.
If you leave them for ‘later’, you’ll probably carry them over for a few days, or more. Until they become a burden and you find yourself overloaded with little things to do.
Don’t wait for them to become urgent so that you get them done, do those that take little time immediately. That will save you a lot of stress and unwanted worries. Plus it’s a great starter for the bigger tasks.
3. Keep a detailed journal.
Another thing Michal has mastered which is another one of the productivity hacks you can try is keeping a journal.
The simple technique of just writing down everything you do has many benefits and can be powerful for gaining a better understanding of your mistakes.
“This is your first step in building a more productive mindset. By keeping a time journal you make yourself aware of how you spend your time.
If you are interested in implementing a new time management strategy, it’s likely because you don’t use your time optimally. The time journal allows you to get to the core of the problem, to very clearly see areas where you are wasting time.
That’s the main purpose of using this tool – to make you aware of how you really use your time. You can’t improve if you don’t know your starting position.
Most people believe they already know precisely how they use their time. Most people are wrong.”
4. A fixed period of time.
Let’s say you’ve decided to write a minimum of 30 minutes each day (or that can be calculated in page number, depending on how you’ve structured your plan) so that you can reach your goal of having a brand new ebook in a month.
What you need to do each day is set a certain time and make it a priority in your daily tasks. Try to find a place where you won’t be bothered and for the next 30 minutes think only about what you’re writing.
Stay focused and don’t stop writing until the alarm goes off (if you’re using one).
5. Don’t break the chain.
It’s also known as Seinfeld’s productivity secret.
What you need is a big wall calendar. Decide what the thing you want to do more and better is and put a big X each day you do it.
Soon you’ll have a chain (after a week or two) that you will see every time you pass the calendar and wouldn’t want to break.
The point is that everyone enjoys seeing all his efforts at one place which in this case is the days you’ve been doing the activity (exercising, dieting, writing, etc.)
As the chain grows larger, you’re less likely to break it. Because once you do, you will feel like all the work so far doesn’t count. Which, of course, is not true, but it’s a little trick to deceive our brain into being motivated and more productive and to continue doing the task every day.
Not doing it for a day means there will be no X on the calendar and the chain is broken. That makes it easier for you to skip a second one, and a third one.
But all that also makes you stick to the schedule as you’re proud of yourself and happy with the results. Being reminded of what you’ve achieved so far gives you the power to keep moving forward.
Your progress is visible and that helps you stay on track. The bigger the chain, the better the result.
6. Do the hard things first.
All experts in the area suggest doing the tasks you hate the most first thing in the morning so that for the rest of the day you will have to do easier things or stuff you enjoy.
This one of the top productivity hacks is hard at first. That’s why it’s better to just rush into it without thinking too much and get that thing done. Otherwise you’ll put it off for later. And the more you procrastinate, the more you stress about it, think about it and ruin your whole day.
And after you’re done with it, your day will be much more relaxed, productive and successful.
It’s also a great way to start your day as it boosts your productivity and fuels you for the next tasks on the list.
7. The 80/20 rule.
I love that productivity hack because it’s so true and we rarely realize it before we really think about it.
It says that only 20% of the activities we do are worthwhile and are what brings 80% of the results. The other 80% lead to only 20% of the final result and only waste your time.
This can apply to anything.
If you focus only on the 20% of your clients that bring 80% of the revenue, and invest more time in building these relationships, your results will multiply.
The other 80% of the people that use your service or else are not that important.
What you need to do to increase your productivity is to identify what the 20% consist of (whatever area you’re working on), and focus on that while you eliminate the rest or stop paying so much attention to it and waste time and effort.
8. Plan and make a list.
Sounds simple but really works.
Make a detailed plan of the things you have to do from the night before. Write it down.
This way you will know what to do in each moment of the day, the things will be in some order, and you won’t be wondering what to do in the gaps between.
You don’t need to memorize them. Just carry a notebook or list with you wherever you go and cross the things out once you’ve completed them.
9. Create a not to-do list.
We’re all familiar with what a to-do list is. And whoever uses it, knows the benefits of having all your tasks written down in advance, and then always knowing what’s left to get done.
It’s a simple and yet powerful strategy to be productive and finish all the important things you want to.
But the problem comes when people start to include many more items in it than they should. Then this list – that was supposed to be short and to the point – gets bigger and bigger, and at some point you start avoiding even looking at it.
Also, we often lose focus, get distracted, start doing other things that only waste out time and get us nowhere. That’s when it’s time for a not to-do list.
It’s the opposite of the to-do one, and as Tim Ferriss says:
“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.”
I’m sure there are things you find yourself doing without realizing, stuff that takes you hours but doesn’t really change anything, old procrastination habits, and so on.
Well, write all these down and be mindful of them.
Sit down and take some time to figure out what these activities are, and make a list for the next day. Then, look at it as often as you look at your to-do list.
You’ll get much more done, will feel proud of yourself, won’t be under the control of the time-wasting habits of our generation (like social media), will have more time for meaningful tasks, and will be more focused throughout the whole day.
What can you include in a not to-do list?
- checking email more than 2 times a day;
- using your phone in bed;
- getting up after 8 am;
- being late;
- watching TV;
- thinking about editing when writing;
- spending time with people that make you feel bad about yourself;
- doing tasks someone else is supposed to do;
- eating sugar;
- drinking coffee on an empty stomach;
- trying to do more than one thing at a time;
- feeling upset about something you can’t change;
- drinking during the week;
You get the point.
Include all the things you want to stop doing, the stuff you feel is taking you nowhere, the annoying habits you have that you want to avoid.
Once you make such a list your mind will consider them something important than needs to get done. And it will be more conscious of these activities, in this case – its goal will be to avoid them no matter what.
So that’s a simple and easy technique, but which can be powerful beyond measure once you implement it and make it an important part of your days.
10. Eliminate distractions.
The last one of the productivity hacks you should try is to eliminate distractions. That’s a big issue these days with all the technologies we’re surrounded by.
Constantly receiving notifications from different sources can be quite distracting.
So try to turn the sound off while you’re working on something important. Do everything possible to be focused because otherwise the task won’t be completed properly.
Use software or different applications that don’t allow you to go online for a fixed period of time. This way you can work on your writing, for example, without having the chance to just check your email or social media and find yourself browsing without purpose again.
Usually, the simplest way is the best. So give these productivity hacks a try, if you haven’t already. I hope they will help you do all your tasks better, in no time, with less effort and more focus.
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